Meskerem Assefa of Ethiopia wins Houston Marathon

Meskerem Assefa (photo: Victah Sailer)

Houston, Texas – Late breaks led to first-time wins for Kenya’s Dominic Ondoro and Ethiopia’s Meskerem Assefa at the Chevron Houston Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, on Sunday (15).

Meanwhile, USA’s Leonard Korir out-leaned race record-holder Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, on a windy and humid morning that hampered times.

After a runner-up finish in 2014 and a third-place effort in 2013, Meskerem Assefa of Ethiopia extended her nation’s dominance in the women’s marathon with a 2:30:18 to notch her first win and extend to 11 the streak of Ethiopian victories in Houston.

Assefa and defending champion Biruktayit Degefa ran together until the 25-kilometre mark, where Assefa made a subtle move to put six seconds on Degefa over the following five kilometres. Steadily moving away from Degefa, the former 1500m specialist hit 35 kilometres in 2:03:44, 26 seconds in front, and her lead increased to 40 seconds by 40km.

Fighting cramps, Assefa held on over the final two kilometres to win by 26 seconds as Degefa crossed the line in 2:30:44. Becky Wade was the top US finisher, placing third in 2:35:57.

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