Cold weather makes for record-breaking race times at Chevron Houston Marathon

By Jake Reiner - Reporter

HOUSTON - The cold weather Sunday morning was perfect for the more than 27,000 athletes running the Aramco Houston Half Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon.

It not only helped set personal records but shattered two American records.

Molly Huddle, from Elmira, New York, slashed the women's American half-marathon record by nine seconds. She finished at 1:07:25, which breaks the 12-year record held by Deena Kastor.

"It was a tiny bit of wind but most of it was perfect," Huddle said. "The women were running really fast, those top six women, so I tried to just tuck in the back but they dropped me at 10 miles and then I just tried to dig to not slow down too much."

The women's half-marathon winner was Ruti Aga from Ethiopia.

For the men, Kenyan-American Bernard Lagat set the new American half-marathon record at 1:02:00. It was previously set at 1:03:02 by Meb Keflezighi.

The men's half-marathon winner was Jake Robertson from New Zealand.

At the start of the race, the temperatures were hovering below freezing. While suitable for running, it wasn't ideal for the 250,000-plus watching the race.

"I have about 10 layers on," said Lisa Otto, cheering on her husband.

"It is freezing outside," said Brittany Hess, carrying her child, less than a year old, all bundled up.

The full marathon saw Ethiopia's Bazu Worku win Houston for the third time in the men's race and  Biruktayit Degefa, also from Ethiopia, win Houston for the second time.

It  may have been undeniably cold, but it was indisputedly worth it.

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