30th La Salle Bank Chicago, Astonishing Finishes, Astonishing Heat

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The 30th LSB Chicago Marathon will be remembered for its amazing finishes and the amazing heat. In fact, the heat was the reason that the course closed at four hours, and runners were sent to the finish. Not only will the race finishes be discussed for years to come, the president of closing the course will be discussed for many years.

The 30th running of the La Salle Bank Marathon gave us several astonishing
events. First, 36,000 runners lined up at the start, where the temperature was
77 degrees with 86 percent humidity. The race management had gone to
extreme efforts to care for the marathoners, with additional water, ice, misting
machines and air conditioned buses.
On the men's elite side, a lead pack of fifteen was whittled to four by 30
kilometers and then two at 40 kilometers as Jaouad Gharib of Morocco,
the two time world marathon champion, and Patrick Ivuti, whose claim to
fame was his fifth place in the 2005 version of LSB Chicago. Ivuti and
Gharib surged over a dozen times over the last 2.2 kilometers, much
as they had been doing for the past five kilometers. Gharib would surge,
then Ivuti would surge. With 300 meters to go, Gharib took the lead and
built a five meter lead, looking like he was the eventual winner.
However, Patrick Ivuti saw the finish line with fifty meters to go, and
made one last lunge, getting by Gharib and winnng 2:11:11 to
2:11:11.05. Top American was Michael Cox, who ran 2:21:48, the
only U.S. male runner to run under the Olympic Trials standard
( the trials are three weeks away).

On the women's side, Berhande Adere, the defending champion, and
Adriana Pirtea of Romania, a first time marathoner, broke up the field by
30 kilometers. Adere and Pirtea ran together through 38 kilometers,
when Pirtea went to the front and by 40 kilometers had built a comfortable
thirty second lead over Adere. Or so, she thought...
Berhane Adere called on reserves known only to her and ran a near sub
60 second last 400 meters, coming up the men's side of the race chute.
Adriana Pirtea was running up the women's side of the finish, thinking
she had won, waving to the crowd as Adere came rushing by her, with five
or six meters to spare. To say that Pirtea was surprised was an
understatement. In third place, in her debut was Kate O'Neil, who
ran a superb 2:36.15 in her first marathon.

Both finishes were astonishing in their competitveness. The third surprising
event was the closure of the marathon course at 11:50 AM. Three hours, fifty minutes into the race, Cary Pinkowski, the Executive Race Director of LSB
Chicago announced in the media center, that after speaking to the
medical team and city management, LSB Chicago, due to the medical
emergency, closed the race course at the half way mark. Anyone not to
that point would be encouraged to walk to the finish, one mile away,
or take a bus back. Anyone past that point would be supported to the finish. Obviously this was done to protect the well being of the marathoners, but there were many upset marathoners. RN also heard that runners past the half way point at the time of the closure, in fact, as far as nineteen miles, were ordered off the course. While the heat and humidity were obvious and dangerous, the precedent of closing a the marathon course will be something discussed among marathon directors and their teams for many years to come.

Top Men: 1. Patrick Ivuti, Kenya, 2:11:11, 2. Jaouad Gharib, Morocco,
2:11:11.05, 3. Daniel Njenga, Kenya, 2;12.45, 4. Robert K. Cheruiyot,
Kenya, 2:16;13, 5. Ben Maiyo, Kenya, 2:16:59, 6. Christopher Cheboiboch,
Kenya, 2:17:17, 7. Bong-ju Lee, Korea, 2:17:29, 8. Michael Cox, U.S.A,
2:21:42, 9. Jason Flogel, USA, 2:26:34, 10. Eric Blake, USA, 2:26:55.

Top Women: 1. Berhane Adere, Ethiopia, 2;33:49, 2. Adriana Pirtea,
Romania 2:33:52-debut, 3. Kate O'Neil, USA, 2:36:15-debut,
4. Liz Yelling, Great Britian, 2:37:14, 5. Benita Johnson, Australia,
2:38:30, 6. Nuta Olaru, Romania, 2:39:04, 7. Paige Higgins, USA,
2:40:14.

For the complete story on La Salle Bank Chicago 07, click: http://www.runningnetwork.com/features/chicago07list.html

For the more on the running network, try; http://www.runningnetwork.com

For more on Shooting Star Media, Inc., try:http://www.shootingstarmediainc.com

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