HOUSTON - Pre- race favorite Brian Sell of Rochester Hills, Mich., won the second U.S. title of his careerat the USA Men's Half Marathon Championship in Houston, Texas on Sunday. The championship, hosted by the Aramco Houston Half Marathon also featured open athletes with Nicodemus Malakwen of Kenyataking the overall win in a course record 1:02:07. Sell ran a personal best 1:02:39 for second overall, just missing the championship record of 1:02:32 set by Paul Cummings in 1987.
In the U.S. race, Sell took control from Brandon Leslie of Albuquerque, N.M. and Jason Hartmann of Boulder, Colo., shortly after eight miles when he began to run through a series of 4:45 miles to open a lead which would amount to 28 seconds by the finish. Hartmann held on for second, running 1:03:07 one second ahead of Max King of Bend, Ore., with Leslie finishing fourth in 1:03:10. Andrew Carlson of Apple Valley, Minn rounded out the top-five running 1:03:21. Both King and Carlson were debuting at the half marathon distance.
"It feels really good, this is my second U.S. title, especially running a fast time," said Sell. "It was good to see a lot of fast times from the young U.S. guys too; it shows that we're making progress and can compete on the international scene."
Sell and his Hansons-Brooks Distance Project teammates Luke Humphrey, Chad Johnson, Clint Verran and Kyle O'Brien won the team title, placing five athletes in the top-thirty.
The USA Men's Half Marathon Championship hosted by the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, offered a purse of $21,000 to the top ten U.S. athletes with $7,000 going to first place. The race was also used to qualify one athlete from the top three U.S. finishers for the 2006 IAAF World Road Running Championships to be held October 8 in Debrecen, Hungary.
The 2006 USA Men's Half-Marathon Championship was the first race on the 2006 USA Running Circuit (USARC), a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA Championships from 5 km to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners, including Olympians Deena Kastor, Meb Keflezighi, Colleen DeReuck and Dan Browne. The twelfth edition for the men and tenth for the women, the 2005 circuit has eight events for men and seven events for women.
The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1), with a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6000, $4000, and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. The USARC points at the USA Marathon Championships will be doubled.
The mission of the USA Running Circuit is to showcase, support, and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $4 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.
For more information on the 2006 USA Men's Half Marathon Championship and the 2006 USARC visit www.usatf.org.