The 50th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon will see a number of former champions toeing the line, including four of the last six winners and also the current course record holder.
The course record (1:06:51) was set last year by Dominic Korir. He will be back this year to try and defend his title and perhaps nudge that course record down a little further. He raced a number of half marathons last year, mostly in the 1:03-1:04 range, suggesting good form coming into this year’s Horsetooth Half.
Tyler McCandless was just 8 seconds behind Dominic last year, after winning the race in 2021. He will be back on the start line this year, and comes to the race in great form. Racing what he describes as “arguably one of the best races of my career,” Tyler placed 7th place in a personal best time of 1:02:52 at the USATF Half Marathon Championships in February.
The two other recent champions that will be toeing the line are two-time winner, and former course record holder, Paul Peterson and 2016 men’s champion Stephen Pretak. Also of note on the former champion front, we’re delighted to be welcoming back Andy Ames, the Horsetooth Half’s most winningest runner ever. Andy has won the race four times, most recently in 2001.
Pushing our former champions will be a strong contingent of local and international elites. Kenyan David Bett might offer the stiffest challenge, coming off an impressive win and course record at the November Monterey Bay Half Marathon (1:02:13). At the same race, defending Horsetooth champ Korir was a minute back in fourth. Another two runners in the Monterey Bay field, who will also be running Horsetooth, were fifth placed Josphat Kipchirchir (1:03:20) and Alejandro Martinez Ambrosio in 9th (1:04:20).
From Eldoret, Kenya and a recent graduate of Campbell University in North Carolina, Lawrence Kipkoech is a three-time NCAA D1 Cross Country All American. He comes into the Horsetooth Half with a half marathon PR of 1:02:41.
Also among the lead runners this year will be a trio of local runners with Horsetooth Half pedigree:
- Kurt Roeser – 3rd in 2019 (1:08:28), 8th in 2021 and ran 2:17:25 at the 2022 Cal International Marathon
- Ben Payne – masters winner in 2021 and two-time Olympic Trials Qualifier in the marathon
- Nate Routhier – 6th in 2021 (1:10:50)
Other runners of note entered in the elite field include:
- Jared Iacovelli – 1:06:09 at the 2022 San Jose Rock n Roll Half Marathon
- Tom Derr – 2:23 at the 2023 Houston Marathon
- Adrian Macdonald – two-time Leadville 100 mile champion (2021, 2022)
The racing action starts at 8:30am on Sunday, April 16. Lead runners in the men’s race will hit the finish just after 9:30. Be there to see who takes home top honors!