On a nearly perfect day for a race, Eliud Kipchoge and Rita Jeptoo broke the tape at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, leading the way for 40,802 total finishers.
Kipchoge ran with Sammy Kitwara and Dickson Chumba, both also of Kenya, until mile 25 where he broke away to cross the finish line in 2:04:11, six seconds off his personal record of 2:04:05, which he set in Berlin in 2013. The victory was Kipchoge’s third in a marathon and first at a World Marathon Major.
“They say if you have a will, then you will be successful,” Kipchoge said after the race. “I had a will to transition to the marathon and that is why I have been able to win so well.”
Kitwara and Chumba finished second and third in the men’s race in 2:04:28 and 2:04:32, respectively, to complete the Kenyan sweep of the men’s podium.
Jeptoo continued to assert her dominance in women’s marathoning, claiming her third consecutive marathon win in 2:24:35, more than a minute before second place finisher Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia, who finished in 2:25:37. Florence Kiplagat of Kenya, the current half marathon world record holder, finished in 2:25:57. Jeptoo and Kiplagat took the lead between the 10K and 15K marks, but Jeptoo’s 16:37 5K between the 35K and 40K marks sealed her victory. With the win, Jeptoo assured herself a championship in the 2013-2014 World Marathon Majors series.
Bobby Curtis and Amy Hastings were the first two Americans across the finish line, taking ninth and fifth in the men’s and women’s races, respectively.
In the wheelchair race, Tatyana McFadden once again proved herself to be indomitable, winning her fourth consecutive Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 1:44:50. McFadden’s win was her 11th World Marathon Majors victory and put her in position to attempt another grand slam attempt at the TCS New York City Marathon. 2006 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Joshua George won the men’s wheelchair race, edging out Australian Kurt Fearnley by a mere second to take the win in 1:32:12.
The 40,802 total finishers far surpasses last year’s record-setting race, which saw 38,870 runners cross the finish line.