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News Archive

Evans Rutto continues unique marathon win streak in Chicago

Evans Rutto is the man to beat in the marathon. The Kenyan, who had not been

nominated by his federation for the Olympic marathon, won the Chicago Marathon

in a first class time of 2:06:16. By doing so the 26 year-old has now won all

his three marathon races. It was a year ago when Rutto, who is coached together

with a couple of other Kenyans by Uta Pippig’s coach Dieter Hogen, had

won the Chicago Marathon with an unofficial debut world record of 2:05:50. Then

he had won the London Marathon in April in 2:06:18 despite a bad fall. Never

before has a marathon runner won his first three races at the classic distance

with such outstanding times. And additionally all three races were high quality

ones.

"10" />About 40,000 runners had entered the Chicago Marathon which was

witnessed by 1.2 million spectators along the route. But for the elite runners

conditions were not ideal since there was a strong head wind in the last part

of the race. Wind speeds reached up to 20 miles. Romanian Constantina

Tomescu-Dita, who had been second a year ago, won the women’s race in a

time of 2:23:45. Second was Nuta Olaru (Romania/2:24:33), third was last

year’s winner Svetlana Zahkarova (Russia/2:25:01).

The chase for Pual Tergat’s world record – the Kenyan had run

2:04:55 las year in Berlin – began with a big mistake by the Kenyan

pacemakers. They had started far too fast, passing 5 k in 14:25 minutes and 5

miles in 23:38 – these are times that lead to a finishing time of sub

2:04. Laban Kipkemboi, Boston winner Timothy Cherigat (both Kenya) and John

Yuda (Tanzania) had set the pace. All three belong to Dieter Hogen’s

training group as well. Cherigat and Yuda will run the New York Marathon.

Obviously they felt in great shape already in Chicago but lost control. The

half marathon point was reached in 62:24.

Now running without pacemakers Evans Rutto lead the first group through 25 k

in 1:13:35. And at 30 k (1:29:04) – Laban Kipkemboi (Kenia) had taken the

lead for a short time, but was soon the last rival to be left behind by Rutto

– the world record seemed still within reach. But now the wind started to

blow into Rutto’s face and he was getting tired.

“The pace was too fast at the beginning. I slowed a bit because we had

a long way to go“, Evans Rutto later explained. The Kenyans had shocked

their coach as well with their high speed start. Dieter Hogen was standing at

the roadside shouting at them to slow down. “They have made the biggest

mistake you can make in a marathon. Although we had talked about the split

times just before the race again they set out far too fast. It is not possible

to recover from this if you intend to break the world record”, Dieter

Hogen said. “It is somehow sad. But on the other hand I am of course

happy that Evans has won the race so clearly.”

“I had thought that I could at least break the course record. But the

winds were too strong. Still I have won the race which makes me very

happy”, he explained. Daniel Njenga (Kenya) was second with 2:07:44,

while Japan’s Toshinari Takaoka took third in 2:07:50. Four time Chicago

winner Khalid Khannouchi (US) had to be content with fifth place in

2:08:44.

Khannouchi, who originally comes from Morocco and had been the marathon

world record holder before Paul Tergat’s Berlin performance, showed his

weakest performance ever in Chicago. In an extraordinary series at the Chicago

Marathon he had never finished below second plance and had never been slower

than 2:07:19 before. Khannouchi has a three year contract with the Chicago

Marathon. “I have given everything I could. But that was not enough today

– there is nothing you can do. It was a hard race and the pacemakers were

running way to fast”, Khannouchi explained. He did not follow the very

fast pace throughout the race. After running at the end of the first group for

a while he dropped back to the chasing group. Among these runners was Paul

Koech, another athlete of Hogen’s team. But Koech suffered of knee

problems during the second half and was limping when he reached the finish well

behind. “Having ost the race on the last mile last year I am now very

happy that there was no danger from behind”, women’s winner

Constantina Tomescu-Dita said. She had reached the 20 k mark running in

1:06:54. Tomescu-Dita had taken the lead right from the start and no other

woman came close to her during the race. But she also clearly slowed in the

final stages of the race. Her first splits had indicated a possible time of

2:21, in the end she reached the finish line in 2.23:45.

 

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