This is my first piece on the 2022 Bank of America Chicago marathon, which was a near-perfect race today!
The race is over in Chicago. 41,000 starters cross the start line at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon today, October 9, 2022.
Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski is beaming, smiling, and beaming.
Near-perfect conditions gave Carey two elite races for the ages. On the Men’s side, Benson Kipruto, who won the 2021 Boston and 2021 Prague Marathons, came back after his third in 2022 Boston and took the win today in Chicago, running a PB of 2:04.24!
Carey also had to be happy with Connor Mantz, the BYU American who debuted at Chicago, running 2:08.16 for seventh place. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has made support of America athletes a big point of their programs each year.
For the past thirty-two years, Carey Pinkowski has been the race director of this important race. This writer recalls seeing Carey out on the course in 1990-1991, after midnight, checking the long blue line around the course.
Carey Pinkowski gets it. In the 1970s, Pinkowski, Tim Keogh, and Rudy Chapa were three of the finest high school runners in America, all breaking 9 minutes for the mile, all from the same high school (Hammond) in Gary, Indiana. Pinkowski then went to Villanova, running well at that prestigious university. He even had time to run a 2:22 marathon.
But, for Carey Pinkowski, this race is a year-long focus. Carey and his team, Mike Nishi and Alex Sawyer among them, have made this race a huge event for the city of Chicago. In the 30 of 32 years that this writer has been visiting the Chicago marathon, I can not recall the mayor of Chicago not being there, the President of Bank of America (their title sponsor) always there, and Nike sports marketing (their footwear and apparel sponsor), who just signed an extension until 2028).
The fun thing for me, I must admit, is catching up with Carey a few days after the race and getting some deep thoughts from the Executive Director of the Windy City marathon. Carey loves orchestrating elite fields, knowing that one must put together runners who can compete with each other without destroying each other.
On the women’s side, Carey Pinkowski had some amazing moments. Ruth Chepnegetich went out like a woman with a mission, hitting 1:05.44 at the half marathon (a 2:11 pace). Ruth was just seconds off the world record for the marathon, with her new PB of 2:14.18. Ruth shook many people up with her incredible pace, one time at a 2:07 pace, then at a 2:11 pace. After dropping out of the Olympic and World Champs marathons, many analysts were doubtful of her brave pacing. Manager Fedrico Rosa tried to keep expectations for Ruth low, but she was focused on making a statement and defending her in from 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
And in second place, Emily Sisson, running a perfect race for her, hit the half in 1:09 and came back with a 2:18.29 finish, breaking the American record of 2:19.12 set by Keira D’Amato at Houston last year. Emily is one of the finest athletes in our sport and a total class act. Her race was masterful. And she can go faster!
After the race, Carey Pinkowski, running on adrenaline, was happy. The race went well, the conditions were epic, and he had added to the reputation of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, which is a world record course.
Let’s see what Carey Pinkowski will say later this week. But for now, a race well done, and the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is truly back from the tough years of the pandemic, where we missed this lovely weekend in the Windy City in early October!
See you in October 2023!
Check out these pieces on Carey Pinkowski:
Socialing the Distance, Carey Pinkowski
Carey Pinkowski gets to run his own race.