2012 Chevron Houston Marathon & Aramco Half Marathon: 4 Records 4 Ethiopia: 2:06:51 for Tariku Jufar, 2:23:14 for Alemitu Abera, by Larry Eder

Abera_Alemitu-Houston12.JPGAlemitu Abera, 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon, CR, 2:23.14,
photo by PhotoRun.net

28,000 runners (13,000 in the Chevron full marathon, 11,000 in the Aramco half marathon, and 4,000 in the  BP 5k) showed up at 7 am on the starting line of the Chevron Houston and Aramco Houston Half marathon. Ethiopian runners, who love the Houston community and the support that they get in Houston, set four course records. Here is our story on a magnificent second day of running in Houston!

Lilesa_Feyisa-Houston12.JPGFeyisa Lilesa, 2012 Aramco Half Marathon, CR, 59:22,
photo by PhotoRun.net

Jufar_TarikuFV-Houston12.JPGTariku Jufar, 2012 Houston Marathon CR, 2:06.51,
photo by PhotoRun.net

Aramco Half Marathon

Oljira_BelayneshFV-HoustonM12.JPg Benlaynesh Oljira, 2012 Aramco Half Marathon, CR, 1:08.26,
photo by PhotoRun.net

In a spirited half marathon, Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia ran one of the fastest times in the world, but most importantly, the fastest time ever on the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, with a fine time of 59:22!

Titus Masai of Kenya hit the 5k mark in 14:01, with Feyisa Lilesa of Ethopia, Tilahum Regassa of Ethiopia, Philemon Limo of Kenya and, also in 14:01. Luke Puskedra and Scott Bauhs, both of US, hit the 5k in 14:38.

Philemon Limo, Feyisa Lilesa put the metal down and hit the 10k mark in 28:02, with Titus Masai of Kenya hitting the 10k in 28:57, with Tilahun Regassa. Scott Bauhs and Luke Puskedra hit the 10k in 29:14.

The women's race was fast too! Caroline Kilel hit the 5k in 16:16, 10k in 32:30, and Belaynesh Oljiara at 32:31. US top women was Kellyn Johnson who hit the 10k in 34:11.

The men kept blazing, as Feyisa Lilesa hit the 15k in 40:56, who had busted the race open. Tilahun Regassa of Ethiopia hit the 15k in 42:28 with Scott Bauhs in 42:34. along with Luke

The race did not slow down! Feyisa Lilesa  of Ethiopia did not let up, cruising into a new course record of 59:22. Tilahun Regassa of Ethiopia held on, running 1:01.28. Scotty Bauhs, who held onto this pace and ran a brilliant 1:01.30. Luke Puskedra, a student at the University of Oregon, ran the longest race of his life, and ran 1:01:36--is that a collegiate record?

Running in fifth, was Jonathan Grey of the US, who ran 1:02.25.

The women had blazed through 15k, hitting 47:14 (Caroline Kilel) with Belaynesh Oljira hitting 47:15. Kellyn Johnson of the US, in sixth at the 15k, hit the split at 50:11.

Giving the Aramco Half marathon its second course record of the day, Belaynesh Olijara of Ethiopia, set the CR, running 1:08.26, Caroline Kilel,of the Netherlands,  the 2011 winner of the BAA Boston Marathon, ran 1:08.28. Belainish Gebre was thrid in 1:08.51. First American was Kellyn Johnson, who was sixth in 1:13:11.  

Aramco Half Marathon Results, Men: 1. Feyisa Lilesa, Ethiopia, 59.22, 2. Tilahun Regassa, Ethiopia,1.01.28, 3. Scott Bauhs, USA, 1:01.30, 4. Luke Puskedra, USA, 1:01.36, 5. Jonathan Grey, USA, 1:02.25.

