2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon: Tsegaye Kebede runs 2:04.38! by Larry Eder

Tsegaye Kebede made Chicago his best marathon time, and set a course record in winning the 2012 Bank of America Chicago marathon. After several years of warm weather (five of last six), Race Director Carey Pinkowski should be smiling for the next week. 

Tsegaye Kebede, 2010 Virgin London, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

In perfect conditions, with weather at finish around 44 degrees, Tsegaye Kebede improved on his personal best of 2:05.18 at Fukuoka and (he also has 2:05.19, 2:05.20), to a fine 2:04.38 to take the win in 2012 Bank of America Chicago marathon. Not only did Kebede set the course record, he also lead the best top ten finish for men in Chicago ever. 

A pack of fifteen men hit the 10k in 29:55, and then the pace started to drop. Ten miles was hit in 48:07 and the second ten miles was hit in 47:08, so twenty in 1:35.15. With Tsegaye Kebede, Tilahum Rigassa, Sammy Kitwara, Feyisa Lilesa, Bernard Kipyego, Welsey Korir, and Samuel Ndungo all together at 35k, hit in 1;43.22. Tsegaye stayed back as Ndungo, Rigassa, Kitwara and then Kidane dropped the hammer. The half marathon was hit in 62:55, and the 30k was hit in 1:29.03, and the pack was under the course record. 

Miles were run in 4:33, 4:34, and 4:36, with a 5k of 14:19 between 30 and 35k. 

And then there were four: Kitwara, Kebede, Rigassa and Lilesa, as Wesley Korir went off the back around 35k. 

Tsegaye Kebede took the lead after 38k and just did not let up. Feyisa Lilesa did not give up until the finish, with Tilahun Regassa, who would finish his first marathon in two starts, very close. Two men under 2:05! Tenth place in 2:08.39!  Kebede took the second half in 61;43! Talk about negative splits! (first half was 62:55/ second was 61:43). 

Tsegaye Kebede won the Bank of America Chicago marathon in 2:04.38, with Feyisa Lilesa in second in 2:04.52, and Tilahum Regassa in third in 2:05.28. Sammy Kitwara, in his debut, ran 2:05.55! Fifth place was Wesley Korir, 2012 Boston winner, in 2:06.13.

Thumbnail image for Ritzenhein_Dathan-Philly12.JPG
Dathan Ritzenhein, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

In ninth place, Dathan Ritzenhein ran a pb of 2:07.47, a two minute, 8 second personal best. Nice to see Dathan run a great race, with a year's worth of fantastic training! 

2012 Bank of America, 1. Tsegaye Kebede, ETH, 2:04.38, CR, PB, 2.Feyisa Lilesa ETH, 2:04.52, 3. Tilahun Regassa, ETH, 2:05.28, 4.Sammy Kitwara, KEN,2:05.55, 5.Wesley Korir, KEN, 2:06.13, 6. Bernard Kipyego, KEN, 2:06.41, 7. Samuel Ndungu, KEN, 2:07.26, 8. Dadi Yami, ETH, 2:07.43, 9. Dathan Ritzenhein, US, 2:07.47, 10. Shami Dawit, ETH, 2:08.39, #chicagomarathon

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