17, 2016) - A record-setting day saw
Ethiopians win three of four titles,
including a sweep of the men's and women's
Chevron Houston Marathon.
Aramco Houston Half Marathon
Kenya's Mary Wacera ran the fastest-ever
women's half marathon on American soil
Sunday, moving to No. 9 on the all-time
world list as she shattered the course
record with a 66:29 to win the Aramco
Houston Half Marathon.
Kim Smith set the previous all-comers record
of 67:11 in 2011 at Philadelphia, while the
course record of 68:26 was set in 2012 by
Belyanesh Olijara of Ethiopia.
collected $45,000 for her record-setting
win, made a move just after the 15-kilometer
mark to take the lead from fellow Kenyan
Cynthia Limo. She established a six-second
gap over the next 5K and stretched the
margin to 12 seconds at the finish. Limo's
66:41 moved her to 11th on the all-time
world marathon champion, Mare Dibaba of
Ethiopia, was also faster than the existing
course record with a 1:07:55 in third, as
was fourth-placer Ruti Aga of Ethiopia, who
clocked 68:07. Sara Hall was the top
American woman, setting a lifetime best with
her 70:07 in fifth.
Lelisa Desisa of
Ethiopia ran the third-fastest men's time
ever at Houston, winning by eight seconds
with his 60:37. Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia
was the runner-up at 60:45, and Luke
Puskedra took the top U.S. spot in fourth at
What started off
as runaways Sunday in the Chevron Houston
Marathon by Poland's Artur Kozlowski and
Australia's Lisa Weightman, turned into a
pair of Ethiopian victories.
men's runner-up Gebo Burka passed Kozlowski
after the 35K mark, making up a 1:01 deficit
from 30K as he ran stride for stride with
countryman Girmay Gebru. The duo passed 40K
together, and with less than a half-mile to
go Burka pulled ahead and went on to win at
2:10:54. It was the eighth straight Houston
win for Ethiopia.
champion Birhanu Gedefa was third at
2:11:53, and Kozlowski ended up fifth at
2:14:11. Two-time winner Bazu Worku was
Kozlowski had a
20-second lead by 10K and added 19 seconds
to that over the next 5K. He passed the half
at 1:04:58, more than 50 seconds ahead of
the chase pack that included Daniel Vargas
of Mexico along with Gebru and Worku.
second at 25K, 58 seconds behind the leader,
and by 30K he was 1:02 back, just behind
Burka, Gebru and Yitayal Atanfu. Over the
next 5K that group cut Kozlowski's margin to
19 seconds, passing him for good just after
alone at the front of the women's race until
just before the 30K point, where Biruktayit
Degefa pushed past her and pulled away to
win at 2:26:07. Degefa was third last year
after a fourth-place finish in 2014, and she
ran the second half of her race in 1:12:20,
1:27 faster than the first 13.1 miles. Her
win was the 10th in a row for Ethiopia.
Degefa was a
minute back at the half, running with three
other women, but the quartet made up 15
seconds over the next 5K.
After losing her
lead, Weightman dropped back by 27 seconds
over the next 5K and fell even farther
behind by 40K. She held on to take second at
2:27:35 and 2015 fourth-placer Sechale
Dalasa moved up one rung to place third at
For more information on the 2016 Chevron
Houston Marathon Race Weekend of Events,
please visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com.