Aramco Half Marathon Results, Women: 1. Belaynesh Ojira, Ethiopia, 1:08.26, CR, 2. Caroline Kilel, Netherlands, 1:08.28, 3. Belainesh Gebre, Ethiopia, 1:08.51, 4. Hellen Jemutai, Kenya, 1:12.06, 5. Kebebush Haile, 1:13.02, 6. Kelly Johnson, USA, 1:13.11, 7. Trina Painter, USA, 1:16.38

Chevron Houston Marathon

Willis_BenitaWide-Houston12.JPGBenita Willis, 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon, 2nd place,
photo by PhotoRun.net

13,000 marathoners ran the streets of Houston today, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Chevron Houston Marathon. After new course records at the Aramco Half Marathon, how could one expect two more course records on the Chevron Houston Marathon course?

Festus Langat took the race out hard, with Macdonard Ondara and Debebe Tolossa, hitting the 5k in 14:53. Jariku Jufar of Ethiopia was tucked in fifth place in 14:54, and Simon Bariu, of Canada, running to hit the Olympic Standard of 2:11:00, hit the 5k in 15:43.

Alemitu Abera hit the 5k in 17.04, with Bizunesh Urgesa in tow, at 17:15.

Festus continued to lead at 10k in 29:54, with Jufar, Ondara and Tolossa there, and Simon Bairu, running with Tim Nelson, who was helping Simon with some pace making.

Festus Langat busted the race open with his 10k-15k run, hitting 44:44, with Jufar, Tolossa, Ondara on the same split. Simon Bairu at 46:20, with Shawn Forrest of Australia in tenth place, in 46:21.

Alemitu Abera of Ethiopia was leading the women at 15k, hitting 50:33. Her lead had grown to 2:01 over Yihunlish Delelecha, also of Ethiopia, who ran 52:34. Bizunesh Urgesa was in third, at 52:35. Margarita Plaksina of Russia was in fourth, hitting the 15k in 52:40. Benita Willis of Australia, the talented cross country runner, was running 2:28 pace, hitting the 15k marker in 52:52, and staying out of trouble.

Festus Langat continued to push, hitting 20k in 59:48, with Demssew Tsega, Debebe Tolossa and Tariku Jufar together. Andrew Bumbalough hit 61:46, with Simon Bairu and Shawn Forrest in tow, 61:46 for Bairu, and 61:57 for Forrest.

On the women's side, Alemitu Abera hit 1:07.34 with Yihunlish Delelecha of Ethiopia in 1:10.28 and Benita Willis of Australia in 1:10.29. Olaru Nuta of the US was at 1:11:33 for 20k, and Ava Hutchinson of Ireland at 1:13.47.

At 25k, Demssew Tsega, Tariku Jufar and Debebe Tolossa hit 1:14:50, putting fourteen seconds on Festus Langat, who hit 1:15:04, and
was no longer a factor in the race.

Alemitu Abera of Ethiopia continues to burn, hitting the 25k in 1:24.22. Abera has a 3 minute 41 second lead. Yihunlish Delelecha of Ethiopia, running with Benita Willis of Australia, hit the 25k in 1:28.03. Nuta Olaru was in fourth in 1:29:59, and Ava Hutchinson of Ireland, in fifth in 1:32.05.

The gang of three continued to push, with Demssew Tsega, Tariku Jufar and Debebe Tolossa, all of Ethiopia, hitting 30k in 1:30.06. Leonardo Trejo Camargo of Mexico was in fourth in 1:33.44. Simon Bairu of Canada, working on making the Olympic standard, hit 30k at 1:33.45. His estimated finish, based on his 30k split was 2:11:51, fifty-one seconds over the Canadian Olympic standards.

Alemitu Abera continued to fly, her light stride, very efficient, and very deadly. Abera had built the lead up to 4:13. Yihunlish Delelecha of Ethiopia and Benita Willis, running stride for stride, hit 30k in 1:45.47. Nutal Olaru was at 30k in  1:49.26. Ava Hutchinson of Ireland hit fifth, in 1:50.49.

The marathon is about patience. The key is to learn patience, and also know that everyone hurts in a race of this distance. The challenge is, as always, to see where the heart takes over when the body says, no more.

