The Houston Marathon may be an American event, but it certainly had an Ethiopian feel on Sunday.
On the men's side, Ethiopian Bazu Worku won the race with a time of 2:10.17, while fellow Ethiopian Merima Mohammed won the women's event with a time of 2:23.37. In total, the top six finishers on the men's side and top four finishers on the women's side all hailed from Ethiopia.
It was also a clean sweep for Ethiopia in the half marathon, as Feyisa Lilesa won the men's half marathon (1:01:54), while Mamitu Daska (1:09:53) finished first amongst the women.
Worku was unable to become the fifth straight man to shave seconds off of the previous year's winning marathon time, however, as Jason McDaniel of the Houston Chronicle notes:
Worku's time was well off the event record of 2:06:51, set by last year's winner Tariku Jufar, who did not return.
His 2:10:17 also was the slowest time since David Cheruiyot won his third Houston Marathon with a 1:12:32 in 2008. The top time had dropped each of the last four years.
But while Worku's run won't ultimately be remembered in the event's lore, Mohammed left the fans with something to remember. From Corey Roepken of the Houston Chronicle:
Merima Mohammed has been leaving her mark all over the world for the last four years. On Sunday she left an running imprint on Houston that will not soon be forgotten.
Mohammed ran away from the lead pack with five miles to go and then coasted to victory in the 41st Chevron Houston Marathon. She finished in 2:23:37. Despite the poor conditions she came within 23 seconds of the record.
The 20-year old now has won a marathon each of the last four years. Her previous victories came in France, Canada and Germany.
All was not lost for the home country's participants. Andrew Carlson (2:17.16) finished in sixth place and Sergio Reyes (2:19.27) came in eighth on the men's side, while the United States women swept sixth through 10th place, led by Tera Moody (2:39.10).
Without further ado, here are the top 10 finishers for the men and women at this year's Houston Marathon:
Worku, Bazu (ETH) ||02:10:17|
|2||Balcha, Teferi (ETH)||02:12:50|
|3||Molla, Solomon (ETH)||02:14:37|
|4||Gedefa, Birhanu (ETH)||02:15:21|
|5||Abera, Dereje (ETH)||02:17:09|
|6||Etana, Teshome (ETH)||02:17:15|
|7||Carlson, Andrew (USA)||02:17:16|
|8||Tolossa, Debebe (ETH)||02:18:47|
|9||Reyes, Sergio (USA)||02:19:27|
|10||Lizano, Cesar (CRC)||02:22:01|
|1||Mohammed, Merima (ETH)||02:23:37|
|2||Deba, Buzunesh (ETH)||02:24:26|
|3||Assefa, Meskerem (ETH)||02:25:17|
|4||Legese, Meseret (ETH)||02:30:31|
|5||Burkovska, Olena (UKR)||02:34:56|
|6||Moody, Tera (USA)||02:39:10|
|7||Calway, Kelly (USA)||02:41:53|
|8||Walkonen, Andrea (USA)||02:43:47|
|9||Mojtabaeezamani, Laleh (USA)||02:53:36|
|10||Spadafino, Angela (USA)||02:53:48|