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Hellen Obiri beaten to second at Houston Half Marathon

Ethiopia's Sutume Kebede celebrates after winning the 2024 Aramco Half-Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024 in Houston. Photo: Brett Coomer

Double world 5000m champion, Hellen Obiri was beaten to second place at the 21st edition of the Houston Half Marathon held on Sunday (14) in Houston, United States.

Obiri who used this race for preparation to defend her title at the fourth coming Boston Marathon slated for April, was beaten to second place by the reigning Tata Steel Kolkata 25K champion Sutume Kebede of Ethiopia who set a new North American all-comers’ record of 1:04.37which is also her personal best as the two time Olympic 5000m silver medallist forced to settle in second in 1:06.07 with the 2021 World Junior 5000m Champion Buze Diriba of Ethiopia sealing up the podium three finishes in 1:06.24.

“Not even halfway, about five miles into the race, I was like, ‘Oh, my. This feels fine.’ And then I see and hear the people cheering for me, and I was like, ‘Yes, but I need to save some energy for the end,’ ” said Kelati, a resident of Flagstaff, Ariz. “When I was almost there, I just had to push myself.”

United States Weini Kelati, who was making her debut over the distance, ran the fastest time by an American woman, when finishing fourth in 1:06.25 with Ethiopia’s Fikir Mestawut finishing in fifth in 1:07.36.

Double World Marathon champion, Edna Kiplagat who also used the race as a preparation for the coming Boston Marathon, finished a distant sixth in 1:07.52.



1Sutume Kebede (ETH)1:04.37
2Hellen Obiri (KEN)1:06.07
3Buze Diriba Kejela (ETH)1:06.24
4Weini Kelati (USA)1:06.25
5Mestawut Fikir (ETH)1:07.36
6Edna Kiplagat (KEN)1:07.52


  • John Vaselyne

    John Vaselyne is the founder of Athletics News. Africa’s only Independent Athletics News website. He has covered World U18 and U20 Championships, World Cross Country Championships, Four Continental Tour Gold Series, Wanda Diamond League. He has passion for the Sport and has over seven years experience in this area of sport. He is also the Leading Athletics Pundit in the Country, having been hosted in ALL leading TV stations in Kenya

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