HOUSTON – Austinites were so much in evidence in Houston this weekend running the Chevron Marathon, Aramco Half or the ABB 5-K, that it was difficult wherever one went – expo, starting lines, restaurants – to not run into a fellow Austin runner or clumps of them. Every training group from Austin was well-represented with herds of Gilberts Gazelles, Rogue Runners and other groups cruising around downtown.
Conditions were nearly perfect for the marathon and half on Sunday (less so for the 5-K on a rainy Saturday) with a starting temp at 40 degrees, clear skies, a light wind and only a hint of cedar pollen. The flattest course in road running, coupled with the great running weather, tempted all who ran to go for that elusive PR or age-group best.
The race at the front of the marathon was typically fast and dominated by Ethiopians. Four of the first five men were from Ethiopia as was winner Gebo Burka in 2:10:54. The top American was Tyler Jermann in 11th place in 2:18:33. Biruktayit Degefa of Ethiopian won the women’s division in 2:26:07 with Cinthya Segura Paucar of Florida in 10th in 2:39:54. The top Texan was Megan Saloom of Houston who scored an Olympic Trials qualifier with a PR of 2:43.
In the Aramco Half, Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa was the overall winner in 1:00:37. Luke Puksedra of Eugene was the top American in fourth in 1:01:29. The lone Kenyan to break through into the top ranks was Mary Wacera who won the women’s division of the half in 1:06:29. Hillary Montgomery of Spring, a former Aggie who has already qualified for the Olympic Trials, was the top Texan in seventh in 1:11:48.
In the Chevron Marathon, the huge contingent of Austin runners were led by Austin Roth who made his marathon debut in 2:21:38, good for 20th. Ironically, Austin’s father also made his marathon debut in Houston as a 25-year-old in 2:21.
Other times in the marathon from Austininites, include: Dr. Matt McCurdy (2:32:34), Steve Chase (2:44:46), Josh Slocum (2:47:27), Tim Bayliss (2:53:55), Marc Bergman (2:54:24), Joel Stanford (2:55:40), Steve Bachmann (2:57:09), Patrick Lee (2:58:15), Sean Lilley (2:59:16), Ryan Hise (2:59:29), Jeff Gjertsen (3:01:44), Dan Stucky (3:02:06), Brent Norwood (3:02:20), Jeff Glaser (3:02:37), Joe Terracina (3:02:29), Michael Wedel (3:03:21), Jesus Olivares (3:03:28), Hsiang-Husan Kung (3:03:39) and Cameron Brown (3:03:51).
Top Austin women include: Tammy Bogle (3:12:03), Rachel Theriot (3:19:36), Kate Taylor (3:20:26), Amanda Bergstrom (3:23:40), Samantha Taylor (3:24:57), Priscilla Norosky (3:28:17) and Estafania Souza (3:29:53).
In the Aramco Half, Collin Smith – the former UT runner who won the Distance Challenge last year – was the top Austinite in 1:09:50. Tyler Matthews ran 1:25:07, followed by Minsok Pak (1:26:10), Carl Koehler (1:35:20), Kristin Tobey – the first Austin woman– in 1:35:02, Wish (1:39:01), Chris Gunderson (1:40:37), Jacqueline Dobson (1:40:27), Marissa Parks (1:40:37) and Dan Veranth (1:41:04).
In the ABB 5-K on Saturday, Mandy Plante had the top time from Austin in 19:07 (she also won the 35-39 age group) followed by Ken Snodgrass (21:46), Ashley Rollins (24) and Vanessa Mitchell (26:28).