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Gelana, Erkesso Win 2010 Chevron Houston Marathon in Course and State Records

01/19/2010 - 13:55

FinishLine-Houston10.jpgHOUSTON - (January 17, 2010) - Teshome Gelana and defending women's champion Teyba Erkesso led an Ethiopian sweep of the 38th Chevron Houston Marathon, each setting course and Texas state records in the process, on Sunday morning.

Gelana, 25, running his second marathon in six weeks, broke away from a pack of five runners at the 22-mile mark and finished in 2 hours, 7 minutes, 37 seconds. His time shaved 15 seconds off the previous course and state record set by countryman Deriba Merga last year.

"I did not expect to run this fast," said Gelana, who entered the race with a personal record of 2:11:50 set in 2008. "It was unexpected, but I hope the future will bring even more interesting things for me. I think I can run 2:05."

Zembaba Yigeze (ETH) was runner-up in 2:08:27, while Jason Mbote (KEN) was third in 2:08:58. For the first time in the history of the race, the top six runners ran under 2 hours, 10 minutes. American Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.) finished seventh in 2:10:35 in his debut marathon.

The 27-year-old Erkesso dominated the women's race for the second consecutive year, once again setting a course. Erkesso won by nearly five minutes, lowering her mark by 25 seconds with a time of 2:23:53. The time is also the fastest female marathon ever run in Texas and makes Erkesso the only woman to run sub-2:25 twice in Houston. Both Galana and Erkesso received $35,000 for their victories.

Margarita Plaksina (RUS) was the runner-up in the women's race in 2:28:44 with Alemitu Abera (ETH) third in 2:31:01.

In the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, host of the national championships again, Antonio Vega (St. Paul, Minn.) and Shalane Flanagan (Portland, Ore.) claimed crowns.

Vega, 26, broke the tape in 1:01:54, setting a new personal record by more than a minute, and running the fourth-fastest time by an American on the course. The victory produced Vega's first national title. Team USA Minnesota teammate Patrick Smyth was seven seconds behind as national runner-up, while Brent Vaughn ran 1:02:04 for third.

In her debut for 13.1 miles, two-time Olympian Flanagan, 28, shattered the national championship and course record, clocking 1:09:41. The time bettered the marks set by Colleen De Reuck in 2003 (1:10:00) and 2004 (1:10:55) respectively. Over the final miles, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist pulled away from runner-up Serena Burla who set a PR of 1:10:08. Amy Hastings overtook Renee Metivier Baillie to take third place in 1:11:19 to Metivier Baillie's 1:11:51.

"It felt like just another day, just another practice. It wasn't until the last 400 meters did I say 'okay, this is a race and I need to make sure I seal the deal,'" said Flanagan, who earned $16,000 and has her sights set on the marathon. "It was a very good effort, very controlled and it was just a great day for running."

An event record of more than 26,000 runners participated in the 38th running of the Chevron Houston Marathon, the 9th Aramco Houston Half Marathon and EP5K.

A new standard for money raised by the Run for a Reason charity program is expected. Prior to the race, runners already had raised $1.4 million to benefit 46 Houston-area nonprofit organizations.

38th Chevron Houston Marathon
Houston, TX, Sunday, January 17, 2010

1) Teshome Gelana (ETH), 2:07:37*, $35,000
2) Zembaba Yigeze (ETH), 2:08:27, $17,000
3) Jason Mbote (KEN), 2:08:58, $7000
4) Hussan Adelo (ETH), 2:09:09, $4000
5) Charles Kibiwott (KEN), 2:09:10, $2000
7) Brett Gotcher (USA / AZ), 2:10:35
*course and state record (previous record, 2:07:52, Deriba Merga (ETH), 2009)

1) Teyba Erkesso (ETH), 2:23:53*, $35,000
2) Margarita Plaksina (RUS), 2:28:44, $17,000
3) Alemitu Abera (ETH), 2:31:01, $7000
4) Paige Higgins (USA / AZ), 2:33:22, $4000
5) Lydia Kurgat (KEN), 2:36:14, $2000
*course and state record (previous record, 2:24:18, Teyba Erkesso (ETH), 2009)

9th Aramco Half Marathon: USA Championships
1) Antonio Vega (MN), 1:01:54, $12,000
2) Patrick Smyth (MN), 1:02:01, $6500
3) Brent Vaughn (CO), 1:02:04, $4000
4) Tim Nelson (OR), 1:02:11, $2000
5) Stephan Shay (AZ), 1:02:26, $1500
6) Josh Moen (MN), 1:02:53, $1250
7) Nick Arciniaga (MI), 1:03:22, $1000
8) Josh Simpson (WV), 1:03:27, $750
9) Matt Gabrielson (MN), 1:03:44, $500
10) Lucas Meyer (CT), 1:03:51, $250

1) Shalane Flanagan (OR), 1:09:41*, $16,000
2) Serena Burla (MO), 1:10:08, $6500
3) Amy Hastings (CA), 1:11:19, $4000
4) Renee Metivier Baillie (CO), 1:11:51, $2000
5) Magdalena Lewy Boulet (CA), 1:12:22, $1500
6) Tera Moody (CO), 1:12:52, $1250
7) Heidi Westover (NH), 1:12:59, $1000
8) Kelly Jaske (OR), 1:13:03, $750
9) Katherine Newberry (VA), 1:13:07, $500
10) Melissa White (MI), 1:13:18, $250
*USA Championship record (previous record, 1:10:00, Colleen De Reuck, Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon 2003) and course record / $4000 bonus (previous record, 1:10:55, Colleen De Reuck (CO), 2004)

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