In forty years of existence, the winners of the Chevron Houston Marathon keep getting faster and faster. The same can be said for the Aramco Half Marathon, which has been around for 10 years. In no particular order, here’s a quick look at 13 record-breaking performances.
- Twenty-seven year old Tariku Jufar of Ethiopia won the 2012 Chevron Houston Men’s Marathon in 2:06:51, breaking the one-year-old course record by over 10 seconds. It was a personal best for Jufar by more than a minute.
- Ethiopian Bekana Daba Tolesa won the 2011 Chevron Houston Men’s Marathon in 2:07:04. As the drizzle turned to rain, Daba pulled away from the field and a string of three sub-4:40 miles sealed his win.
- Running his second marathon in six weeks, Teshome Gelana broke away from the pack at the 22-mile mark and went on to win the 2010 Chevron Houston Men’s Marathon in 2:07:37. Entering the race, Gelana’s personal best had been 2:11:50.
- Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga broke a twenty-year-old course record to win the 2009 Chevron Houston Marathon in 2:07:52. Merga set a blistering pace with the aide of pacemakers and when the final one stepped off the course after mile 17, Merga ran solo to hit the finish line, breaking the previous record of 2:10:04 set by Richard Kaitany (KEN) in 1989. He went on to win the 2009 Boston Marathon.
- Ethiopia’s Alemitu Abera won the 2012 Chevron Houston Women’s Marathon in 2:23:14. En route to setting a personal best, Abera won the race by over five minutes.
- Twenty-seven year old Teyba Erkesso dominated the women’s race for the second year in a row, winning the 2010 Chevron Houston Marathon in 2:23:53. Erkesso won the race by nearly five minutes, lowering her course record by 25 seconds.
- In her debut race at the distance, Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia won the 2009 Chevron Houston Marathon in 2:24:18.
- Dire Tune obliterated her 2007 record by a staggering 2 minutes, 12 seconds for back-to-back victories in the women’s marathon when she won the 2008 Chevron Houston Marathon. Tune of Ethiopia ran 2:24:40, besting her 2007 record of 2:26:52. She went on to win the 2008 Boston Marathon.
- 2011 world outdoor bronze medalist in the marathon Feyisa Lilesa won the 2012 Aramco Houston Men’s Half Marathon in 59:22. The Ethiopian won the race by over two minutes.
- Two-time Olympian Ryan Hall won the 2007 Aramco Houston Half Marathon in an American Record time of 59:43. Hall took charge from the start, hitting the first mile in 4:38. From there, Hall had no reservations about going for the 21 year old half-marathon record.
- In her first race in the United States, Ethiopia’s Oljira Belaynesh won the 2012 Aramco Houston Women’s Half Marathon in 1:08:26. In a sprint to the finish, Belaynesh beat out 2011 Boston Marathon winner Caroline Kilel at the tape.
- In her half marathon debut, Shalane Flanagan won the 2010 Aramco Houston Half Marathon in 1:09:41. Flanagan lived up to her status as pre-race favorite, taking control of the race from the first mile.
- Four-time Olympian Colleen De Reuck won the 2004 women’s half marathon in 1:10:55.
That was interesting but to be honest I would really be more interested in the winners in the early years. Probably some good local interest stories there.