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2010 USA Half Marathon Championships
hosted by the Aramco Houston Half Marathon

January 17, 2010
Houston, Texas

Photo of Shalane Flanagan - ©
Shalane Flanagan
2010 USA Women's Half Marathon Champion

Photo of Antonio Vega - ©
Antonio Vega
2010 USA Men's Half Marathon Champion

Olympic Bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan (Pittsboro, N.C.) smashed the course record at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon to win the women's USA Half Marathon Championship.  Running 1:09:41, Flanagan broke the previous record by one minute, 14 seconds.  Antonio Vega (Minneapolis, Minn.) won the men's race in 1:01:54 to win the first U.S. title of his career.
Running her debut for the distance, Flanagan lived up to her status as pre-race favorite, taking control of the race from the first mile with defending champion Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.), Serena Burla (Ellisville, Mo.), Renee Metivier Baillie (Boulder, Colo.) and Kelly Jaske (Portland, Ore.) trying to keep pace.
Just before four miles, Boulet began to drop off the pack and Jaske and Baillie began to fade just after four.  Running a pair of 5:16 miles for the sixth and seventh miles, Flanagan and Burla continued to pull away from the field.  As Flanagan churned out a third 5:16 for mile eight, Burla missed a water bottle and faltered briefly, allowing Flanagan to gain a 15 meter advantage.
Over the final miles, Flanagan extended her lead to win the championship by 28 seconds.  Amy Hastings (Flagstaff, Ariz.) overtook Baillie to take third place in 1:11:19.  Baillie was fourth in 1:11:51 and Boulet took fifth in 1:12:22.
In the men's race, a pack of about twenty men passed the first mile in a leisurely 4:53 before Vega and his Team USA Minnesota teammates, Matt Gabrielson (Apple Valley, Minn.), Josh Moen (Saint Louis Park, Minn.) and Patrick Smyth (Minneapolis, Minn.) pushed the pace to 4:38 for the second mile.
As Vega, Smyth and Moen continued to control the pace, Tim Nelson (Portland, Ore.), Stephan Shay (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Brent Vaughn (Black Hawk, Colo.) began to open a gap on the field.
By eight miles, Vega and Smyth were running side by side with Vaughn trailing by about five meters.  Shortly after the eighth mile, Vega made his break and by ten miles, had a 20 meter lead as Vaughn rejoined Smyth and looked to close the gap slightly but Vega held on to win the title by seven seconds. 
Smyth won the duel for second, running 1:02:01 to Vaughn's 1:02:04.  Nelson rallied to take fourth in 1:02:11 as Shay rounded out the top-five in 1:02:26. 


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