INDIANAPOLIS - The Aramco Houston Half Marathon has been awarded the 2007 and 2008 USA Half Marathon Championships for men and women, featuring a total U.S. prize purse of more than $50,000, USA Track & Field announced on Thursday.
The 2007 USA Half-Marathon Championships will be held in conjunction with the thirty-fifth running of the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 14, 2007.
The host of the USA Men's Half Marathon Championships for the last two years, the Aramco Houston Half Marathon has increased their commitment to U.S. long distance running by adding the women's championship to the schedule for the next two years.
"USATF's selection of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon as the site of the USA men's and women's Half Marathon Championships for the next two years is a reaffirmation of our organizing committee's continuing commitment to American distance running," said Race Director Brant Kotch. "Our flat, fast course and the attention that our committee gives to the elite athletes make our event particularly well-suited to hosting America's finest athletes at the half marathon distance."
The USA Half Marathon Championship hosted by the Aramco Houston Half Marathon will offer a total purse of $51,500, with $10,000 going to the first-place U.S. male and female finishers. The race will also be used to qualify two athletes from the top three U.S. finishers for the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships to be held in Udine, Italy, October 14, 2007.
The Chevron Houston Marathon has been repeatedly selected for many world-renowned road-racing competitions, including the 2005 and 2006 USA Men's Half Marathon Championship, the 1998 USA Women's Marathon Championship, the 1992 U.S. Women's Olympic Marathon Trials and the 1979 USA Men's and Women's Marathon Championships.
The 2007 USA Half-Marathon Championships will be the first race on the 2007 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 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.
A long-time supporter of USATF long distance running, The Chevron Houston Marathon organization has contributed to the further development of U.S. athletes including signing on as a Silver sponsor of the USA Distance Project in May. The USA Distance Project is a partnership of the Long Distance Running Division of USA Track & Field and major U.S. events and running-related corporations dedicated to sustaining the long-term development of elite USA distance athletes, enabling them to compete successfully in domestic and international competitions and major championship events.
For more information on the 2007 USA Half Marathon Championships visit www.usatf.org.