American Soil Record By Sutume Kebede Highlight Of Record-Breaking Day At Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Houston Half became home to American, Course, and Masters records

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The Aramco Houston Half Marathon, a highly anticipated event of the early season calendar, kicked off the 2024 season with no shortage of excitement and record-breaking performances.

The event drew a highly decorated lineup of American and international runners, each with their eyes set on hitting Olympic standard or gearing up for the highly competitive US Olympic Marathon Trials. 

American Soil Record By Sutume Kebede Highlight Of Record-Breaking Day At Aramco Houston Half Marathon 1

The women’s half marathon, in particular, was a stage for surprises and triumphs.

In an unexpected upset, Sutume Kebede of Ethiopia made history by shattering the women’s half marathon course record. 

Crossing the finish line in an incredible 1:04:37, Kebede eclipsed the previous record of 1:05:03, held by Vicoty Chepngeno since last year’s edition. 


For a full recap, read our play-by-play live blog of the entire race:


Not stopping there, Kebede also etched her name in North American history by breaking the record for the fastest women’s half marathon run on the continent and on American soil.

Race favorite Hellen Obiri, though falling off the lead in the second half, displayed resilience, securing a respectable second place with a finishing time of 1:06:07. 

American Soil Record By Sutume Kebede Highlight Of Record-Breaking Day At Aramco Houston Half Marathon 2
Photo: Erik van Leeuwen

Kebede’s dominance wasn’t the sole headline result in the women’s race.

In her debut half-marathon, Weini Kelati announced her arrival with authority, claiming fourth place and simultaneously taking down the American record for women’s half-marathon

Her impressive time of 1:06:25 surpassed the previous record of 1:06:37 set by Kiera D’Amato in Australia last year.

Veteran runner Edna Kiplagat continued the record-breaking trend in the women’s half marathon.

At 44 years old, the Kenyan not only secured a sixth-place finish but also set a new Masters course record, crossing the line in 1:07:52 and shattering the previous record by five minutes.

American Soil Record By Sutume Kebede Highlight Of Record-Breaking Day At Aramco Houston Half Marathon 3

Shifting the spotlight to the men’s race, Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer emerged triumphant in a thrilling finish against Kenyan Wesley Kiptoo. Yimer secured the title with a razor-thin margin of 0.93 seconds, completing the race in 1:00:42.

Kiptoo’s effort resulted in a close second-place finish with a time of 1:00:43, highlighting the intensity of the competition and the speed of the course in Houston

Rounding out the men’s podium was Ethiopian Milkesa Tolosa, who finished just two seconds behind the winner with a time of 1:00:45.

American Soil Record By Sutume Kebede Highlight Of Record-Breaking Day At Aramco Houston Half Marathon 4

American veteran Galen Rupp, in the midst of training to make his fifth Olympic team, was at the start of the Houston Half Marathon today to round out a heavy training block.

Rupp completed the race in fourteenth place with a time of 1:02:37.

The Aramco Houston Half Marathon 2024 was an action-packed start to the Olympic year not just for its world-class lineup but for the trail of broken records and close finishes that left us on the edge of our seats all the way to the line.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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