FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2008 Olympian Shalane Flanagan and
2009 20K Champion Brett Gotcher to Debut in Houston
Three-time American Record Holder Flanagan to run first half marathon;
first marathon for Gotcher
HOUSTON (Dec. 9, 2009) - American Shalane Flanagan (Pittsboro, N.C.), who
won a bronze medal in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympics, will make her
half-marathon debut in January at the 2010 USA Half Marathon Championships
hosted by the Aramco Houston Half Marathon.
The 28-year-old Flanagan has been one of the best middle-distance runners
in the U.S. over the past six years, making two Olympic teams and setting
American records on the track at 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Flanagan
was the USA champion at 5,000 meters in 2005 and 2007, before winning the
USA Olympic Trials at 10,000 meters in 2008. That victory sent her to
Beijing, where she became only the second American woman in history to
medal in the event at the Olympic Games. Her American Record of 30:22 run
in China still stands.
"Having an athlete with Shalane's credentials run in Houston is a
tremendous boost to our race," said Brant Kotch, race director of the
Chevron Houston Marathon and companion Aramco Houston Half Marathon. "We
have a long history of hosting competitive and exciting national
championship races, and we believe the women's and men's half marathon
events next month will be no exception."
Joining Flanagan on the starting line January 17, 2010 will be the top two
finishers from the 2009 national championships. Magdalena Lewy Boulet
(Oakland, Calif.), who crossed the finish line in 1:11:47, will be back to
defend her title. Runner-up Kelly Jaske (Portland, Ore.) will also be among
the top seeds in the race.
Among the men currently committed to run in the national championship race
are 2008 half marathon champion James Carney (Lafayette, Colo.), along with
Josh Moen and Patrick Smyth (both Minneapolis, Minn.), who finished second
and third, respectively, in the 2009 USA 10 Mile Championships.
Gotcher steps up to marathon
Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.), who finished third in the 2009 USA Half
Marathon Championships, will return to Houston in January but move up in
distance. The 25-year-old Gotcher will make his marathon debut as one of
the top seeds in the 38th running of the Chevron Houston Marathon.
The former Stanford University All-American at 10,000 meters won his first
national road title in September, claiming the 20K crown in 58:57 in New
Houston is hosting the men's half marathon championships for the sixth
consecutive year, while the city is home to the women's title race for the
fourth straight time.
The Chevron Houston Marathon, a Running USA founding member, is the
nation's premier winter marathon, annually attracting participants from all
50 U.S. states and more than 20 foreign countries. In 2009, more than
26,000 runners participated in four marathon weekend events (marathon, half
marathon, 5K run and children's run). The Houston Marathon has been ranked
among the top five in the nation by Ultimate Guide to Marathons for fastest
course, organization and crowd support. More than 5,000 volunteers organize
the race, which is Houston's largest single-day sporting event.
More information is available at www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com or