Chevron Houston Marathon Elite Athlete Fields Poised to Impress January 14, 2024

HOUSTON, TX – The woman who sits at the top of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon all-time list will attempt to race her way into the Chevron Houston Marathon record books later this month. The men’s race will feature a rematch of last year’s thrilling photo finish. The Houston Marathon Committee announced the full elite fields who will compete for the $150,000 prize purse, including $30,000 for the race winners.

Vicoty Chepngeno of Kenya not only set the course record with her 2022 Aramco Houston Half Marathon victory, with a winning time of 1:05:03, but this finish is still the fastest half marathon time ever run in North America to date. Fittingly, she will make her highly anticipated marathon debut here later this month.

“I am very excited to make my marathon debut in Houston,” said Chepngeno, a three-time winner of the Philadelphia Half Marathon. “It is a race I know well. This makes me feel at ease as I focus on what I need to do to achieve my goal of winning.”

The Chevron Houston Marathon will also feature the return of three-time champion Bruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia. These three wins leave Degefa tied for the most victories ever secured by one runner, all of which are among the six fastest times in race history. She also has two 2nd  place finishes, as well as one 3rd and 4th place finish here in Houston.

Chepngeno and Degefa will compete with top contenders including Canadian national record holder Natasha Wodak and three-time Rome Marathon champion Rahma Tusa of Ethiopia.

Last year’s men’s race came down to a sprint finish with Kenya’s Dominic Ondoro beating Ethiopia’s Tsedat Ayana by less than one second, one of the closest races in event history. Both will return this year. Ayana will take the opportunity for revenge, while Ondoro will look for his third Houston victory.

“I love the course, the city and the friendly cheering crowds,” said Ondoro who is also the 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon winner. “To come to the start line, run a good race and get a win will be wonderful.”

Ethiopia’s Deresa Geleta will look to deny both men a chance at victory, coming into the race with a personal best of 2:05:51, Geleta has a chance to break the tape on what will be his 28th birthday. In 2023, he was runner-up at the Dubai Marathon in February and won the Beijing Marathon in October. Also expected to be up front, are 2022 Chevron Houston Marathon winner James Ngandu of Kenya and Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi who was 5th in the 2023 Boston Marathon.

“You can always count on exciting storylines and dramatic finishes at the Chevron Houston Marathon,” said Carly Caulfield, Race Director and General Manager of the Houston Marathon Committee. “Fans will want to make sure they are in front of their TV or lined up on Lamar Street when the runners make that final turn toward the finish line.”

Held annually since 1972, the Chevron Houston Marathon will take place on Sunday, January 14 in conjunction with the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. Both races are sold out. The races will be aired live on ABC13 in Houston and streamed around the world at featuring commentary from two-time Olympian and Boston Marathon champion Desiree “Des” Linden.

Media Guide 2024

Women’s Marathon Elite Field 

Bruktayit Degefa Ethiopia 2:21:34
Sharon Cherop Kenya 2:22:28
Natasha Wodak Kenya 2:23:12
Rahma Tusa Ethiopia 2:23:30
Margaret Wangari Kenya 2:23:52
Tsegaye Melesech Ethiopia 2:24:47
Deborah Schoeneborn Germany 2:25:52
Kristina Hendel Germany 2:27:29
Jovana De la Cruz Capani Peru 2:27:59
Lanni Marchant Canada 2:28:00
Phillipa Bowden Great Britain 2:29:16
Grace Kahura Kenya 2:30:14
Alia Gray USA 2:30:41
Andrea Pomaranski USA 2:31:06
Natascha Mommers Germany 2:31:20
Beatie Deutsch Israel 2:31:36
Rosie Edwards Great Britain 2:31:56
Vicoty Chepngeno Kenya DEBUT
Bosena Mulatie Ethiopia DEBUT

Men’s Marathon Elite Field 

Deresa Geleta Ethiopia 2:05:51
Tsedat Ayana Ethiopia 2:06:16
Dominic Ondoro Kenya 2:08:00
Kenta Uchida Japan 2:08:12
Zouhair Talbi Morocco 2:08:35
Hendrik Pfeiffer Germany 2:08:48
Elisha Barno Kenya 2:09:14
Stephen Scullion Ireland 2:09:49
James Ngandu Kenya 2:10:17
Tristan Woodfine Canada 2:10:51
Pat Tiernan Australia 2:11:02
Hugo Catrileo Chile 2:12:07
Shadrack Kimining Kenya DEBUT
Marcelo Laguera Mexico DEBUT
Jose Luis Rojas Peru DEBUT

About Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC) – Founded in 1972, the HMC is a founding member of Running USA and organizes the nation’s premier winter marathon, half marathon, and 5K hosting over 300,000 participants, volunteers, and spectators on race day. Recognized by World Athletics, the Gold Label Chevron Houston Marathon has been the race site for three U.S. Olympic Trials Marathons. The Gold Label Aramco Houston Half Marathon has hosted 16 U.S. Half Marathon Championships. The HMC received Gold Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport from 2011 to 2020, and the event garnered the 2015 AIMS Green Award for industry-leading sustainability initiatives. Race weekend generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually and has raised over $36 million through the Run for a Reason Charity Program since its inception in 1995. The event is broadcast live on ABC13 and syndicated nationally and internationally on ESPN3 and the Longhorn Network.