FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ethiopian Gelana to Defend Chevron Houston Marathon Title
Countrywoman Kasim Headlines the Women's Field;
Prize Purse Exceeds $139,000; Sold-out Field of 11,000
HOUSTON - (Jan. 23, 2011) - Defending Chevron Houston Marathon champion and
course record holder Teshome Gelana returns to Houston to defend his 2010
title. Last year, Gelana's time of 2 hours, 7 minutes, 37 seconds shaved 15
seconds off the previous course record set in 2009 by fellow Ethiopian
Deriba Merga. A sold-out marathon field of 11,000 is expected on Sunday,
January 30 for the 39th edition.
"In recent years, our marathon has become known for introducing exciting
new talent at both national and international levels. We've had six course
records in the last four years," said Brant Kotch, president and race
director of the Houston Marathon Committee. "Although many factors play a
role in an extraordinary performance, we have every reason to expect some
outstanding results on Sunday, given the very solid field that our elite
athlete committee has assembled."
Gelana, 25, whose 2010 Houston Marathon performance also set a Texas state
record, is the No. 1 seed, followed by Felix Keny of Kenya, who placed
second at the 2010 Barcelona Marathon clocking a personal record of 2:07:36
American Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.), who recorded the fourth-fastest
debut marathon ever by an American last year in Houston, returns to the
Bayou City as the No. 3 seed for his second marathon since placing seventh
last year in 2:10:36. The Stanford grad's marathon debut is also the
fastest American performance ever at the Houston Marathon. Also from
Flagstaff, Ariz., No. 4 seed 2008 Irish Olympian Martin Fagan, who sports a
1:00:57 half-marathon PR, will make his Chevron Houston Marathon debut in
2011, while Ethiopian Hussan Adelo, fourth at Houston last year in a
2:09:09 PR, rounds out the top men's marathon runners as the No. 5 seed.
In the women's marathon, Ashu Kasim of Ethiopia holds the No. 1 seed after
winning the Istanbul-Eurasia Marathon in Turkey last October, setting a
course record of 2:27:27.
Joining the top-seeded Kasim on the starting line will be Kenyan Georgina
Rono (No. 2), second at the 2010 Marrakech Marathon, and Ethiopian
Belainesh Gebre (No. 3), who won the 2010 Honolulu Marathon in her debut
(2:32:13), will be running her first race in Houston this year. Ethiopian
Mamitu Daska (No. 16), a late entry into the marathon and winner of the
2010 Dubai Marathon with a personal best of 2:24:18, also joins the
No. 4 seed American Stephanie Rothstein (Flagstaff, Ariz.), who ran a PR of
1:13:37 at the 2010 World Half Marathon Championships, will return to
Houston after competing at the 2008 USA Half Marathon Championships in
1:13:19. Rounding out the top women runners is No. 5 seed Tigist Tufa of
Ethiopia, who has half-marathon PR of 1:10:03 and will make her marathon
debut in Houston.
Three-time Chevron Houston Marathon champion David Cheruiyot, 40, is
expected to challenge the Masters course record of 2:16:45 set in 1998 by
Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.
The 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon prize purse exceeds $139,000 with $35,000
for each race champion.
More than 26,000 runners will participate in the sold-out Chevron Houston
Marathon and companion Aramco Houston Half Marathon and El Paso Corporation
5K. The competition begins Sunday at 6:45am with the wheelchair start for
the marathon and half-marathon.
A complete schedule of race weekend events and more can be found at
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running
USA Founding Member, annually organizes the nation's premier winter
marathon, half-marathon, 5K and kids' fun run. In 2010, more than 30,000
runners participated in four race weekend events organized by 7,500
volunteers, creating Houston's largest single-day sporting event. In
addition to hosting numerous world-renowned road races, including the USA
Men's and Women's Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 U.S.
Women's Olympic Marathon Trials, HMC will host the 2012 U.S. Men's and
Women's Olympic Marathon Trials on January 14, 2012.
For more information, visit houstonmarathon.com or call (713) 957-3453.