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Daba wins Houston Marathon 2011

Daba Shatters Chevron Houston Marathon Course Record

Bekana Daba wins Houston Marathon

Bekana Daba wins Houston Marathon

HOUSTON – January 30, 2011 – On Sunday morning under the threat of inclement weather, Bekana Daba and Mamitu Daska continued the Ethiopian dominance at the Chevron Houston Marathon with victories in 2 hours, 7 minutes, 4 seconds and 2:26:33 respectively. Daba’s time, in his second marathon, was a personal, course and state record, while Daska became the third fastest woman all-time at the event.

In the men’s race at the 39th edition, Daba, Kenyan Wilfred Murgor and American training partners Brett Gotcher and Nick Arciniaga were the contenders and the group hit the halfway point in 1:04:17.

As the drizzle turned to light rain around 80 minutes into the race, Daba, 22, began to pull away from the field and between the 25K and 30K he strung together three sub-4:40 miles to seal the win. He continued to push the pace though mile 23 and went unchallenged to the tape to shatter countryman Teshome Gelana’s 2010 course record by 33 seconds and also ran the fastest marathon time of the year. Daba, who ran the second half of the race in a fast 1:02:46, was also the third straight Ethiopian men’s race champion and the third straight to set a course record.

“I could have run faster with better competition and less rain, but I’m happy,” said Daba, who earned $35,000.

Arciniaga, 27, from Flagstaff, Ariz. was runner-up in an 18-second personal record of 2:11:30, while Gotcher, who debuted here last year in 2:10:36, had an off day to finish sixth in 2:19:30.

Most of the women’s race was led by either Daska, Ashu Kasim or Belainesh Gebre of Ethiopia – the trio reached the halfway mark in 1:12:16 – before it became a duel between Daska and Kasim around 17 miles. At 25 miles, Daska, 27, made a break with a 5:17 mile that Kasim couldn’t follow and Daska hit the finish line alone to become the fifth straight women’s race champion from Ethiopia.

Kasim slowed, but kept her number two position to the line (2:27:47), while American Stephanie Rothstein, 27, from Flagstaff, Ariz. finished third in 2:29:35, a more than 10-minute personal record.

Three-time race champion David Cheruiyot, 40, of Kenya won the Masters marathon in 2:24:07, while Sheila Casey, 41, from Park Ridge, N.J. took the women’s 40 and over crown in 2:51:44.

There were also six new 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers: Jesse Davis and Kristen Fryburg-Zaitz, Emily Harrison, Nicole Hagobian, Natasha Labeaud and Sara Patrick. Houston will host the 2012 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials on January 14.

Jeff Eggleston, 26, Flagstaff, Ariz. and Colleen DeReuck, 46, Boulder, Colo. won the 10th Aramco Houston Half Marathon in 1:08:26 and 1:16:19 respectively. DeReuck also won the 2004 race.

Overall, there were 6,728 marathon starters and 9,114 half-marathon starters at the annual event.

39th Chevron Houston Marathon
Houston, TX, Sunday, January 30, 2011

1) Bekana Daba (ETH), 2:07:04*, $35,000
2) Nick Arciniaga (USA / AZ), 2:11:30, $17,000
3) Wilfred Murgor (KEN), 2:11:41, $7000
4) Rob Watson (CAN), 2:16:17, $4000
5) Jesse Davis (USA / IN), 2:18:47, $2000
6) Brett Gotcher (USA / AZ), 2:19:30
*course and state record (previous record, 2:07:37, Teshome Gelana (ETH), 2010)

1) David Cheruiyot, 40, KEN, 2:24:07, $1500

1) Mamitu Daska (ETH), 2:26:33, $35,000
2) Ashu Kasim (ETH), 2:27:47, $17,000
3) Stephanie Rothstein (USA / AZ), 2:29:35, $7000
4) Belainesh Gebre (ETH), 2:34:47, $4000
5) Selamie Getnet (ETH), 2:36:34, $2000

1) Sheila Casey, 41, USA / NJ, 2:51:44, $1500

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