Kenyan runners are among the best in the world, and this was proven yet again at this year’s Chicago Marathon. On Sunday, Eliud Kipchoge was the first of three Kenyan men to sweep the marathon, and Rita Jeptoo was the woman’s winner for the second time.
Kipchoge’s time of 2 hours, 4 minutes and 11 seconds was one of the best in the world. He was followed by Sammy Kitwara in 2:04:28 and Dickson Chumba in 2:04:32. Jeptoo ran with a highly-impressive 2:24:35. This was her fourth straight win in a major marathon, setting her light years ahead of the competition.
The winners of the big event received $100,000. Jeptoo received a full half million for winning the series title, an amount of money that will go a long way in any country she chooses to live in.
Ideal conditions – sunny skies and 46-degree temperatures – greeted runners at the start. The men’s pack stayed together for about 20 miles before Kipchoge, Kitwara and Chumba drew away.
Kipchoge and Kitwara were side by side with Chumba right behind after 24 miles. But Kipchoge made it look easy down the stretch. He made a quick burst and was in command as he headed toward the finish at Grant Park.
Jeptoo hasn’t lost a major marathon since she finished second in a sprint to Ethiopia’s Atsede Baysa in the 2012 Chicago Marathon. She smashed the course record to repeat as Boston Marathon champion in the spring and came away with an easy victory in Chicago for the second straight year.