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Cheruiyot, Grigoryeva Win Hot Chicago Marathon

Cheruiyot, Grigoryeva Beat the Heat to Win Bank of America
Chicago Marathon
By David Monti, Race Results
Weekly

CHICAGO – (October 12, 2008) – As the temperature soared, so
did the fortunes of Evans Cheruiyot and Lidiya Grigoryeva who both
earned their first Bank of America Chicago Marathon titles on Sunday
morning.

Cheruiyot, running in only his second marathon, survived an
early and almost violent surge by Kenyan compatriot Emanuel Mutai which
broke up the lead pack, leaving only three men together at the halfway mark
which was reached in a blistering 1:02:27: Cheruiyot, Mutai and David
Kipkorir Mandago
. Mutai ultimately paid for his move, falling back and
leaving Cheruiyot and Mandago to fight for the win (he would finish sixth).

Both athletes picked up their drink bottles at 35K together,
then Mandago made a gentle move to drop Cheruiyot, but the move didn’t
stick.

“Mandago was strong,” said Cheruiyot who was sensing that his
rival was tiring. “(But), he was looking side-to-side.” He added, “I was feeling
to push the pace.”

In the 38th kilometer, he dropped Mandago, shook off the hot
sun beating down on him, and sailed to the finish line alone in 2 hours, 6
minutes, 25 seconds, a three-minute personal best. Mandago held on for second in
2:07:37, and then the finish line went silent for more than four minutes until
Kenya’s Timothy Cherigat came third in 2:11:39.

For Grigoryeva, a Russian who won the 2007 Boston Marathon,
patience played a big role in her strategy. The women, who ran essentially in an
all-women’s race this year as both the professional men and women started five
minutes ahead of the recreational runners, were running very cautiously at the
outset of the race. Twelve women were still in contention at the halfway mark
when it was passed in 1:16:03. Grigoryeva, and her teammate Alvetina
Biktimirova
, broke free shortly after halfway, and by the 25K mark the pair
had a 19 second lead over third place Bezunesh Bekele of Ethiopia.

Through 30K (1:46:09), the two Russians remained together
joined by a man who had caught up from the recreational race, but Grigoryeva
soon took charge, and built up her lead to the better part of two minutes by the
40K mark. From that point, it was a smooth ride to the finish in 2:27:17.

“The hot weather played well for me today,” she said through
her agent Andrey Baranov who played the role of translator. “The race started
slowly, developed very slowly. I was very confident in my speed.”

Biktimirova cruised home second in 2:29:32 and Kiyoko
Shimahara
of Japan rounded out the podium in 2:30:19. Olympic champion
Constantina Tomescu-Dita was fourth in 2:30:57 and American Desiree
Davila
was fifth in a personal record 2:31:33.

Both Cheruiyot and Grigoryeva earned $100,000 in prize money,
but Cheruiyot earned an extra $40,000 for breaking 2:07:00.

Race director Carey Pinkowski was satisfied with the
result, especially in the men’s race.

“The guys were very aggressive and went after it,” he said
adding, “That’s what the spirit of this event is about.”

31st Bank of America Chicago
Marathon

Chicago, IL, Sunday, October 12, 2008

MEN
1) Evans Cheruiyot (KEN), 2:06:25, $140,000
2)
David Mandago (KEN), 2:07:37, $70,000
3) Timothy Cherigat (KEN), 2:11:39,
$30,000
4) Wesley Korir (KEN), 2:13:53, $15,000
5) Martin Lauret (NED),
2:15:10, $10,000
6) Emmanuel Mutai (KEN), 2:15:36
7) Mike Reneau (USA /
MI), 2:16:20
8) William Kipsang (KEN), 2:16:41
9) David Njenga (KEN),
2:17:33
10) Richard Limo (KEN), 2:18:48

WOMEN
1) Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS), 2:27:17, $100,000
2)
Alevtina Biktimirova (RUS), 2:29:32, $55,000
3) Kiyoko Shimahara (JPN),
2:30:19, $30,000
4) Constantina Tomescu-Dita (ROU), 2:30:57, $15,000
5)
Desiree Davila (USA / MI), 2:31:33, $15,000
6) Colleen De Reuck, 44, USA /
CO, 2:32:25, $5500
7) Bezunesh Bekele (ETH), 2:32:41
8) Paige Higgins (USA
/ CO), 2:33:06, $3000
9) Kate O’Neill (USA / CA), 2:34:04, $2000
10)
Berhane Adere (ETH), 2:34:16

Deeper results at: ChicagoMarathon.com


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