Rita Jeptoo successfully defended her title at Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, a victory which allowed her to claim the World Marathon Major series prize. Almost 45,000 runners were met with clear skies and cool conditions to celebrate the event’s 37th year.
While there were murmurings of potential world records, a fairly strong headwind meant the pace wouldn’t be ferocious. Jeptoo finished in 2:24:35 - some six minutes off her PB - with Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia second in 2:25:37 and Florence Kiplagat third in 2:25:57. In addition to winning the first place prize of $100,000, Jeptoo received a further $500,000 for the series championship.
Eliud Kipchoge led a Kenyan 1-2-3 in the men’s field, Sammy Kitwara in 2:04:28 and Dickson Chumba in 2:04:32. The trio ran together up until mile 24, where Kipchoge pulled away to finish with a comfortable victory in 2:04:11.
Known for its fast and flat course, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has produced four marathon world records, several national records and countless personal bests. In addition to the fast course, the race offers a scenic tour of Chicago as it weaves through 29 diverse neighbourhoods and historical landmarks, guaranteeing an exciting marathon that gives you the chance to see all that is great about the Windy City.
Race Director Carey Pinkowski commented: "We talked a lot about fast times. ... It became tactical racing. The women obviously started watching each other a little bit. The men became much more of a competition and much more gamesmanship. So that was exciting. Toward the end there, Eliud ran a great race and finished really strong. You bring the best athletes together, they complement each other and (you have) great competition."