HOUSTON (AP) — Ethiopians swept the Houston Marathon again Sunday.
Bazu Worku successfully defended his Houston title, breaking away in the last mile to win with the third fastest time in the marathon's history. Abebech Bekele won the women's race for her first marathon title.
This was the sixth straight year an Ethiopian man won in Houston and the eighth straight year an Ethiopian woman did so.
Worku and countryman Getachew Terfa were running side by side approaching the last mile when Worku pulled away to finish in 2 hours, 7 seven minutes, 32 seconds. The race record is 2:06:51, by Ethiopia's Tariku Jufar in 2012.
Terfa finished 22 seconds behind Worku. Jose Antonio Uribe of Mexico finished in third.
Bekele and countrywoman Biruktait Degefa were together through 22 miles before Bekele broke away and won in 2:25:52. Bekele's best finish before this was runner-up in Rotterdam last year in 2:23:59.
Bekele finished seven seconds ahead of countrywomen Meskerem Assefa. Gelete Burka, also of Ethiopia, was third.
The top U.S. man was Ian Burrell in seventh place at 2:13:26. American women were led by Heather Tanner in ninth at 2:42:19.
In the U.S. half marathon, Meb Keflezighi (1:01:23) won the race for the second time. Serena Burla (1:10:48) was the women's winner.
Keflezighi's time was the second best in the event, bettered only by Ryan Hall's 59:43 in 2007, also in Houston. Aaron Braun finished 15 seconds behind Keflezighi while Josphat Boit was third.
Burla finished second in Houston in 2010 and 2011. Lauren Kleppin was the runner-up, 84 seconds behind. Caitlin Comfort was third.