2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon: Sammy Wanjiru Sets CR of 2:05:41, by Larry Eder



Sammy Wanjiru, winner of 2008 Bejing and 2009 London, now adds Bank of America Chicago to his victory list, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya, hitting the halfway in 1:02:00 and 30k in 1:28:44, broke Vincent Kipruto and Charles Munyeki, to take the men's title at the Bank of America Chicago. Sammy has won his last three majors now, Olympics, London and now, Chicago. Waving to the crowd, Sammy Wanjiru, nearly missed the course record, but pulled it out by one second, running 2:05:41. In the 32nd running of the Bank of America Chicago marathon, Wanjiru added his name to the great list of victors: Steve Jones, Khalid Khannouchi, among others. Wanjiru now holds the new course record and the fastest time ever run on North American soil-breaking Khannouchi's ten year old course record!

Hats off to Abderrahim Goumri, who went out conservatively, hitting 1:03 at halfway and finished second in 2:06:04. Rest of top ten below!

Sammy Wanjiru does not fear the marathon distance. And, he also accomplished what he told us he would do last week. Here are a few of the comments of the top finishers from the men's race:

" I was very happy to be in Chicago. I was very happy to win...for me the pace was very good...very cold..the last seven kilometers was real cold, real wind..the half marathon was good pace to run, the last one was not good. I did not know the course record..the very good course, it is perfect, sometimes you have it, sometimes you slow..for me, i did not think about the course record, I was very happy to see that I am the winner..I like $100,000 for one seconds..on 40 kilometers, time was 1:57, I said that I loose the world record now..I get alot of wind, and now the wind was very strong...the time was very strong...I think from now, I can get more pressure to train more hard to be stronger than last year..from start to finish was perfect...I do fartlek, one kilometer very fast, then very slow, speed work, off the track...for Kipruto, I was thinking about him, for last six kilometer, I was thinking like the Olympics..sometimes I try to go front to test other people, when you test, then you can slow down...sometimes pace maker is good, today was good..everyone can run marathon, the experience, Goumri is stronger, he come from the back, when you want to try to break record, he needs to run from the front.." noted Sammy Wanjiru.

" It was traditional Chicago weather, a good day, very pleased with our operational scheme, operationally, it went very well, thousands of runners coming in, we will be watching the runners the rest of the day....I would have appreciated Sammy to be one second slower, no, great course record, aggressive run, that is what synonymous with Chicago, this great athlete, Sammy Wanjiru is now our top performer. Tradition that course record held by great athletes, like Steve Jones, Khalid Khannouchi and now, Sammy Wanjiru.. I have had chance to watch Sammy run, very please to have this gentleman visit us, great partner of the tradition, hopefully we can have a conversation with him coming back next year.." noted Carey Pinkowski, Executive Race Director.

Goumri had a revelation. He has had many second place finishes, and was teased a bit about having second place finish in his contract....

" Almost I run alone since fifteen or twenty k. I was pushing. It was good for me. It was new, new experience for me, now if I can run in good races in future with this tactic. " noted Abderrahim Goumri. Goumri hit the halfway in 62:50. " This is the right thing for me, it is a little bit cold, a little bit windy, I do not want to go in front, I wanted a 62;30. I push, I think I run best second half, ran 63:10 for the second half. If the marathon is 45k (laugh)...I think I can catch up from 25k, the first guy who drop out, they had a problem, work more to catch up to the group...I think with his tactic, he is special (Sammy Wanjiru), if he wanted a great, great time, he should change the tactic.."

" I did not know I was inside world record schedule...the temperature was very cold, it affected me in the second half.." noted Vincent Kipruto. Kipruto was the winner in the 2009 Paris marathon last April.

In one of the best laughs of the day, Running Times editor Jonathan Cooper, razzed Abderrahim Goumri about how long he could put off getting married, as he had promised his fiance that they would get married upon a marathon victory. Goumri smiles, and says, " It is time to get married." Check out Running Times December issue, as it has a story on Goumri.

Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Top Ten

1. Sammy Wanjiru, Kenya, 2:05:41, course record
2. Abderrahim Goumri, Morocco, 2:06:04
3. Vincent Kipruto, Kenya, 2:06:08
4. Charles Munyeki, Kenya, 2:07:07
5. Richard Limo, Kenya, 2:08:43
6. Wesley Korir, Kenya, 2:10:38
7. Isaac Mcharia, Kenya, 2:11:09
8. Sergio Reyes, USA (Palmdale, CA), 2:15:30
9. Tedesse Tola, Ethiopia, 2:15:48
10. Patrick Rizzo, USA, 2:15:48

For more on the sport, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com

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