I've been unable to get to my computer until now. Here are the offficial press releases from the marathon office and from World Marathon Majors on today's incredible race. It was hot for some and hotter for others. It was not a day to run a PR. Congrats to all, starting with repeat champs Sammy Wanjiru and Liliya Shobukhova. Their tactics and strong wills were insurmountable on the streets of Chicago today.
Shobukhova Wins Women’s World Marathon Major Series; Wanjiru Likely Earns
Men’s Series Title with Victory in Chicago
CHICAGO – The 33rd running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon today witnessed a record 38,132 participants start the race and 36,159 runners cross the finish line, two defending champions, and a course record in the men’s wheelchair competition.
“The 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon was the epitome of everything marathons could, and should be,” said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director. “It was one of the most exciting races in the 33-year history of the event and it lived up to its auspicious date of 10-10-10.”
Sammy Wanjiru (KEN) defended his North American record victory at the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon with another impressive sub 2:06:30 effort. His official time of 2:06:24 bested 2010 Virgin London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) and 2010 Boston Marathon champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN) in what was the most competitive Chicago Marathon field ever.
Wanjiru, Kebede, and Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) matched paces through the 35 kilometer mark in a battle of the youngest elite men at 23, 23 and 20 years old, respectively. Lilesa dropped after 35K leaving Wanjiru and Kebede trading leads until the very end when Wanjiru kicked hard at mile 26 to claim victory. Kebede finished in 2:06:43 with Lilesa reaching the podium in 2:08:10.
Wanjiru now holds a 10-point lead in the World Marathon Major Series, all but giving him the title and $500,000 prize, barring an unexpected decision from Kebede to race in New York next month. Kebede would need to finish second or better in New York to overtake Wanjiru.
On the women’s side, Liliya Shobukhova also defended her 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon title while setting a personal record and new Russian record. Shobukhova overtook Astede Baysa (ETH) at the 35K mark and ran solo through the chute, finishing in 2:20:25. Baysa finished second, more than 3 minutes back of Shobukhova at 2:23:40. Maria Konovalova (RUS) took third in 2:23:50, American Desiree Davila finished fourth in 2:26:20 and Irina Mikitenko (GER) rounded out the top five in 2:26:40.
Shobukhova’s second Major victory of 2010—she previously won the London Marathon in April—secured her the World Marathon Major Series title with 85 points.
The men’s wheelchair competition saw 12-time Paralympic Gold Medalist and 12-time World Champion Goal Medalist Heinz Frei (SUI) set a new course record in his Bank of America Chicago Marathon debut. Frei, a 52-year-old race veteran, finished in 1:26:56, outlasting a younger field that featured 9-time Boston Marathon Champion Ernst Van Dyk, who made his Bank of America Chicago Marathon debut.
American Amanda McGrory captured her third Bank of America Chicago Marathon championship in the women’s wheelchair division in 1:47:25, reclaiming victory over her University of Illinois teammate and defending 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner Tatyana McFadden (USA). McGrory won a sprint down the final stretch of Columbus Drive with Wakako Tsuchida (JPN) who crossed two seconds later in 1:47:27. McFadden finished in 1:56:11.
Shobukhova Wraps Up World Marathon Major Win with Victory at Bank of America Chicago Marathon Wanjiru Races to Victory; All but Ensures World Marathon Majors Title
CHICAGO, October 10, 2010- Liliya Shobukhova set a new Russian women's marathon record when she finished in 2 hours, 20 minutes, 25 seconds taking home the Bank of America Chicago Marathon victory and the World Marathon Majors Title. In the men's race, Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya finally broke away from Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia just after mile 26 to win by 19 seconds in 2:06:24.
At the beginning of the day, Wanjiru and Kebede each had 50 points in the World Marathon Major standings. After staying close throughout the race, Wanjiru and Kebede ran side-by-side and traded off the lead at mile 26, before Wanjiru surged to the front and never looked back. His strong finish gave Wanjiru 25 points, bringing his total up to 75 and the lead with only one event, the ING New York City Marathon, remaining in the series. Kebede's second-place finish (2:06:43) gave him 15 points, bringing his total to 65. The only opportunity for Wanjiru to be defeated would be for Kebede to make a quick recovery to run New York, and finish second or better.
In the women's race, Shobukhova took hold of the lead around the 35K mark and did not face any competition the rest of the race, with Astede Baysa of Ethiopia finishing second, over three minutes behind. In addition to a personal best and the Russian women's marathon record, the victory gave her an additional 25 points in the World Marathon Majors standings, bringing her total to 85 and guaranteeing her the title and $500,000 purse.
The top five men and women finishers at the Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York World Championships and Olympic Marathons will earn points in a $1 million two-year series to crown the World Marathon Majors champion. The 2009-10 series will conclude at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 7. The men's and women's champions will both win $500,000. The points breakdown is 1st -25, 2nd-15, 3rd-10, 4th-5 and 5th -1.
The current 2009-2010 World Marathon Majors standings are:
Place Name Country Point Total
1 Samuel Wanjiru KEN 75
2 Tesgaye Kebede ETH 65
3 Deriba Merga ETH 35
3 Emmauel Mutai KEN 35
5 Jaouad Gharib MOR 30
Place Name Country Point Total
1 Liliya Shobukhova RUS 85
2 Irina Mikitenko GER 41
3 Salina Kosgei KEN 36
4 Teyba Erkesso ETH 30
5 Xue Bai CHN 25
5 Bezunesh Bekele ETH 25
5 Atsede Habtamu ETH 25
5 Aberu Kebede ETH 25
5 Derartu Tulu ETH 25