FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wanjiru and Shobukhova Defend Bank of America Chicago Marathon Titles
Shobukhova Wins Women's World Marathon Major Series; Wanjiru Likely
Earns Men's Series Title with Victory in Chicago
CHICAGO - The 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
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
Wanjiru 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
The 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 (R.E.A.L.).