The Aramco half marathon experienced the most registered runners ever --- 15,000 as half marathons have grown in popularity.
A surprise win by elite athlete Diego Estrada raised the profile of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in newspapers, television coverage and running circles around the world. Estrada, a short distance runner and Olympian competing in his first half marathon, took an early lead and triumphed in the Aramco half and the USA Half Marathon Men’s Championships with a time of 1:00:51. Kim Conley, similarly, was not a race favorite but won the Women’s with a 32-second lead at 1:09:44.
These wins were among the many highlights of Houston’s 2015 Marathon Weekend, a three day event held Jan. 16-19 that included an expo to benefit health and fitness, a marathon and a 5K. This was the eleventh year Aramco served as title sponsor for the half marathon race.
Aramco’s half counted the most registered runners ever, 15,000; about 200 Aramco employees and family members were part of a volunteer corps of more than 7,500; and employees at Aramco facilities throughout the U.S. embraced the Run for a Reason charitable component by holding food drives, which gathered nearly 3,000 pounds of food in Houston alone.
ASC President Nabeel Amudi during press conference. The race has "become a proud Aramco tradition."
Today, Aramco’s sponsorship not only brings runners together but also serves as sign of the company’s commitment to the community. Chevron celebrated ten years this year as the full marathon sponsor.
ASC President Nabeel Amudi described the company’s view of the race this way: “It’s become a proud Aramco tradition. Every January, the Aramco team looks forward to being out on the course as volunteers, as runners and as enthusiastic cheerleaders.”
This longtime support has become engrained, according to Wade Morehead, executive director of the Houston Marathon Committee. “People no longer call the races ‘the full’ and ‘the half.’ “They ask eachother, ‘Are you running the Chevron or the Aramco?’” he said.
To the fans, participants and volunteers, the event never gets old. Each year offers new opportunities for Aramco to partner with the city and the community on an event that brings so much positive energy. And as this year proved, there are always surprises.
The event attracted 200 company volunteers supporting the race weekend. 85 Aramco runners participated not only with running in mind but also supporting charities.