Sunday, January 15, 2017

Kenya's Dominic Ondoro takes 2017 Houston Marathon title

Dominic Ondoro ran a 2:12:05 to win the
2017 Houston Marathon.
Photo by Kristine Kelly, TexSport Publications
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (January 15, 2017) Dominic Ondoro broke with the pack at the 25-mile mark; outdistancing his nearest competitors to win the 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon on the streets of Houston on Sunday, January 15, 2017.  The Kenyan’s time of 2:12:05 was 28 seconds faster than second place Yitayal Atanfu, who also finished in second place in the race in 2016. Ondoro’s time was a bit off his personal best; a 2:08:00 performance at the Tiberias Marathon in Israel in 2013.

His winning time of 2:12:05 was the slowest since 2008, were countryman David Cheruiyot won the third of his three Houston Marathon titles, with the time of 2:12:32. Cheruiyot also won Houston in 2005 (2:14:50) and 2006 (2:12:02). The current Houston Marathon record of 2:06:51 was set in 2012 by Tariku Jufar of Ethiopia. Ondoro broke the eight-year streak of an Ethiopian winning in Houston dating back to 2009. In 2014, Ondoro placed fifth in Houston (2:11:43) followed by a fourth-place finish in 2015 (2:09:40). In 2016, The 29-year old won the Twin Cities Marathon (2:08:51) in 2016 and place third at the Ottawa Marathon (2:11:3). When questioned what plans he had for the $45,000 prize money, he responded, “Do some investment; buy a boat.”

Ethiopian runners finished in third to fifth place; with Abayyneh Ayele Wuldegiorgus (2:12:44), Andualem Shiferaw (2:12:54) and Abrha Milaw Asefa (2:16:16). The top American finisher was Elkanah Kibet, placing sixth with the time of 2:17:25. Next year’s event is scheduled for January 14, 2018.

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