Wanjiru, Shobukhova Defend at Chicago Marathon

Shobukhova Wins Women’s World Marathon Major Series; Wanjiru Likely
Earns Men’s Series Title with Victory in Chicago

33rd running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon today witnessed a
record 38,132 participants start the race and 36,159 runners cross the
finish line, two defending champions, and a course record in the men’s
wheelchair competition.

“The 2010 Bank
of America Chicago Marathon was the epitome of everything marathons
could, and should be,” said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago
Marathon Executive Race Director. “It was one of the most exciting
races in the 33-year history of the event and it lived up to its
auspicious date of 10-10-10.”

Sammy Wanjiru (KEN) defended his
North American record victory at the 2009 Bank of America Chicago
Marathon with another impressive sub 2:06:30 effort. His official time
of 2:06:24 bested 2010 Virgin London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede
(ETH) and 2010 Boston Marathon champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN)
in what was the most competitive Chicago Marathon field ever.

Wanjiru, Kebede, and Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) matched
paces through the 35 kilometer mark in a battle of the youngest elite
men at 23, 23 and 20 years old, respectively. Lilesa dropped after 35K
leaving Wanjiru and Kebede trading leads until the very end when
Wanjiru kicked hard at mile 26 to claim victory. Kebede finished in
2:06:43 with Lilesa reaching the podium in 2:08:10.

now holds a 10-point lead in the World Marathon Major Series, all but
giving him the title and $500,000 prize, barring an unexpected decision
from Kebede to race in New York next month. Kebede would need to finish
second or better in New York to overtake Wanjiru.

On the women’s side, Liliya Shobukhova
also defended her 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon title while
setting a personal record and new Russian record. Shobukhova overtook
Astede Baysa (ETH) at the 35K mark and ran solo through the chute,
finishing in 2:20:25. Baysa finished second, more than 3 minutes back
of Shobukhova at 2:23:40. Maria Konovalova (RUS) took third in 2:23:50,
American Desiree Davila finished fourth in 2:26:20 and Irina Mikitenko
(GER) rounded out the top five in 2:26:40.

Shobukhova’s second Major victory of 2010-she
previously won the London Marathon in April-secured her the World
Marathon Major Series title with 85 points.

men’s wheelchair competition saw 12-time Paralympic Gold Medalist and
12-time World Champion Goal Medalist Heinz Frei (SUI) set a new course
record in his Bank of America Chicago Marathon debut. Frei, a
52-year-old race veteran, finished in 1:26:56, outlasting a younger
field that featured 9-time Boston Marathon Champion Ernst Van Dyk, who
made his Bank of America Chicago Marathon debut.

American Amanda McGrory captured her third Bank of
America Chicago Marathon championship in the women’s wheelchair
division in 1:47:25, reclaiming victory over her University of Illinois
teammate and defending 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner
Tatyana McFadden (USA). McGrory won a sprint down the final stretch of
Columbus Drive with Wakako Tsuchida (JPN) who crossed two seconds later
in 1:47:27. McFadden finished in 1:56:11.

About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon 

In its 33rd
year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America
Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 participants, including a
world-class elite runner and wheelchair field, and 1.7 million
spectators. As a result of its national and international draw, the
iconic race assists in raising $10 million for a variety of charitable
causes while generating a $150 million economic impact to its host city
according to a report by the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory


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