Africans Again Triumph in Hot, Humid Houston Marathon

A pair of Africans again won the men's and women's titles at the Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday on an unusually warm January morning that saw slower times and scores of runners treated by medical staff.

Dominic Ondoro of Kenya edged out Yitayal Atanfu of Ethiopia for the men's title with a time of 2:12:05. This was Atanfu's second consecutive runner-up finish at the Houston Marathon.

On the women's side, Ethiopian Meskerem Assefa won with a time of 2:30:18. Ondoro's win broke an eight-year streak of Ethiopian victories. But Africans have now won the men's and women's races 11 years in a row.

Both Ondoro and Assefa's times were well off the course record, likely because of the poor conditions on Sunday. Temperatures rose into the low 70s with above 90 percent humidity — awful weather for long-distance running.

KTRK reported 715 runners were treated by medical staff, including eight taken to local hospitals, three of whom were in critical condition. On Friday, the marathon's medical director urged runners to plan to slow their paces, given the poor conditions.


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