The Bank of America Chicago Marathon was run last Sunday and what a run it was. This is a big race; well, how big a race is it Tim?
Glad you asked Tim!
The Chicago Marathon is the 6th largest road race in the U.S. with nearly 36,000 finishers. That’s over three times the amount we saw in this year’s Boilermaker.
What also made this race big was the performance of Ethiopian runner Tsegaye Kebede who ran a scorching 2:04:38. This time knocked 59 seconds off the previous record set in 2011.
Perhaps 59 seconds doesn’t seem like a great deal of time-try this.
Take a watch and sit and watch the second hand click off 59 seconds.
Took a little longer than you though didn’t it?
Now imagine you are competing against some of the fastest marathoners on the planet and your next nearest competitor arrives at the finish line a minute (OK, 59 seconds) behind you.
To run 26.2 miles at that time Mr. Kebede had to maintain a 4 minute 46 second mile average. I’m not sure how many people could run that speed for 1 mile let alone replicating it 25 more times!
This was also a big race for Ethiopia as 2nd and third place was secured by Tsegaye’s countrymen. This is a race that has been traditionally won by Kenyans so a trifecta by the Ethiopians was a big upset.
The female competition was the closest in Chicago’s history with a 1 second difference between winner Ethiopian Atsede Baysa and second place finisher Kenyan Rita Jeptoo.
The first American to cross the finish line was Dathan Rizenhein with a time of 2:08:39 at ninth place. Among the first 30 male finishers, 12 of them were from the U.S.. Among the first 30 female runners, 21 were Americans, with Renee Metivier Baillie coming in 8th.
The race had a start line temperature of 47 degrees- a bit chilly by Boilermaker standards.