© Copyright – 2021 – Athletics Illustrated

It was hot and it was humid and of course, it was flat and fast. It’s the Chicago Marathon after all. The good news is the wind didn’t play havoc with the competitors as it has in the past.

Ethiopian Seifu Tura and Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich took the Chicago Marathon Sunday, in the times of 2:06:12 and 2:22:31, respectively.

The women’s race

The heat favoured Chepngetich. She started to make a move before the halfway mark and continued to turn the screws on the field. By the 30 kilometre marker, the race for first was over.

American Emma Bates took second place in the time of 2:24:20, which represents a big new personal best.  

Fellow American, Sara Hall, who was looking to break Deena Kastor’s national record of 2:19:36, stopped the clock at 2:27:19 and finished in third position. It was a strong performance considering the conditions. The 38-year-old has run as fast as 2:20:32, which she accomplished last December in Chandler, AZ at The Marathon Project.

In January 2019, Chepngetich clocked a 2:17:08 personal best performance in Dubai. In April this year, she took the world half-marathon record with her 64:02 run in Istanbul. in so doing, she took fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei’s record of 64:28. Kosgei still holds the marathon world record which she set in Chicago in 2019 in the time of 2:14:04.

Women’s top 10

1 Ruth Chepngetich – 2:22:31 (Kenya)
2 Emma Bates – 2:24:20PB (USA)
3 Sara Hall – 2:27:19 (USA)
Keira D’Amato – 2:28:22 (USA)
5 Vivian Kiplagat – 2:29:14
6 Maegan Kritchin – 2:30:17 (USA)
7 Carrie Verdon – 2:31:51 (USA)
8 Sarah Pagano – 2:33:11 (USA)
9 Meseret Belete Tola – 2:33:14 (ETH)
10 Lindsay Flanagan – 2:33:20 (USA)

Men’s race

Siefu Tara made a move at the 36K mark and went for the win. Leading up to that point in the race, it was all countryman Shifera Tamru with the lead pack to halfway and through 30K.

American Galen Rupp who claimed to be in top form was there for the win. It didn’t happen, but he announced his return to the top after a fallow period after his coach Alberto Salazar was banned from coaching.

He is a two-time Olympic medallist and owns a marathon best of 2:06:07 from Prague in 2018. With the heat and his tactics of holding back before regaining contact with the leaders, it could be argued that Chicago 2021 is Rupp’s best marathon performance.

For Tara, it was another impressive win for the 24-year-old. In May this year, he ran his personal best of 2:04:29 in Milan, Italy. He also ran 2:04:44 in Dubai in 2018.

Men’s top 10

1 Seifu Tura – 2:06:12 (ETH)
2 Galen Rupp – 2:06:35 (USA)
3 Eric Kiptanui – 2:06:51 (KEN)
4 Kengo Suzuki – 2:08:50 (JPN)
5 Shifera Tamru – 2:09:39 (ETH)
6 Colin Mickow – 2:13:31 (USA)
7 Nico Montanez – 2:13:55 (USA)
8 Reuben Kipyego – 2:14:24 (KEN)
9 Reed Fischer – 2:14:41 (USA)
10 Wilkerson Given – 2:14:55 (USA)

Chicago is one of six marathon majors taking place over a six-week period and they include: Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston, Tokyo, and New York.

Shalane Flanagan is doing all six marathons over the 43-day schedule. She ran Chicago in the time of 2:46:39 for 34th position. She completed Berlin in the time of 2:38:32 and London in 2:35:04, respectively. It will be interesting what she can do in Boston, which is her hometown.

Flanagan owns a personal best at the distance of 2:21:14, which the 40-year-old achieved at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.