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Youth Trumps Weather at Houston Marathon

HOUSTON
– Twenty-year-old Merima Mohammed of Ethiopia overcame leg problems and
cold, wet conditions to run the second-fastest ever women’s race at
Sunday’s Chevron Houston Marathon, while fellow countryman, twenty-two
year old Bazu Worku, ran away with the men’s title.

 

Course
record-holder Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia defended his title in the men’s
Aramco Houston Half Marathon and Mamitu Daska, the 2011 Chevron Houston
Marathon champion, won the women’s crown. Daska is the first-ever woman
to win the marathon and the half marathon at Houston.

 

“The
conditions were challenging for everybody, but it is a testament to the
athletes we attract that we had such great performances,” said Wade
Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee.
“Despite the bad conditions, we had tremendous support from our
sponsors, spectators and volunteers.”

 

Mohammed
ran the first half of the race with Buzunesh Deba (ETH) and Meskerem
Assefa (ETH) and that pack stayed together through 33km, when Mohammed
made a strong move and broke away. She stretched her lead to 47 seconds
over Deba by the 40km mark and crossed the line in 2:23:27, missing the
course record by 23 seconds. Deba finished as the runner-up in 2:24:26,
which is the fifth-fastest time in race history. Assefa finished third
in her marathon debut in 2:25:17.

 

“I
had a problem with my left leg,” Mohammed told reporters through a
translator while massaging her left calf. “It was hurting badly. It was
a very painful situation.”

 

Worku,
who had been running in a pack of nine early in the race, came through
the half at 65:25 with five others. But by 25km, he had opened up a 50
second lead over Solomon Molla. Worku continued to stretch that lead
with every mile and finished in 2:10:17, winning by more than
two-and-a-half minutes. Teferi Balcha claimed runner-up honors 2:12:50,
with Molla third at 2:14:37.

 

Lilesa
ran side-by-side with Deriba Merga until the pair entered the home
stretch, where Lilesa used his superior speed to win in 61:54. Merga
was second at 62:00 and Kenya’s Wilson Erupe made a late surge to take
third in 62:12.

 

Daska
took command early in the race, leading through 5km in 16:18, and then
doubled her margin by the 10km mark, clocking 32:42. At 15km, she had a
1:27 lead over Caroline Kilel of Kenya and her margin of victory was
2:05 when she crossed the line at 69:53, the fifth-fastest time in race
history. Kilel finished as the runner-up for the second year in a row,
finishing in 71:58 and Hellen Jemutai, also of Kenya, was third in
72:34.

 

Chasing
the American prize purse, presented by Marathonguide.com, Andrew
Carlson and Tera Moody were the first U.S. finishers in the Chevron
Houston Marathon. Carson was seventh overall at 2:17:16 and Moody was
sixth in 2:39:10.

 

“The
extra prize incentive from Marathonguide.com was a great addition to
our event,” said Brant Kotch, Race Director of the Chevron Houston
Marathon. “Along with the substantial support we receive from Chevron
and Aramco, this kind of financial help can only enhance our
competitive fields.”

 

The
top Americans in the Aramco Houston Half Marathon were newly-minted
U.S. citizen Shadrack Biwott, who finished fourth in 62:23, and Lisa
Uhl, who took sixth in 73:38.

 

For more information on the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend, please visit http://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com or http://www.hmcpresscenter.com.
About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.

Established
in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running USA
Founding Member, annually organizes the nation’s premier winter
marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers
and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest
single-day sporting event in Houston.  Race Weekend generates over $50
million in economic impact for the region annually.  In 2012, the Run
For a Reason Charity Program raised a record $2.3 million and the HMC
garnered Silver Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport for
industry-leading sustainability initiatives.  Host to 12 U.S. Half
Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 women’s Olympic Trials
Marathon, HMC conducted the nationally-televised 2012 U.S. Olympic
Trials Marathon, which featured men and women competing on the same
course simultaneously for the first time, vying for the chance to
represent Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games.  

For more information, visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com   or call 713.957.3453.

 

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