Ethiopians Sweep Wet, Windy Houston Marathon
For good measure, Ethiopian winners in half-marathon as well.
The Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon on Sunday were wet and windy as expected. And as also might have been expected, the day’s four champions were all Ethiopians, though not, due to the conditions, in times as quick as organizers might have liked. As Race Results Weeklyreports, the women’s half-marathon winnerMamitu Daska observed, “At a point the rain was so bad we couldn’t see.”
The day’s best performance, which involved racing through standing water in some spots, came from 20-year-old Merima Mohammed, who left her compatriot Buzunesh Deba, the 2011 New York City Marathon runner-up, in her wake at 33 kilometers and won the women’s marathon in 2:23:37, with Deba 49 seconds behind. Mohammed (seen above on a drier day), hit halfway in 1:10:56, and managed her winning time even though, as she told reporters, “I had a problem with my leg. It was a very painful situation.”
Tera Moody was the first American, sixth in 2:39:11, and lamented, “That second half was really, really rough.” Kelly Calway of the U.S. took seventh in 2:41:53.
Bazu Worku led an Ethiopian sweep of the first six places in 2:10:17, afterward remarking, “The weather was not cooperating with us.”
Andrew Carlson, the top American man in seventh place, in 2:17:16, declared, “Clearly, it wasn’t the time I was looking for.” He added, “There’s so many excuses you could make on a day like today, but I don’t want to make them. The thing I will take away from it is that I got it done.” Americans Scott Wiectechaand Sergio Reyes were ninth and tenth in 2:18:53 and 2:19:27, respectively.
Feyisa Lelisa repeated as half-marathon champ, winning a two-way battle withDeriba Merga by six seconds in 1:01:54. A $50,000 bonus was available if Zersenay Tadese’s world record of 58:23 was broken, but Lelisa realized that the conditions made that time impossible and decided, “I just want to win.”Shadrack Biwott, a U.S. citizen since June, was fourth in 1:02:23, while Luke Puskedra finished fifth in 1:02:23 and Aaron Braun sixth in 1:02:32.
Daska, the marathon winner in Houston in 2011, won Sunday’s half-marathon by more than two minutes in 1:09:53. Kenya’s Caroline Kilel was second in 1:11:58. Lisa Uhl, a 2012 Olympic 10,000-meter runner, was the first American, sixth in 1:13:28, despite falling early in the race and having to stop to put a shoe back on.