Bank of America Chicago 2009: Sammy Wanjiru, 2:05:41, Gallery by, Deep thoughts by Larry Eder



Sammy Wanjiru with the pacemakers, B of A Chicago Marathon, October 11, 2009, photo by The start was cold, 33 degrees in fact. The wind was from the south, which meant, once the pacemakers turned, the wind would be in their faces. Yet, they ran fast; 14:34 for 5k, 29:10 for 10k, 43:59 for 15k...and most importantly, even though Sammy wanted to go faster, they kept him in tow, hitting 1:02:00 on the dot for the half marathon point.


Wanjiru with empty sports drink bottle.....

Hitting the half marathon in 1:02:00 gave Sammy Wanjiru a shot at the world record. The shot at the WR was lost between fifteen miles, hit in 1:11:03 and 30k (18.56m), hit in 1:28:44, where they were about fifty seconds down.


Hitting twenty miles in 1:35:43, with Vincent Kipruto and Charles Munyeki.


Wanjiru, just before the break.....


Wanjiru makes his break.....

Sammy Wanjiru made his break at exactly 1:42:00 on the clock. His first test gave him five meters, then, he blasted away, first getting ten meters, then thirty. By the 35 kilometer mark, 1:43:59 into the race, Sammy Wanjiru had broken the race open. When he hit the 40 kilometer mark, in 1:57:00, Wanjiru had to deal with himself for the last 2.95 kilometers.


For twenty-three minutes and 41 seconds, Sammy Wanjiru was running all out, all by himself...pushing, knowing that he had some daylight, and now time to focus on building the break. Was he on record pace. Sammy told us later that he did not know the course record, nor did he know where he was on the record pursuit....

Running the last 2.95 kilometers in 8:41, Sammy Wanjiru waved to the crowd three times, I believe in the last hundred meters. At this time, Sammy did not know he was on course record pace, or how delicate that balance was, record or no record. Breaking Khalid Khannouchi's ten year old course record, and running the fastest marathon in North America, Sammy Wanjiru won the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2:05:41.


Sammy Wanjiru, 2009 Bank of America Chicago marathon champion

Vincent Kipruto and Charles Munyaki paid for their chasing of Sammy Wanjiru. Abderrahim Goumri, giving the lead pack one minute at the halfway mark, charged over the last half, running 1:03:04 (the fast second half of anyone, as Wanjiru ran 1:03:41) to take second in 2:06:04! Vincent Kipruto, the Paris winner, held onto third in 2:06:08.

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

All photos courtesy of

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