HOUSTON — Ethiopian runners withstood heavy rain Sunday to dominate the Houston Marathon and half marathon.
Bazu Worku and Merima Mohammed gave the nation a sweep of the men’s and women’s divisions of the marathon.
This was Worku’s first marathon title. He finished in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 17 seconds and won by more than two minutes. Mohammed was timed in 2:23:37 on a day when temperatures were in the 40s.
“The weather was very bad, and we had troubles with puddles,” Worku said through a translator. “I am very happy to have won.”
Mohammed said through a translator her left leg gave her trouble.
“It was hurting badly while I was running,” Mohammed said. “The weather was bad for me. I wanted to do (2 hours, 21 minutes), but I had to come down due to the weather.”
Teferi Balcha finished second among the men in 2:12:50. Andrew Carlson was the top American, seventh in 2:17:16. Buzunesh Deba was the women’s runner-up in 2:24:36. Tera Moody was the top American finisher at 2:39:10, finishing sixth.
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In the men’s half marathon, Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa successfully defended his half marathon title, winning in 1:01:54, beating countryman Deriba Merga by seven seconds. The women’s winner was Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska in 1:09:53. She won the Houston Marathon in 2011.