Chicagoan Brandon Mull was the top Illinois finisher in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and finished in 2:18:14 for 23rd overall. Mull set a new PR, beating his old mark by more than aminute and shaved more than four minutes off of his last Bank of America Chicago Marathon from 2011. He did all this after what he said was an inconsistent first half. Mull said that he had a variety of issues early on in the race, but by the time he reached the halfway point he found his stride. Fans let him know that he was around 35th place and he said he knew he could catch some of those in front of him.
Although only 27, Mull has an extensive background in a variety of distance events. The Rockford native went to Wheaton College where he ran both track and cross country. After earning All-American honors he followed in the path of many of his teammates and started competing in distance events, specifically the marathon. Mull said that he thinks the marathon distance can be his most successful event, but it isn’t necessarily always his favorite. Competing and trying to win weekend 5Ks or 8Ks then turning around and doing it all over again the next week is the most enjoyable for Mull.
This year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon felt different to Lauren Fog. Although it was her third time running the race, 2013 felt bigger and made her nervous. Once the race started, however, all that was behind her and Fog posted her fastest marathon time yet finishing in 2:54:53.
Fog started in the American Development corral with the best up and coming American runners. At the start of the race looking over and seeing the elite athletes right next to her was an awesome experience, Fog says. A fast start kept her going throughout the race. By the time she finished she ahd a new PR and beat her goal.
Fog, a former track and cross country runner at Bradley University, has fallen in love with the marathon distance. When she finished school she was convinced to run her first marathon at Chicago in 2011 and immediately grew into the lifestyle.
“Just the atmosphere of it all, the runners were all so excited and positive,” Fog says. “The crowds are so awesome to watch going through the different parts of Chicago.”