“I hope this will be my ticket to the Olympics,” Houston Marathon winner Zouhair Talbi said.
HOUSTON — Thousands crossed the finish line Sunday morning while braving the cold at the Chevron Houston Marathon.
The dawn saw rise to runners focused on beating the freeze one step at a time. Runner Zouhair Talbi set out on a mission.
“I hope this will be my ticket to the Olympics,” he said.
The Chevron Houston Marathon brings out people by the thousands including quite a few spectators. Jennifer Medrano cheered on her friends and potential new friends.
“This one says run if you think I’m hot,” she said.
Clocking just over two hours, Talbi crossed the finish line first and was greeted by Houston Mayor John Whitmire. The finish put him one step closer to his goal of representing Morrocco in the Olympics.
“The last stretch I’m thinking, I’m doing it, I’m doing it. I know the marathon is a hard event and anything can happen, but at the last 1K, I knew that I’m winning,” said Talbi.
Runners kept their pace to beat themselves, others and the dropping temperatures. But for many, the cold never bothered them anyway.
“I was shivering. I was shaking, but the more I ran the more I was like it’s worth it. Because during the run, I couldn’t feel anything,” said half marathon runner Lauren Tate.
Tate said by mile three, she’d found her stride and the warmth she needed to carry herself across the line.
“Mentally, I literally just had to tell myself just keep the same pace,” she said.
Talbi says this course is the most beautiful he’s seen. He’ll take that view along with first place.