FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shawn M. Platt
THE 2004 LASALLE BANK CHICAGO MARATHON
ONE OF THE LARGEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL RUNS
CHICAGO - (November 2, 2004) - In its 27th year, The LaSalle Bank
Chicago Marathon continues to grow into one of the premiere marathons
around the world. With runners from 121 countries and all 50 states, the
33,125 finishers mark the largest group of runners ever to cross the finish
line in Chicago as well as the third largest marathon ever. Accompanied by
beautiful weather and 1.2 million spectators, this year's Marathon was
another success with many story lines.
Evans Rutto goes two for two in Chicago:
With this win, Rutto, the Kenyan native, defended his LaSalle Bank Chicago
Marathon title in a time of 2:06:16. Also the 2004 London Marathon
champion, he has now improved his career record with three major marathon
wins in three attempts. On race day, Rutto and the main pack set a torrid
pace, flirting with world-record time for most of the first 13 miles. But
as all the other competitors began slowing, Rutto was gaining. Eventually
pulling away from the competition, Rutto took over first place at the
19-mile mark, and didn't relinquish it. In the final miles, a tough wind
shift caused Rutto to slow off both the course and world-record paces.
Finishing his final mile in 5:11, he coasted to an easy victory over second
place finisher Daniel Njenga by a comfortable one minute and twenty-eight
Constantina Tomescu-Dita leads women's field:
Despite being bed ridden with the flu just days prior to the Marathon,
Tomescu-Dita overcame illness and the deep women's field to win the first
major marathon of her career in a time of 2:23:45. Leading most of the 26.2
miles, the aggressive runner did not allow last year's story to be
repeated. In 2003, she led most of the race only to be caught by last
year's winner, Svetlana Zakharova, at the 25th mile mark. This year,
Tomescu-Dita found herself in a similar situation, holding a one-minute
lead going into the last mile. Looking over her shoulder frequently,
Tomescu-Dita remained in the lead, outlasting fellow Romanian Nuta Olaru.
The elite American athletes helped round out this year's deep and
competitive field. American top male finisher Khalid Khannouchi, who was
unable to add to his four LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon wins, placed fifth
overall with a time of 2:08:44.
Members of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, based out of Michigan,
performed well, representing four of the top six American finishers in the
field. The group was led by Brian Sell, who finished 11th overall and
second among Americans. His teammates Clint Verran, Luke Humphrey and Trent
Briney, finished 15th, 17th and 23rd respectively.
The American women were led by veteran Marla Runyan. With only six weeks
of marathon training, Runyan managed to finish seventh overall with a time
of 2:28:33. Also in the top ten, Blake Russell finished ninth and Gurnee,
Ill. native Jenny Spangler placed 10th. Spangler ran most of the race
aiming to beat her Master's record, set in 2003, but fell short during the
final few miles. However, Spangler still retained the Masters Division
Title finishing the race in 2:33:36.
Josh George defends wheelchair title:
George, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign junior and Virginia
native, defended his 2003 Marathon victory, winning the wheelchair division
for a second consecutive year. He also broke his personal best finishing in
a time of 1:36:13, three minutes and forty-eight seconds faster than the
second place finisher Adam Bleakney.
Roger Craig improves:
Craig, the former San Francisco 49er running back, completed The 2004
LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in a time of 3:54. In only his second
marathon, he improved on his debut time, shaving 13 minutes and most
importantly staying strong throughout. The 44-year-old was running on
behalf of his hometown United Way in Davenport, Iowa and has plans to
continue running more marathons this year.
2004 Chicago Prize Money:
With a prize purse of $650,000, The 2004 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon has
the largest pool of prize money to offer the athletes in all of distance
running. The race champions, Rutto and Tomescu-Dita, took home, $180,000
and $135,000 respectively.
The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon has grown to be one of top tourist draws
in the city of Chicago, drawing international participants from 121
countries and domestic participants from all 50 states. This year's race
field featured 16,927 female registrants (42.3 percent of the field) and
The 40,000 runners wasted no time registering for this year's LaSalle Bank
Chicago Marathon. In only the second year with the 40,000-person cap,
registration was closed on August 12th, three weeks prior to the September
3 deadline and almost two weeks earlier than closing time last year.
The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon will be on Sunday, October 9. For
more information, visit the race website at: www.chicagomarathon.com
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