Triunesh Dibaba takes her first marathon win in Chicago!


It was exciting to see Tirunesh Dibaba run her third marathon on the streets of Chicago. The finest women distance runner of all times, Tirunesh Dibaba, was looking for a strong race in Chicago.

While we in the media were speaking about her breaking the course record of one Paula Radcliffe (2:17:18), Tirunesh Dibaba may have desired that record, but, without pace makers, the course record would be quite difficult.

Dibaba went out hard, and hit the 5ks in 16:08, 16:20, 16:34 and 16:33! Florence Kiplagat, defending champion, Valentine Kipketer, Brigid Kosgei and Jordan Hasay. As they hit the half marathon at 1:09:10, a pace of 2:18:22.

Watching Tirunesh during the race, one observes that her pacing is uncanny. Perhaps, I would describe Tirunesh Dibaba's pacing ability as metronomic.

From 22.1k to 35k, Tirunesh Dibaba ran 16:24 through 25k, 16:29 for 25k-30k and 16:22 from 30k-35k. Dibaba's pace was brutal. Florence Kiplagat dropped out before 30k.

Brigid Kosgei ran a gutty race, and stayed near Dibaba through 30k, finishing second in 2:20:22, an superb personal best for Kosgei.

The young American, Jordan Hasay, held on, and ran 2:20:57, breaking the American course record of 2:21:21, set back in 1985 by one Joan Benoit Samuelson.

The win, by over 90 seconds was taken by Tirunesh Dibaba.

Tirunesh Dibaba, free and clear of anyone else after 30k, ran strongly to her win in 2:18:30. When I asked Tirunesh Dibaba about how she felt with Brigid Kosgei near her through 30k, Dibaba replied: " I wasn't running against anyone, but was just running to improve my personal best."

Where does Tirunesh Dibaba go from here?

Watch for her running faster and faster.

But, on Sunday, it was nice to see her with her two year old son, and her husband, walking through the lobby of the Chicago Hilton, looking like someone who has just run a marathon.

Which she did, just very, very fast.

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