Aramco Houston Half Marathon to host USA Half Marathon Championships through 2011

09-07-2007

Contact:
Jim Estes
Senior Manager of LDR and Marketing
USA Track & Field
317-713-4661

INDIANAPOLIS -The Aramco Houston Half Marathon has extended its commitment to host the USA Half Marathon Championships through 2011, USATF has annoucned. The event has previously hosted the USA Men's Half Marathon Championship (2005-'06) and both the men's and women's championships in 2007.

"Houston has traditionally been a great proving ground for new U.S. talent," said Bill Roe, USATF President. "The support that Houston and Aramco Services Company have put forth both in the race as well as in key funding for the USA Distance Project will continue to keep the momentum moving forward for USA long distance athletes."

The 2008 USA Half-Marathon Championships will be held in conjunction with the thirty-sixth running of the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 13, and will be the first race on the 2008 USA Running Circuit (USARC).

The USA Half Marathon Championship races have attracted some of America's top young runners. In 2007, that field included Ryan Hall of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., who clocked an American record 59:43 over the 13.1-mile course, obliterating the previous record set by Mark Curp in 1985. Hall's time shaved 1:12 off the old record

and made him the first American to break the 1 hour barrier in the half marathon distance.

"We are thrilled to have the USA Half Marathon Championships returning to Houston in 2008, and for the next three years after that," said Race Director Brant Kotch. "The caliber of runner that the Championships bring to Houston guarantees great competition for the runners and an exciting race for the crowds. Ryan Hall's stunning performance in January 2007 is a perfect example."

In addition to records, the runners are also chasing a lucrative prize purse that again will total $62,500. The prize structure pays winnings to the top 10 male and top 10 female finishers, including $12,000 each to the first man and woman to cross the finish line. The race also pays cumulative bonus money to the first runner breaking existing race and/or U.S. records.

The 2008 USA Half-Marathon Championships will be the first race on the 2008 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 Olympic medalists Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi.

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 2008 USA Half Marathon Championships visit www.usatf.org.