After 728 days, the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon went off, becoming the first major marathon in North America since the pandemic! Seifa Tura and Ruth Chepn’getich won the 45th Bank of America Chicago Marathon this morning in hot and humid conditions, leading 33,000 runners across the starting line and to the finish line.
Justin Lagat wrote this piece on the Windy City marathon.
The pacemakers in both races became quite irrelevant too early in the race and had to step out before they could cover the first 15km. Shifera Tamru who was making the early surges in the men’s race would at times run side by side with the pacesetter before finally deciding to overtake and run a solo run ahead of his competitors, although he would get caught by the leading pack before long. The same thing happened in the women’s race almost at the same time as Chepngetich could be seen running slightly ahead of her pacesetter and doing the reverse role of urging him to close the gap behind her. She soon broke away to do a solo run as well as she continued to extend her gap against Vivian Kiplagat who was also doing some amazing splits behind her.
However, it would appear as though the runners never learned much from the recent Berlin Marathon where the men had crossed the first half in under 61 minutes, but only to struggle in the second half of the race. The second half of both races here also became slower. But then again, the only way for one to implement the negative splits in a race is when they already have the race results before beginning their run. Negative splits in one’s mental plan would often turn into positive splits after the actual race!
Chepngetich who was inside the world record pace at halfway point where she crossed it in 1:07:34, despite beginning to slow down even before reaching the mark would win the race in a not-so-impressive time of 2:22:31. Emma Bates who was almost five minutes behind Chepngetich at half marathon came to finish second in 2:24:20 ahead of Sara Hall in 2:27:19. Kiplagat who was close behind Chepngetich in 1:08:50 at the half would fade into fifth place in the end with a time of 2:29:14.
Despite the relatively fast first half in the men’s race, seven runners were all still together in the lading pack up to 30km. They were suddenly down to three at the 35km mark and they were Galen Rupp, Tura, and Eric Kiptanui. Then Tura left them in a single file as they approached 40km and went ahead to win the race in 2:06:12. Rupp followed in 2:06:35 ahead of Kiptanui in 2:06:51.