On Sunday, more than 43,000 runners, an event record, toed the line for the 40th Annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and American elites led the day with an overall win and two course records broken.
Galen Rupp, three-time Olympian, became the first American male winner to win the Chicago race since 2002. He stayed with the elite pack until mile 23, when he broke away from defending champion Abel Kiriu and won with a time of 2:09:20. Kenyan Kiriu came in second at 2:09:48 and Bernard Kipyego, also from Kenya, took third at 2:10:23.
“I hadn’t really planned out when I was going to go but I definitely wanted to wait until 20 to 22 miles,” Rupp says. “The longer the better. I made the mistake in the past of going out a little too hard too soon and you still have a long ways to go for several miles. I really wanted to wait. I kind of felt a little gap pulling away and at that point you just got to put the hammer down and drive to the finish. That was my plan.”
“I just am so thrilled I was able to pull it out here in a city like this – the crowd support was incredible,” Rupp adds. “You go through different areas and it was booming.”
On the women’s side, American Jordan Hasay came in third place overall, earning the second fastest marathon time by an American women at 2:20:57. This was Hasay’s second career marathon, breaking the course record for an American woman previously set by Olympic medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson.
The last time an American male and female both placed in the top three was in 1996, according to Race Director Carey Pinkowski.
“It was a huge honor,” Hasay says. “It’s only been about seven months since my very first marathon, so we’re just really excited for the future.”
In fact, Samuelson, who was supposed to run the race but dropped out on Friday due to a knee injury, watched Hasay beat her record. “I’m so delighted for Jordan, she’s the real deal.” Samuelson said.
Samuelson was also going for a master’s record; at 60, she was hoping to be the first woman her age to finish a marathon under three hours.
Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba took first for the women, coming in nearly two minutes ahead of the group at 2:18:31. Brigid Kosgei from Kenya was the second place overall woman finisher at 2:20:22.
Five American women, including Hasay, finished in the top 10: Maegan Krifchin (seventh), Alia Gray (eighth), Taylor Ward (ninth) and Becky Wade (tenth).
Another course record was broken by defending champion Tatyana McFadden in the wheelchair race; in her seventh consecutive win and eighth overall, Tatyana finished with a time of 1:39:15.
“Wow what an incredible day to be back with my fast and fierce competitors … we were able to get a new course record!!,” McFadden tweeted after Sunday’s race. “Thank you to everyone for the wonderful support. … It’s incredible to be back since the injury back in February.”
During the celebration of 40 years, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon hosted athletes from more than 100 countries and all 50 states. The inaugural Chicago Marathon was held on September 25, 1977.
More race results can be found at http://results.chicagomarathon.com/2017.