Dewi Griffiths is among the GB athletes heading to Houston later this month to race half or full marathons.
Four British runners have been named among the elite fields for the Houston Half Marathon on January 20, while Natasha Cockram and Ireland’s Stephen Scullion will take on the marathon.
Dewi Griffiths will line up in the half marathon hoping to lay down a marker before making a return to marathon racing later this year.
The Welshman, who ran a fantastic 2:09:49 marathon debut in 2017, had his 2018 season scuppered for the most part due to injury.
Griffiths made a steady return to action in the latter part of the year, building up to a 62:55 performance at the Cardiff hosted Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships in October, before ending on a high with a 28:49 10k at the Corrida de Houilles in France.
Among those Griffiths will face are five sub 60 minute athletes, including Kenyan trio Bedan Karoki Muchiri, Bernard Ngeno and Geoffrey Koech, while USA’s Shadrack Biwott and Bernard Lagat are also in the field.
Three British athletes have been named in elite women’s field for the half marathon, including Tracy Barlow, who makes a return to Houston after running 74:28 last year.
Barlow went on to finish 15th in the marathon at the European Championships before running a 72:15 half marathon personal best in October.
Scottish athlete Fiona Brian joins Barlow in the field after running 10k and half marathon bests of 34:32 and 75:34 respectively in 2018.
Alice Wright is set to make her exciting half marathon debut after finishing 2018 ranked second over 10,000m in the UK.
The US-based athlete clocked 32:15.73 at the Stanford Invitational last March before finishing sixth at the European Championships in August.
The fastest athletes in the women’s field include Kenyan trio Fancy Chemutaim, Edith Chelimo and Gladys Cherono, along with USA’s Emily Sisson.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s Stephen Scullion will return to Houston to take on the full 26.2 miles after running a PB of 63:16 in the half marathon 12 months ago.
Scullion went on to run a 26.2 mile best of 2:15:55 at the London Marathon, crossing the finish line in 12th place.
In the women’s event, Welsh athlete Natasha Cockram will aim to continue her rise up the marathon ranks. Cockram ran a big PB of 2:35:47 to finish fourth at the Dublin Marathon in October, and has hopes of repeating that performance in Houston before turning her focus to the London Marathon in April.
Ethiopia’s Abayneh Ayele (2:06:45) and Yitayal Atnafu (2:07:00) are the quickest in the men’s field, while defending champion Biruktayit Degefa (2:23:51) and USA’s Kara Goucher (2:24:52) head the women’s marathon field.