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Meb Keflezighi wins 2014 Houston Half Marathon

Meb Keflezighi (right) won his second Hpouston Half Marathon on Sunday, January 19, 2014. He is shown after his victory in the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Returning to the victory platform for the first time since 2009, Meb Keflezighi turned in his best performance ever in the Houston Half Marathon on the streets of Houston, Texas on Sunday morning, January 19, 2014.

The race, which doubled as the USA National Half Marathon Championship, was Keflezighi best performance ever in the Houston Half Marathon with the time of 1:01.23 and was two seconds faster than his time in 2009.

He took the lead around the 15-kilometer mark and never gave up that lead the remainder of the race, averaging 4:41 per mile during the last half of the race.

In 2012, Keflezighi entered the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trails in Houston, and did not compete in the Houston Half Marathon.

The trails, which were contested on January 14, 2012, were the day prior to the Houston Half Marathon.

He won the marathon trials with a time of 2:09.08, which was a personal best at the time and finished in fourth place in the 2012 Summer Olympics Marathon in London with the time of 2:11.06.

In the Houston Half Marathon, he was followed by Aaron Braun (2nd-1:01.38), Josphat Boit (3rd-1:01.41), Tyler Pennel (4th-1:01.44) and Matthew Llano (5th-1:01.47).

Keflezighi, who has been a fan favorite in Houston for many years, was quoted in the mixed zone after the race:

“I love Houston. It’s been great for me.”

The top non-American finisher in the half marathon was Great Britain’s Rory Fraser, with the time of 1:02.48.

Three minutes back was Ireland’s Tom Frazer (1:06.01) and Spain’s Roberto Moratilla (1:07.37).

Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa holds the Houston Half Marathon course record with the time of 59:26 set on January 15, 2012.