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January 18, 2022

Kirubel Erassa Ran 60:44 For The Half Marathon, Two Weeks After Having COVID

While the U.S. running community celebrated Keira D’Amato’s and Sara Hall’s new American records in the marathon and half marathon, respectively, many seem to have missed one of the best debuts ever run by an American man.

Background Details 📄

– Kirubel Erassa was a seven-time All-American at Oklahoma State and ran professionally for The Atlanta Track Club and then Nike and Hoka in recent years. He boasts personal bests of 13:12.71 for 5,000 meters and 27:32.89 for 10,000 meters. He finished fifth in the 10,000 meters at the 2019 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

– The 28-year-old made his half marathon debut after a long training stint in Ethiopia.

– Ryan Hall’s American record of 59:43 was set at the 2007 Houston Marathon.

What Happened In Houston 🤠

– Ethiopia’s Milkesa Tolosa won the Houston Half Marathon in 1:00:24 – just three seconds ahead of Kenya’s John Korir. (Full results from Houston here)

– Erassa was the top American in the race with his fourth place finish in 1:00:44. The performance ranks as the seventh-fastest time in U.S. history. Here are the names ahead of him on the U.S. all-time list:

    1. Ryan Hall, 59:43 (Houston, 2007)
    2. Galen Rupp, 59:47 (Rome, 2018)
    3. Leonard Korir, 59:52 (New Delhi, 2017)
    4. Dathan Ritzenhein, 1:00:00 (Birmingham, 2009)
    5. Sam Chelanga, 1:00:37 (Houston, 2018)
    6. Mohamed Trafeh, 1:00:39 (New York, 2010)
    7.  Kirubel Erassa, 1:00:44 (Houston, 2022)

– Erassa’s time is the second-fastest U.S. half marathon debut behind only Hall’s record.

In an eight-minute interview with Flotrack, he said he was planning to run at the U.S. Cross Country Championships in San Diego but came down with COVID-19 two weeks before this past weekend’s race. 

– Erassa had plans to chase Ryan Hall’s American record and said, “Coming into this race, I said to myself and my coach knows that if the weather is good, the Ryan Hall record might be possible. But, I woke up this morning and checked the weather. It was a little bit windy and cold so I said, ‘It might be too tough to get the record.’ On a good day, I think it would be possible.”

What’s Next 👟

– Erassa told Flotrack that he is not ruling out a return to the track in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. 

– Erassa is currently unsponsored and represented by Hawi Sports Management.

Photos by Kevin Morris/@kevmofoto


Here’s What Else Is Happening In Track and Field

📺 Newly-minuted U.S marathon record holder Keira D’Amato was a guest on the Today Show on Tuesday morning to share with millions watching from home about her unconventional running journey. When asked about what it was like crossing the finish line, she said: “You know that cute little emoticon with the head blowing up? That’s probably the best way I can describe it.”

For those who have been sending a few messages, we’ve been in touch with Keira to have her back on the CITIUS MAG Podcast very soon.

🌼  The women’s 1,500m field for the Lilac Grand Prix in Spokane, WA on Feb. 11 has been announced by Tracklandia. The field features Konstanze Klosterhalfen, Emma Coburn, Cory McGee, Dani Jones, Anna Camp-Bennett and Whittni Orton among the entries.

✍️ 2016 Olympian Brenda Martinez announced she has re-signed with New Balance on a two-year contract, which would put her at 14 total years with the company by the end of the deal.


That’s it from me today. As always, thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this, learned something new or have any questions or commentary on anything featured in this issue, feel free to hit my inbox by replying or writing to [email protected]

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Chris Chavez | Twitter | Instagram | Strava

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