Florence Kiplagat Defends her title, wins 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, with blazing time!

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There were two races at the elite level in the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The men's race, which we just wrote about, was cautious, then rambuctious, then, fast and furious. The women's race was fast from the very start, with five women under 2:25, and the third fastest time in the world for the winner.

IMG_6342.JPGAbel Kirui, Florence Kiplagat, Renato Canova, photo by The Shoe Addicts/Mike Deering

For Florence Kiplagat, the world record holder in the half marathon, her victory over the streets of Chicago today was her way to reaching out to the Kenyan selectors about her absence from Rio Olympic team. It is also Florence's alert that she wants to run London 2017.

After the race, Florence Kiplagat reminded us of how Edna had caught her in London 2014. In light of that race, Florence took off here at nineteen miles and no one could race with her today, across the 29 neighborhoods and 26.2 miles of the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

The women's elite race at the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon was thrilling from the start. Through early splits of 16:33 for 5k, 33:29 for 10k. They were on a fast pace from the beginning! Florence Kiplagat, the defending champion, Edna Kiplagat, Valentine Kipketer, Atsede Baysa, Purity Rionoripo, Yebrugual Melese were all running together, focused on fast times.

Watching the women runners, who seemed much more serious in their 26.2 mile battle, the pace continued fast, as the seven women hit 15k in 53:28, and the halfway point in 1:10:29!

The pack stayed together, with six at 15 miles, hit in 1:20:41. Atsede Baysa fell back at fifteen and finished sixth. From fifteen to nineteen miles, five runners continued to battle, until Florence Kiplagat took the lead at 19 miles in 1:42:24!

Florence Kiplagat just began to string out the field, putting 1:56 between her and Edna Kiplagat. Florence ran extremely well, putting every bit of energy into her final six miles!

With two miles to go, Florence continued to challenge herself and run so much faster than 2015. " I just wanted to be two years in a row in Chicago. I wast controlling, I set the pace faster. Once I saw pace was so slow, I took the lead." Florence was flat out over the last miles, running 2:21:32 to defend her title in 2016 Bank of America Chicago marathon. " My goal was to go for the Olympics.I did not go. I decided to come to Chicago. I just wanted to prove to them that I could represent them. 2020 is coming. I will make it! "

Edna Kiplagat told us that she tried to go with Florence, but the pace was way too much. " I did not go with Florence, and I wanted to be on the podium, and I was afraid if I chased her, I might not finish."

Valentine Kipketer, who took third, had her brother, Gideon, also finish third in the men's elite race.

Watching Florence Kiplagat on this tough day, and observing her running alone, this kean observer believes that she can run much, much faster. Her PB is 2:19:44. Her coach, Renato Canova, who is prone to hyperpola, noted that Florence Kiplagat was running at '70 percent fitness'. If that is anywhere near correct, then, Ms. Kiplagat should be running her PB in an upcoming event.

Florence Kiplagat pushed herself. With about 1.5 miles to go, by observing TV, one saw Ms. Kiplagat pushing herself. Her excitement on not only winning, but running two minutes faster than 2015 was evident with her post race celebration!

Florence Kiplagat won 2016 Bank of America Chicago in 2:21:32, with Edna Kiplagat was second in 2:23:28. Valentine Kipketer was third in 2:23:41.

First American was Serena Burla, in 7th in 2:30:40. Sarah Crouch was second US runner in 2:33:48, in 9th place. Alia Gray, was 10th and third American in 2:34:00.

Serena Burla told us afterwards that she was running by herself much of the way, " I was grateful to run in Chicago once again, and to race well." Sarah Crouch, who was ninth, ran 2:33:28, and did well in the Windy City event. Sarah Alia Gray, the tenth placer, ran a PB of 2:34:00 as she begins to look for a sponsor, early in her marathoning career.

2016 Bank of America Chicago marathon, Women, 1. Florence Kiplagat, KEN, 2:21:32, 2. Edna Kiplagat, KEN, 2:23:28, 3. Valentine Kipketer, KEN, 2:23:41, 4. Purity Rionoripo, KEN, 2:24:47, 5. Yebrgual Melese, ETH, 2:24:49, 6. Atsede Baysa, ETH, 2:28:53, 7. Serena Burla, USA, 2:30:40, 8. Agnieszka Mierzejewska, POL, 2:32:13, 9. Sarah Crouch, USA, 2:33:48, 10. Alia Gray, USA, 2:34:00, #chicagomarathon, #nike, #hiltonchicago, #gatorade, #theshoeaddicts,#trackandfieldnews, #letsrun,

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