Teyba Erkesso & Teshome Gelana sweep Houston Marathon

Houston, USA (January 18, 2010) –  Teshome Gelana and defending women’s champion Teyba Erkesso led an Ethiopian sweep of the 2010 Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday (17), each setting course records in the process. 

Gelana, 25, running his second ZMarathon in six weeks, broke away from a pack of five runners at the 22-mile mark and finished in 2:07:37. His time shaved 15 seconds off the previous course record set by fellow Ethiopian Deriba Merga last year. 

“I did not expect to run this fast,” said Gelana, who entered the race with a personal record of 2:11:50 set in 2008. “It was unexpected, but I hope the future will bring even more interesting things for me. I think I can run 2:05.”

Zembaba Yigeze (ETH) was second in 2:08:27, while Jason Mbote (KEN) was third in 2:08:58. For the first time in the history of the race, the top six runners ran under 2 hours, 10 minutes. American Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.) finished seventh in 2:10:35 in his debut Marathon.

The 27-year-old Erkesso dominated the women’s race for the second consecutive year, once again crossing the finish line in a course record. Erkesso won by nearly five minutes, lowering her course mark by 25 seconds with a time of 2:23:53. The time is the fastest female Marathon ever run in Texas and makes Erkesso the only woman to run sub 2 hours, 25 minutes twice in Houston. 

Both Galana and Erkesso received $35,000 for their victories. Margarita Plaksina (RUS) was the runner-up in the women’s race in 2:28:44. Alemitu Abera (ETH) was third in 2:31:01. More