2024 Women’s Elite Field Announced

The prize purse for the 51st running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon has been increased to a total pool of $12,000, with generous support from the Fort Collins Running Club. Payouts go 8 deep and there will be fierce competition to match.

Sara Vaughn’s 2021 course record (1:15:16) is likely to feel some pressure, amid a women’s race that features an interesting mix of regional, international and collegiate talent. 

The Women’s Elite Field

Last year’s winner Sarah Neibei will not be returning to defend her title in 2024, which leaves Joyline Chemutai as the top returning runner. From Pacific Palisades, CA, Chemutai ran 1:17:17 for second place last year. Most recently, Chemutai won the Monterey Bay Half Marathon in November in a time of 1:10:23, defending her title from 2022 in the process (1:10:58). 

Chemutai will be joined by a number of other previous winners and podium finishers on this year’s start line, including a number of the local Front Range Elite (FRE) training group. AnnMarie Kirkpatrick will once again be in the field, having posted numerous podium finishes over the year years including the overall win in 2018. 

Sophie Seward, an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier this year, will also be representing the FRE group. Seward has finished on the podium in previous years and has a Horsetooth best of 1:19:35. She qualified for the 2020 & 2024 Trials, most recently with a qualifying time of 2:35:36 at the 2022 Grandmas Marathon. 

Most recently dominating on the trails, including an impressive USATF Trail Half Marathon Championship win at the 2023 Black Squirrel Half Marathon, Rachel Rudel will be running her first Horsetooth Half Marathon alongside her FRE teammates. Others from the FRE team include 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier Courtney Bouchet and Elena Lancioni.

Stepping up from the collegiate ranks, Lily Tomasula Martin, will be looking to piggyback her successful XC and track career at CSU as she steps up in distance to take on her first half marathon. 

Among the international contingent, Betty Sigei stands out as a race favorite. At the competitive Cooper River Bridge Run (10k) last weekend, she ran 32:07 for third place, beating the aforementioned Chemutai (32:32) in the process. 

A couple of 2023 Chicago Marathon finishers look likely to compete for top spots. Kathryn Fluehr finished 14th American female with a time of 2:35:56, while Shari Ebhard dipped under the 2:40 mark with a time of 2:39:42. 

Others likely to contend for top 10 positions include:

  • Jess Cunningham – representing the Fort Collins Running Club, Cunningham most recently ran 1:18:43 at the Halfsy Half. 
  • Maria McDaniel Harrison – three time winner of the Slacker Half. 
  • Carly Gill Larios – has a 2:42:09 marathon PR from the 2019 Berlin Marathon

The racing action starts at 8:30am on Sunday, April 16. Lead runners in the women’s race will hit the finish around 9:45am.

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