Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ethiopia's Tariku Jufar and Alemitu Abera Win 2012 Houston Marathon

Ethiopia's Tariku Jufar ran a 2:06:51 to win the 2012
Houston Marathon. Photo by Kristine Kelly-La Vita
Loco Photography, Copyright 2012, All Rights Reserved.
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2012, TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 15, 2011) Ethiopia made its presences known by sweeping top honors in both divisions and distances of the 2012 Houston Marathon.

Tariku Jufar led a trio of Ethiopian runners for the top three spots in the men’s marathon, topping the field with the time of 2:06.51.
His time broke the existing record of 2:07.04 set in 2011 by Bekana Daba.

His fellow Ethiopians; Debebe Tolossa and Demssew Tsega finished in second and third place with the times of 2:07:41 and 2:11.13.
In the women’s division, Alemitu Abera of Ethiopia won with a time of 2:23.14, breaking the existing record 2:23.53 set by Teyba Erkesso in 2010.

Australia’s Benita Willis finished in second place with the time of 2:28.24, with Ireland’s Ava Hutchison finishing third (2:35.33).
In the men's half marathon race, Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) broke Ryan Hall’s (USA) record of 59:43 from 2007 with a time of 59:22 to take home the title.

Tilahun Regassa of Ethiopia and Scott Bauhs of the United States rounded out the top three, respectively with times of 1:01:28 and 1:01:30.
In the women’s half marathon, Ethiopia’s Belaynesh Oljira took home the top prize with a two second victory over Caroline Kilel of The Netherlands.

Oljira’s time of 1:08.26 also established a new course record; breaking the existing mark of 1:09.41 set by Shalane Flanagan of the USA in 2010.

8,249 runners started in the marathon while the half marathon had 9.409 starters.
Temperature at the start was 52 degrees F.