2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, update 4, Miles 14-20, by Larry Eder

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The weather at 9:20 AM is 75 degrees on the course, and 48.6 percent humidity..and the men's race is down to Emmanuel Mutai and David Mandago in the lead, with Evans Cheriuyot in some distress...the womens' race is about to change....

Women's race

14 miles for women were hit in 1:20.41, with Alevtina Biktimora, Lidiya Grigoryeva, with Kate O'Neil in the top group. Worknesh Tola, Berhane Adere and Bezuneh Bekele of Ethiopia in tow, with Adriana Pirtea of Romanie in tow. Fifteen miles was hit in 1:26.05, sixteen miles in 1:31:30, seventeen miles in 1:37:00 and eighteen miles in 1:42:34. It was at fifteen miles that the race would change for the women.

By eighteen miles, after pushing three miles in 5:38, 5:33, 5;33, Alevtina Biktimora and Lidya Grigoryeva of Russia are the lead, pushing the pace, and putting some distance between the two Russian women and the crowd.

How big a drop? Well, the two Russians have 58 seconds on Bezunesh Bekele of Ethiopia, 1:46:09 to 1:47:07 at thirty kilometers. Kyoko Shimahara of Japan is in fourth in 1:47:34. Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania is at 1:47:35. Berhane Adere of Ethiopia is in sixth in 1:47:35, Colleen de Reuck of the US is in seventh in 1:47:40 and Kate O'Neil of the US in eighth in 1:47:52.

Grigoryeva is pushing very hard, she does not want it to come down to a kick like in Boston last year. Grigoryeva and Biktimorova hit nineteen miles in 1:48:10. Lidiya Grigoryeva has taken the lead and in less than a mile, has seemingly broken Alevtina Biktimorova of Russia. Just before twenty miles, Grigoryeva made the sign of the cross on her chest. Perhaps she was praying for some divine intervention, but her 5:30 mile for the twentieth, broke the race wide open. Grigoryeva hit twenty miles in 1:53:50 ( remember, they hit ten miles in 58:16, and the second ten miles in 55:34.

Running the twenty first mile in 5:14, Lidiya Grigoryeva hit twenty-one in 1:59:04!

Men's race

David Mandago, Evans Cheruiyot and Emmanuel Mutai are beating themselves up. Fourteen miles in 1:06L39, fifteen miles in 1:11:23, sixteen miles in 1:16:18, seventeen miles in 1:21:15, eighteen miles in 1:26:02. Mutai and Mandago look very good and Cheruiyot is gutting it out, but still looks okay. Cheruiyot has a personal best of 2:09:16, he is the slowest of the three.

Thirty kilometers was hit in 1:29:09 for David Mandago and Evans Cheruiyot, with Emmanuel Mutai, on his twenty-fourth birthday, starting to have some trouble, and dropping to fifteen seconds back.

David Mandago and Evans Cheruiyot took control just before nineteen miles. Nineteen miles for the men was hit in 1:30:52, twenty miles in 1:35:43 and twenty-one miles in 1:40:38... lots of the race to go! Mandago and Cheruiyot are running neck and neck, who will take this one?

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