KIPCHOGE AND R. JEPTOO
Eliud Kipchoge and Rita Jeptoo,
photo courtesy of Bank of America Chicago Marathon
CHICAGO (USA, Oct 12): Superb edition of Chicago Marathon run in perfect weather conditions. The men’s race went out fast, with a first mile of . They then settled to a average pace, with Tariku Bekele bringing them through half way in 62:12. Girmay Gebrselassie and Geoffrey Kirui then paced the pack to 30km in 1:28:46. The first important move of the day came shortly before 35km, with a first kick by Eliud Kipchoge, Sammy Kitwara and Dickson Chumba. At around 38-39km Kipchoge made an impressive break, moving strongly away from the field to give him a big enough margin to be able to relax and smile over the final metres. Kipchoge crossed the line in 2:04:11, just 6 seconds shy of his PB; leading home Sammy Kitwara (2:04:28 PB) and Dickson Chumba (2:04:32 big PB), the former gardener of Martin Lel; making it a Kenya 1-2-3. Ethiopian track great Kenenisa Bekele could finish 4th in 2:05:51, with jet lag and sleeping problems given as possible reasons for his inability to stick with the front group. Bernard Koech of Kenya (2:08.30) completed the top five, while Bobby Curtis (USA) ran 2:11.20 to be the first American and non-African over the line as 9th. Eritrean Ghirmay Gebrselassie deserves a special mention for pacing until 30k and still being able to finish the race in a good 2:09:08 for sixth place. Looking at the marathon splits, Kipchoge ran 35:25 for the last 12 195 m, which is only 4 seconds slower than Kimetto did during his world record; and 2 seconds slower than Kipsang did during his. Kipchoge’s last 2195m was run in , which is 10 seconds faster than Kimetto ran in Berlin. In the women’s race, they ran a slower-than-predicted 1:12:35. The leading group stayed together until 35k. Over the next 5km, Rita Jeptoo made her big move for the gold and nobody was able to answer her; she had a 34 second gap when she reached 40 km. She won in 2:24:35 and became the first woman to win 4 majors consecutively. Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba clocked 2:25:37 for second, while third went to Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat (2:25:57), who appeared very tired during the last part of the race. In 5th position, was the the first American and first non-African; Amy Hastings (2:27:03). With the help from Alberto Stretti.