Dickson Chumba and Florence Kiplagat took convincing wins in the windy city on Sunday
It was Kenya’s day at the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon as Dickson Chumba won the men’s race in 2:09:25 and Florence Kiplagat took the women’s title in 2:23:33.
Chumba beat off the challenge of fellow Kenyan and race favourite Sammy Kitwara, as Kitwara finished 25 seconds behind after Chumba had accelerated in the closing stages after a slow first half that had seen the lead pack pass 13.1 miles in 65:13.
For much of the second half of the race, Abera Kuma of Ethiopia was a strong challenger but he faded to ninth as Sammy Ndungu took third in 2:10:06 on a day where fast times were made tricky due to windy conditions.
Chumba was certainly no surprise winner, though. His previous marathon victories have taken place in Eindhoven, Rome and Tokyo and he has a best of 2:04:32.
Kiplagat, meanwhile, lived up to her billing as favourite. The former world cross country and half-marathon champion was too strong for Ethiopians Yebrgual Melese and Birhane Dibaba in the closing stages as the Kenyan won by 10 seconds from Melese.
Behind, Deena Kastor, 42, smashed the US masters marathon record with 2:27:47 in seventh overall, while there was more for the Americans to cheer as Luke Puskedra sliced five minutes off his PB to run 2:10:24 for fifth in the men’s race.
Susan Partridge of Great Britain ran 2:31:31, which was just outside her PB of 2:30:46, while Fionnuala McCormack of Ireland clocked 2:33:15. For Britton, it secures Olympic qualification for Rio.
Mitch Goose, a former English Schools cross country and 3000m winner, was on course for a decent 2:15-2:20 debut but did not finish after slowing in the second half.
The wheelchair races were won by Tatyana McFadden and Kurt Fearnley.
» Full coverage in the October 15 issue of Athletics Weekly magazine