Meb Keflezighi chose a good race for his first half marathon win as he managed to beat Dathan Ritzenhein by 10 seconds this morning in Houston at the USATF half marathon championship race. He won the race in 1:01:25.

“I just wanted to make a statement that I’m back and that I’m healthy and that if I’m healthy I can be very competitive at the US level of the international level.” – Meb Keflezeghi, 2009 January 17

Meb went out hard and built a solid lead, but kept his effort a little more conservative from mile 8.8 on in case Ritz got too close and he’d need a closing kick. Ritz did manage to close the gap by quite a bit, leading 3rd place Brett Gotcher by 34 seconds. Brett just focused in on Ritz over the last 5 miles and let him pull him along from half a minute up.

Magdalena Boulet won the women’s race by a slightly larger margin after the race went out in a relatively slow 5:45 pace, which is easier than some of her marathons have been. She took advantage of that to come through with a 19 second lead over 2nd place Kelly Jaske. She broke the tape in 1:11:47.

I’d also like to point out a great performance from a teammate of mine from college, Jeff Abbott, who ran in his first USATF championship race with a time of 73 minutes even, finishing in a very respectable 51st place.

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