Chicago - Eliud Kipchoge and Rita Jeptoo won Chicago Marathon titles on Sunday,
completing only the fourth Kenyan double title sweep at the event but
the second in as many years.
Kipchoge, a two-time Olympic 5 000m-medalist competing for only his
fourth time at the 26.2-mile distance, won in two hours, four minutes
and 11 seconds to defeat his countryman Sammy Kitwara by 17 seconds.
Dickson Chumba was third in 2:04:32, completing the eighth Kenyan podium sweep in the past 14 events and second in a row.
Jeptoo, 33, defended her title in 2:24:35 and collected her fourth
marathon triumph in a row since settling for second at Chicago in 2012
behind Atsede Baysa, having swept the Boston and Chicago crowns this
year and last.
"I'm the queen of Chicago," Jeptoo said.
Ethiopia's Mare Dibaba, a 2012 Olympian and the third-place finisher
in Boston, was second, more than a minute off the pace, with Kenya's
Florence Kiplagat third in 2:25:57.
Windy conditions greeted runners from more than 100 nations in the 37th edition of the event.
Kipchoge, 29, took $155 000 in prize money and bragging rights over
long-time Ethiopian track rival Kenenisa Bekele, the three-time Olympic
champion and 5 000m and 10 000m world record holder who finished fifth in
2:05:51 in only his second marathon start.
Kipchoge, who took 5 000m silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
and bronze four years earlier at Athens and captured a 2003 world title
at the distance, won his marathon debut last year at Hamburg.
The Kenyan podium trio pulled away from the lead pack after 20 miles
and Kipchoge left his countrymen behind in the penultimate mile.
Kipchoge was six seconds off his personal best, set last year at Berlin, but had the third-fastest winning time in race history.
Kipchoge finished 26 seconds off the course record set last year by
Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, who did not try to defend his crown but instead
won last month's Berlin Marathon in a world record time of 2:02:57.
Kenya's Bernard Koech, runner-up to Kipchoge in Rotterdam this year, was fifth in 2:08:30.
Jeptoo, coming off a course-record run of 2:18:57 in Boston, was well off her 2013 Chicago winning time of 2:19:57.
American Amy Hastings surged ahead early in quest of the first
Chicago triumph by a US woman since 2005, but by mile eight she was
caught by the pack and settled for a fifth-place finish in 2:27:03.
Kiplagat, the world half-marathon record holder, and Dibaba battled
Jeptoo into the 23rd mile before the defending champion began pulling
American Joshua George won his fourth men's wheelchair title in
1:32:12 while Russian-born American Tatyana McFadden won her fifth
women's wheelchair crown, and fourth in a row, in 1:44:50.
Top finishers from Sunday's Chicago Marathon:
1. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2 hrs 4 mins 11 secs; 2. Sammy Kitwara (KEN) 2:04:28; 3. Dickson Chumba (KEN) 2:04:32, 4. Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:05:51, 5. Bernard Koech (KEN) 2:08:30; 6. Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (ETH) 2:09:08, 7. Lani Rutto (KEN) 2:10:42, 8. Wesley Korir (KEN) 2:11:09, 9. Bobby Curtis (USA) 2:11:20, 10. Koji Kobayashi (JPN) 2:11:43
1. Rita Jeptoo (KEN) 2:24:35, 2. Mare Dibaba (ETH) 2:25:37, 3. Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 2:25:57, 4. Birhane Dibaba (ETH) 2:27:02, 5. Amy Hastings (USA) 2:27:03, 6. Clara Santucci (USA) 2:32:21, 7. Sarah Crouch (USA) 2:32:44, 8. Gelete Burka (ETH) 2:34:17, 9. Melissa White (USA) 2;34:19, 10. Lauren Jimison (USA) 2:34:38