FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mosop's Course Record and Shobukhova's Third Straight Title
Highlight 34th Running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Shobukhova Runs Fourth Fastest Time in History to Become
Chicago's First Three-Peat Champion
The 34th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon today witnessed
historic performances by men's champion Moses Mosop of Kenya and women's
champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia as 35,628 participants crossed the
finish line in sunny Grant Park, the second largest field in event history.
"Moses and Liliya set the pace for a special day at the 2011 Bank of
America Chicago Marathon," said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago
Marathon Executive Race Director. "Race day is the pay off for months of
hard work for all the participants, as well as planning and coordination
between the event, the city and our sponsors, and I am proud to
congratulate everyone on a wonderful day of marathon running in Chicago."
With a start time temperature of 64 degrees and low humidity, the men's
elite field set off a course record pace. When the lead pack of 12 runners
reached the halfway point in 1:02:54, the two-year-old course record of
2:05:41 was in jeopardy. Shortly after 14 miles, America's Ryan Hall fell
behind the lead group, and at 30K, Kenya's Wesley Korir bid for the race
title with a bold surge, but he was reeled in by Mosop with 7K to go.
Speeding down the final straightaway on Columbus Drive, Mosop savored the
opportunity to wave to the finish line crowd before breaking the tape in
2:05:37, improving the course record by four seconds. Korir finished second
in 2:06:15 and Kenya's Bernard Kipyego was third in 2:06:29, both personal
After reaching 13.1 miles in 1:09:25 with Japan's Kayoko Fukushi and
Ethiopia's Ejegayehu Dibaba in tow, Shobukhova found herself in familiar
territory—leading the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Running her second
half faster than her first, Shobukhova reached the finish line in 2:18:20
to become the first athlete in Chicago Marathon history to win three
consecutive titles. Her time is a new Russian record, the second fastest
women's time in event history, and the fourth fastest women's time ever
run. Ejegayehu was runner-up in her debut marathon in 2:22:09 and Fukushi
was third in 2:24:38.
Prior to the race, Shobukhova had already secured her second consecutive
World Marathon Majors series title, yet her Chicago victory put an
exclamation point on her claim to the $500,000 grand prize. Mosop's first
Major victory moved him into a tie for fourth on the 2010-11 leaderboard
with 40 points.
In the wheelchair race, two prior champions returned to the winner's
circle. On the men's side, Australia's Kurt Fearnley bested defending
champion Heinz Frei of Switzerland, 1:29:18 to 1:29:23. It was Fearnley's
fourth Bank of America Chicago Marathon title in the past five years. In
the women's race, Tatyana McFadden of Champaign, IL, the 2009 champion,
distanced herself from the lead group after 10 miles to win by more than
two minutes in 1:45:03. With her victory, McFadden secured her spot on Team
USA for next summer's 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Australia's Christie
Dawes finished second in 1:47:04.
The third annual Nike Northside/Southside Challenge featured the area's top
high school cross country athletes competing over the final 2.62 miles of
the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course. In the boys' race, Mark
Derrick of Neuqua Valley High School was the first across the finish line
in 12:38. In the girls' race, Veronica Rozynek of Whitney Young High School
won in 15:46. In the team challenge, the boys' Southside team and the
girls' Northside squad won bragging rights over their cross-town rivals.
New this year, the Let's Run Together Charity Relay, featuring 13 selected
runners and celebrity team captains Hope Solo, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan
of the women's U.S. soccer team, completed the 26.2-mile distance, each
running approximately two miles a piece. Bank of America contributed $5,000
to each of the members' charity of choice. Additionally, Air Force Captain
William Boland won the first-ever Bank of America Chicago Marathon
satellite race in Kabul, Afghanistan. Captain Boland will be invited to
participate in the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon as an elite
athlete, and Army Captain John Zimmerman, the driving force and director of
the satellite race will be welcomed as a VIP guest.
About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 34th 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 an estimated 1.7 million
spectators. As a result of its national and international draw, each year,
the iconic race assists in raising millions for a variety of charitable
causes while generating $170 million in 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.).