Kenya's Moses Mosop won yesterday's (Sunday, October 9), Chicago Marathon and in the process sliced four seconds off the previous course record. In what was a memorable day in the event's history, Liliya Shobukhova became the first woman to secure victory in three consecutive years.
In a course that is renowned for soaring temperatures and high humidity, conditions were far milder this year with afternoon highs teetering around the 73 degrees mark. One of the five World Marathon Majors, over 35,00 runners completed yesterday's race, with an expected television audience of around 1.7 million.
Mosop's time of 2:05:37 was enough to secure victory ahead of Wesley Korir who finished 38 seconds behind his fellow countryman. In what was a highly impressive showing from the Kenyan athletes, Bernard Kipyego finished in third position with 2:06:29. One of the pre-race favourites, Ryan Hall, was fifth overall. His time of 2:08:04, however, is the third fastest American performance on record.
In what is perhaps an ominous sign for fellow marathon runners, Mosop revealed he was running at about 85 percent of his capacity due to an injured left achilles tendon. Despite a breakaway by Korir at the 18-mile mark, Mosop secured victory with a strong finish.
Shobukhova's impressive time of 2:18:20 made her the second-fastest performer ever behind Paula Radcliffe, with the UK runner holding the course record with 2:17:18. The Russian athlete secured her third successive victory by a considerable margin, finishing almost four minutes ahead of debutant Ejegayehu Dibaba. Japan's Kayoko Fukushi completed the top three positions in 2:24:38.
There was also some good news for one British athlete with Claire Hallissey securing the Olympic marathon qualification standard by finishing sixth. In what was only her second marathon, Hallissey finished in a highly respectable 2:29:27, 93 seconds within the UK Athletics requirement.