Rupp posts US victory, while Dibaba dominates in Bank of America-sponsored event
Galen Rupp became the first US men’s winner of the Chicago Marathon since 2002 when he took victory in the Windy City on Sunday in 2:09:20.
The 31-year-old surged clear of his rivals with three miles to go as he beat 2016 winner Abel Kirui of Kenya by 28 seconds with another Kenyan, Bernard Kipyego, third.
Kenyans had won 13 of the past 14 men’s races in Chicago, with the only other win coming from an Ethiopian. But Rupp broke the East African dominance as he became the first American to triumph since Khalid Khannouchi took the race in 2002.
Rupp, the London Olympics 10,000m silver medallist and training partner of Mo Farah, had been content to sit in during a slow, tactical men’s race as some of the leading contenders like world record-holder Dennis Kimetto and former Chicago winner Stanley Biwott fell by the wayside.
“It’s incredible. I trained so hard, day in day out, so to win a big race like this in a special place which is where my dad grew up, words can’t describe how good it feels,” Rupp said.
“I’ve made the mistake in the past of going too hard, too soon. So I wanted to wait as long as possible here – the longer the better – and when I went I knew I had to put the hammer down, be decisive and go for the finish,” the Alberto Salazar-coached runner added.
The women’s race was in stark contrast to the cagey men’s race as the female runners held a strong pace from the start in the 40th anniversary of the event.
Tirunesh Dibaba proved strongest, though, as the Ethiopian broke clear and ran the final miles alone to clock 2:18:31.
“I ran without a pacemaker for the whole way and to set a world record you usually need pacemakers. But the course is very good and I’m pleased to win,” said Dibaba.
Behind, Brigid Kosgei of Kenya was second in 2:20:22 while American Jordan Hasay was third in 2:20:57 as she went No.2 on the US all-time rankings behind Deena Kastor.
Tatyana McFadden took her eighth women’s wheelchair race victory in Chicago while Marcel Hug successfully defended his men’s wheelchair title.
Sammi Kinghorn of Britain clocked 1:43:52 in her marathon debut for fifth in the women’s wheelchair race.