Youth trumps weather at 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon, by Vicky Oddi/Houston Marathon, note by Larry Eder

Merima Mohamed, 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon, 
photo by

Thumbnail image for Worku_Bazu-Houston13.jpg
Bazu Worku, 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon,
 photo by

Sometimes, the marathon distance of 26.2 miles, which is a challenge enough on certain days, becomes the lesser of the day's challenges. In Houston, Texas on January 13, Mother Nature more than gently reminded the 30,000 plus runners that they can overcome just about anything. 

Thanks to the volunteers and Houston Marathon organization, now in its 40th year, the race ran to perfection once again. 

A big thanks to, who, once again, puts their money where their mouth is, and supported the first American finisher awards in the marathon. Andrew Carlson and Tera Moody were the benefactors of the support! 

Youth trumps weather at 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon  

HOUSTON - Twenty-year-old Merima Mohammed of Ethiopia overcame leg problems and cold, wet conditions to run the second-fastest ever women's race at Sunday's Chevron Houston Marathon, while fellow countryman, twenty-two year old Bazu Worku, ran away with the men's title.


Course record-holder Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia defended his title in the men's Aramco Houston Half Marathon and Mamitu Daska, the 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon champion, won the women's crown. Daska is the first-ever woman to win the marathon and the half marathon at Houston.


"The conditions were challenging for everybody, but it is a testament to the athletes we attract that we had such great performances," said Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee. "Despite the bad conditions, we had tremendous support from our sponsors, spectators and volunteers."


Mohammed ran the first half of the race with Buzunesh Deba (ETH) and Meskerem Assefa (ETH) and that pack stayed together through 33km, when Mohammed made a strong move and broke away. She stretched her lead to 47 seconds over Deba by the 40km mark and crossed the line in 2:23:27, missing the course record by 23 seconds. Deba finished as the runner-up in 2:24:26, which is the fifth-fastest time in race history. Assefa finished third in her marathon debut in 2:25:17.


"I had a problem with my left leg," Mohammed told reporters through a translator while massaging her left calf. "It was hurting badly. It was a very painful situation."


Worku, who had been running in a pack of nine early in the race, came through the half at 65:25 with five others. But by 25km, he had opened up a 50 second lead over Solomon Molla. Worku continued to stretch that lead with every mile and finished in 2:10:17, winning by more than two-and-a-half minutes. Teferi Balcha claimed runner-up honors 2:12:50, with Molla third at 2:14:37.


Lilesa ran side-by-side with Deriba Merga until the pair entered the home stretch, where Lilesa used his superior speed to win in 61:54. Merga was second at 62:00 and Kenya's Wilson Erupe made a late surge to take third in 62:12.


Daska took command early in the race, leading through 5km in 16:18, and then doubled her margin by the 10km mark, clocking 32:42. At 15km, she had a 1:27 lead over Caroline Kilel of Kenya and her margin of victory was 2:05 when she crossed the line at 69:53, the fifth-fastest time in race history. Kilel finished as the runner-up for the second year in a row, finishing in 71:58 and Hellen Jemutai, also of Kenya, was third in 72:34.


Chasing the American prize purse, presented by, Andrew Carlson and Tera Moody were the first U.S. finishers in the Chevron Houston Marathon. Carson was seventh overall at 2:17:16 and Moody was sixth in 2:39:10.


"The extra prize incentive from was a great addition to our event," said Brant Kotch, Race Director of the Chevron Houston Marathon. "Along with the substantial support we receive from Chevron and Aramco, this kind of financial help can only enhance our competitive fields."


The top Americans in the Aramco Houston Half Marathon were newly-minted U.S. citizen Shadrack Biwott, who finished fourth in 62:23, and Lisa Uhl, who took sixth in 73:38.


For more information on the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend, please visit or
About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running USA Founding Member, annually organizes the nation's premier winter marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest single-day sporting event in Houston.  Race Weekend generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually.  In 2012, the Run For a Reason Charity Program raised a record $2.3 million and the HMC garnered Silver Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport for industry-leading sustainability initiatives.  Host to 12 U.S. Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 women's Olympic Trials Marathon, HMC conducted the nationally-televised 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, which featured men and women competing on the same course simultaneously for the first time, vying for the chance to represent Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games.  

For more information, visit   or call 713.957.3453.

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