Two area runners qualify for Boston Marathon
Sunny skies and cool temperatures greeted the 25,000 runners as they took the streets of Houston for the 42nd annual Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon.
The elite field was loaded with talent in both races, and once again, Houston was host to the USA half marathon championships.
In the marathon race, last year's champion, Bazu Worku, of Ethiopia, defended his title by holding off his fellow countryman in the last half mile and went across the finish line to win with a time of 2:07:32, the third fastest finish in the history of the city's marathon.
On the women's side, Abebech Bekele, also of Ethiopia, held off the rest of a competitive women's field to win the race, her first marathon victory, in a time of 2:25:52.
In the half marathon, which is the US championship race, Meb Keflezighi broke away after Mile 8 to claim the men's title in a time of 1:01:23, the second fastest time at that distance by an American.
In the women's race, Serena Burla ran almost unchallenged for the majority of the race, winning the women's title in a time of 1:10:48.
AREA MARATHON RESULTS
We had some outstanding performances by area runners as well, with two qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
Denise Tomanek, of Victoria, qualified for Boston for the second year in a row finishing the marathon in 3:33:13.
Michael Felchak, also a repeat qualifier for the Boston Marathon, came in right behind Tomanek with a time of 3:33:29. The Victoria resident came in 27th in the 55-59 age group.
Casey Roth, of Victoria, was the fastest area runner in the marathon race with his time of 3:28:21.
Other area runners in the marathon race: John Klemczyk, 3:40:33; Mohammed Sabbagh, 3:44:45; Ana Carroll, 3:59:21; Michael Vandeveer, 4:18:16; Leigh Burton, 4:22:02; Melissa Vargas, 4:22:29; Jacqueline Garcia, 4:22:29; Brandon Stafford, 4:35:28; Cindy Herrera, 4:43:59; Edna Mendez, 4:52:44; Tonja Rice, 4:57:05; Elaine Bobigian, 5:05:13; Christie Mayer, 5:17:40; Thomas Beyer, 5:28:49; Jerry Delafuente, 5:45:35.
AREA HALF MARATHON RESULTS
Kathy Manning, of Victoria, once again proved her dominance in the running arena, placing second in the 50-54 age group with her time of 1:37:33 for the half marathon. She also finished as the top area runner in the distance.
Chris Wagner, of Victoria, was the top area male runner in the half marathon with a time of 1:38:37.
Other area runners in the half marathon: Leana Elliott, 1:44:05; Manuel Alvarado, 1:50:17; Paul Polasek, 1:56:00; Cindy Gonzalez, 2:06:02; Yolanda Ritchey, 2:07:25; Sandra Alkek, 2:07:25; John Gohmert, 2:10:17; Heather Heaton, 2:10:32; Julie Garcia, 2:11:01; Ricky Servantes, 2:17:00; Genevieve Beyer, 2:22:20; Chrissy Wagner, 2:24:15; Jennifer Perez, 2:24:41; Brenda Gohmert, 2:28:23; Sheryl Valdez, 2:36:39; Sonya Luna, 2:40:43; Katie Martin, 3:21:22.
AREA 5K RESULTS
Jennifer Perez, 29:14; Ricky Servantes, 29:59; Christie Mayer, 30:21; Sonya Luna, 34:18; Patsy Servantes, 42:25; Sherri Kinnison, 45:06; Samantha Kinnison, 45:07; Carol Charles, 1:00:59; Nicholas Charles, 1:00:58.
Missy Janzow owns Fit4U, a personalized coaching and nutrition service. You can reach her with your questions at email@example.com.