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Galen Rupp Is Racing The Houston Half Marathon

Galen Rupp is entered in next weekend's Houston Half Marathon, according to event organizers. The announcement instantly puts Ryan Hall's 59:43 American record in jeopardy. Hall's run 10 years ago--in the same Houston race--was one of the seminal moments in the history of American distance running, as it broke the old record by over a minute. Hall's record was set on Jan. 14, 2007, and Rupp will race in Houston on Sunday, Jan. 15. 59:43 is 4:33 mile pace for 13.1 miles.

​Watch Hall's 59:43 from 2007:


The Houston course is famously flat and fast, and the weather there is often good for long-distance racing this time of year. (Check out the official half-marathon course map on page 19 here; the weather is often between 45 and 65 degrees on race day.) Rupp's presumptuous pursuit of a fast time is part of an exciting foray into road racing that began in earnest 13 months ago for the 10,000m American record holder.​

Rupp ran a 61:20 half marathon last December and ran 60:30 on a non-record-legal course in New York in 2011. His two marathons last year were a 2:11 win at the U.S. Olympic Trials and a 2:10 bronze medal at the Olympics.

His biggest competition in Houston will likely be Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa, who beat Rupp for an Olympic silver medal and notably protested his home country's government as he crossed the line in Rio. But Lilesa and Rupp both struggled the last time they hit the roads. Lilesa ran a 2:15 fourth-place marathon in Honolulu last month, walking the last 100 meters.


And Rupp struggled with asthma issues en route to a 10th-place finish at the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day.


But if they're at their best, Rupp and Lilesa can go historically fast. Lilesa has the course record at 59:22, set in 2013. And a quick peek at my copy of Daniels' Running Formula says that a 26:51 10K is equivalent to a 59:01 half marathon. Rupp's 10K American record is 26:44.

Other notables in the men's half field are Yigrem Demelash Endale, who ran a 59:48 half and 26:51 10K in 2016 and Americans Leonard Korir and Luke Puskedra. Korir's half PB is 61:06, and Puskedra's is 61:29. Jordan Hasay, Kellyn Taylor, and Sara Hall are the best-known Americans in the women's field, which is highlighted by Olympic marathon bronze medalist Mare Dibaba.

It's the half-marathon debut for Hasay, who will be making her marathon debut with her Oregon Project teammate Rupp in Boston. And at 30, Taylor is emerging as one of the best long-distance runners in the country. She was fourth in the 10K at the Olympic Trials.

Full half-marathon and marathon fields are below.

Men's half marathon

Bib Name
1 Feyisa Lilesa Gemechu
2 Galen Rupp
3 Yigrem Demelash Endale
4 Samsom Gebreyohannes Gezahai
5 Leonard Korir
6 Hiskel Tewelde Ghebru
7 Daniel Salel Loyioyio
8 Silas Kipruto
10 Fikadu Tsadik
11 Temesgen Ejeressa
12 Weldon Kirui
13 Ben Chelimo Somikwo
14 Luke Puskedra
15 Aaron Braun
16 Bazu Worku Hayla
17 Tadese Tola Woldegeberel
18 Girma Mercheso
19 Jordan Chipangama
20 Ben Bruce
21 Scott Smith
22 Bayron Piedra
23 Ismail Ssenyange
24 Sean Quigley
25 George Alex
26 Scott Fauble
27 John Crain
28 Aaron Dinzeo
29 Robert Molke
30 Ryan Rutherford
31 Phillip Reid
32 Eric Ashe
33 Tyler Andrews
34 Tom Anderson
35 Andrew Epperson
36 Parker Stinson
37 Noah Droddy
38 Luis Orta
39 Kiya Dandena
40 Patrick Rizzo
41 Ryan Dohner
42 Jonathan Peterson
43 Thomas Toth
44 Jovanny Godinez Rodriguez
45 Eric Loeffler
46 Luis Vargas
47 Pardon Ndhlovu
48 Matthew Sonnenfeldt
49 Ian Butler
50 Kevin Lewis
51 Darren De Reuck
52 Michael Crouch
Pacer Tyler Mueller
Pacer Carlos Trujillo

Women's half marathon

Bib Number Name
101 Mary Wacera
102 Mamitu Daska
103 Mare Dibaba Hurssa
104 Hiwot Gebrekidan Gebremaryam
105 Veronicah Nyaruai Wanjiru
106 Gladys Yator
107 Diane Nukuri
108 Muliye Dekebo Haylemariyam
109 Jordan Hasay
110 Aliphine Tuliamuk
111 Tigist Demisse
112 Sara Hall
113 Nazret Weldu Gebrehiwet
115 Madai Perez
116 Dera Dida Yami
117 Kellyn Taylor
118 Joan Aiyabei
119 Beverly Ramos
120 Alia Gray
121 Elvin Kibet
122 Susanna Sullivan
123 Natasha LaBeaud
124 Kelsey Bruce
125 Anna Weber
126 Joanna Thompson
127 Erin Burrett
128 Maria Elena Calle
129 Rosie Edwards
130 Emma Polley
131 Jamie Cheever
132 Amanda Scott
133 Kristen Arendt
134 Ana Maria De Vries
135 Kayla Atkinson
136 Kristin Louderback
137 Bria Wetsch

Men's marathon

Bib Number First Name
1 Birhanu Gedefa Chimdesa
2 Abayneh Ayele Woldegiorgis
3 Abrha Milaw Asefa
4 Dominic Ondoro
5 Yitayal Atnafu Zerihun
6 Andualem Shiferaw
7 Elkanah Kibet
8 Robert Cheseret
9 Birhanu Dare Kemal
10 Tim Young
11 Stephen Kersh
12 Semereab Gebrekidan
13 Jason Witt
14 Will Nation
15 Colin Leak
16 Meng-Tsung Chu
17 Gregory Leak
18 Aron Rono
19 Jonny Hay
20 Brian Atkinson
42 Jack Lippincott
Pacer Calum Neff
Pacer William Firfth

Women's marathon

Bib Number First Name
101 Birkutayit Degefa
102 Meskerem Assefa Wondimagegn
103 Sechale Dalasa Adugna
104 Rahma Tulsa Chota
105 Mary Davies
106 Mulu Melka
107 Becky Wade
108 Sarah Crouch
109 Serkalem Abrha
110 Yenenesh Tilahun Dinkesa
111 Hanna Nosekno
112 Rocio Cantara
113 Hiruni Wijayaratne
114 Nicole Dimercurio
115 Colleen De Reuck
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