Shalane Flanagan recorded the second-fastest half marathon by an American woman in 2014 during Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon presented by HumanaVitality. Her 1:09:45 finish put her well ahead of runner-up Lindsey Scherf, who finished in 1:13:47, and made her the first ever recipient of a Remix Challenge medal, awarded to those who ran both the Saturday 5K and Sunday half marathon races.
“I came to run the streets of Chicago and today was the first real long effort I’ve had since the Boston Marathon,” Flanagan said in a press release. “What I ran today is basically what I want to run in my fall marathon, my marathon pace of 5:19 a mile.”
Andy Wacker of Boulder, Colorado won the men’s division in 1:06:21, just ahead of local runner Kevin Havel of Arlington Heights, who crossed the finish line in 1:06:40.
“I pulled away early and wanted to distance myself from the other guys and make sure I didn’t get caught,” Wacker said in a press release. “Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego was really my first race back on a national scene after being injured all winter. It was nice to come back today and my fitness has really progressed, so it was a little easier to keep clicking off some five minute miles.
Chicagoan Bess Ritter had the fastest time of local women; her 1:22:45 earned her fifth place in the race.
In addition to the half marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll also hosted 5Ks on Saturday and Sunday. Alexander Itkin of Chicago and Jessica Davies of Forest Park won the 5K on Saturday in 16:49 and 21:00, respectively, while Chicago’s Billy Collins and Manitowoc, Wisconsin’s Kristin Leclair won Sunday’s race in 20:07 and 22:01.