Debebe Tolossa continued to lead at 35k, hitting the mark in 1:44.51, with Tariku Jefar in same time. Demssew Tsega was in third in 1:45.18. Simon Bairu had moved into fourth, on a 2:12 pace, and Shawn Forrest, forty-six seconds back from Bairu, was at 1:50:46.

Alemitu Abera was on a mission, and with a lead of four minutes, 50 seconds, she was unbeatable, hitting the 35k in 1:58.23. Benita Willis of Australia had moved into second over the last 15, hitting the 35k in 2:03.13.
Yihunlish Delelecha had drifted into third, hitting the 30k in 2:03:29. Olaru Nuta was fourth in 2:08.52 and Ava Hutchinson in 2:08.03.

Those last seven kilometers of a marathon make a difference. Frank Shorter the 1972 Olympic gold medalist, related the story on Thursday night at the BP Reception, that, when he ran the Pan Am Trials in 1971, he asked fellow marathoner, Kenny Moore, " Why didn't Phidippidees stop here?".

Tariku Jufar, who ran three marathons in 2011, is on a roll. He ran the Mumbai Marathon on January 16, 2011, runnign 2:10.08, for fourth. In October 16, 2011, Jufar ran the Istanbul marathon, taking second in 2:11.31. Jufar won his first marathon (he has raced 26.2 since 2007), with a win in Beirut on November 27, 2011, with a 2:11.14.

Jufar, who recovered in 2009 from an accident where a car hit him while he ran in Adis Addaba, wanted to continue his winning streak. Breaking Debebe Tolassa between 35 and 40k, Jufar put fifty seconds on Tolassa, as Tariku Jufar broke the course record in 2:06.50, setting his own personal best by over 3 minutes and 58 seconds!

Debebe Tolassa held onto second in 2:07.41. Demssew Tsega was third in 2:11.13. Shawn Forrest of Australia had moved into fourth, running 2:14:37.
Leondardo Trejo Camargo of Mexico finished in fifth in 2:18:10 and Simon Bairu who was on 2:12 pace through 35 kilometers, had a rough last seven kilometers, hitting the finish in 2:19.52. Simon Bairu, the Canadian record holder at 10k, will probably look back at the 10k, to qualify for London.

Alemitu Abera of Ethiopia broke the fourth course record of the day, all four by an Ethiopian, with her run of 2:23:14, a new course record. Benita Willis of Australia was second in 2:28.24. Yihunlish Delelecha was third in 2:31.19. In fourth, Ava Hutchinson of Ireland ran 2:35.33. Fifth place was Zsofia Erdelyi of the US, who moved through the field during the race, hitting 2:36.56.

All in all, 28,000 happy marathoners, half marathoners, and 5k runners. Four course records in one day, by Ethiopian runners, who love the course and are celebrated in Houston.

And just one day, after Houston hosted the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials-Marathon! What a weekend. One question-how will Houston surpass this weekend next year?

Medals-Houston12.JPG40th anniversary medals, 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon,
photo by PhotoRun.net   

2012 Chevron Houston Marathon, top ten, Men: 1. Tariku Jafar, Ethiopia, 2:06.51 CR, 2. Debebe Tolossa, Ethiopia, 2:07.41, 3. Demssew Tsega, Ethiopia, 2:11.13, 4. Shawn Forrest, Australia, 2:14.37, 5. Leonardo Trejo Camargo, Mexico, 2:18.10, 6. Simon Bairu, Canada, 2:19.52, 7. Samuel Kosgei, Uganda, 2:21.05, 8. Jonnatan Morales, Mexico, 2:23.16, 9. Jose Munoz, USA, 2:25.20, 10. Greg Wiecorek, Canada, 2:25.55

2012 Chevron Houston Marathon, top five women: 1. Alemitu Abera, Ethiopia, 2. Benita Willis, Australia, 2:28.44, 3. Ava Hutchinson, Ireland, 2:35.33, 4. Zsofia Erdelyi, USA, 2:36.56, 5. Nuta Olaru, USA, 2:37.37, 6. Holly Rush, GBR, 2:37.38.

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