Tura and Chepngetich Battle Wind to Win

by Clay Shaw

Bank of America Chicago Marathon, October 10, 2021—Seifu Tura of Ethiopia was the leader of a three-man group with Galen Rupp (USA) and Eric Kiptanui (KEN) through Chinatown near mile 22. He pulled away in the final 4K of the race to win the 43rd running in 2:06:12.  Afterward Tura said, “I just was determined to fight till the very end to my best.” 

Galen Rupp of Portland OR, the 2017 Chicago Marathon winner, was 2nd in 2:06:35.  In the post-race conference, Rupp said, “Seifu had an unbelievable race.  He took the initiative several miles out and just kept it going and I wasn’t able to stay with it . . . Overall I was real happy with the way I ran today . . . the last couple miles were tough for everybody out there.”

Eric Kiptanui was 3rd in 2:06:51, as the top three had nearly two minutes on the rest of the field.  The best of the rest: Japan’s national record holder Kengo Suzuki who finished 4th in 2:08:59.  Shifera Tamru of Ethiopia finished 5th in 2:09:39 after doing quite a bit of front running earlier in the race; even the pacers couldn’t keep up with him.  America’s Colin Mickow of Oswego, IL (6th 2:13:31) and Nico Montanez (7th 2:13:55) of Mammoth Lakes, CA had solid performances.  Sixteen men broke 2:20 on a less than ideal day for fast running.

Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya started fast, really fast, 15:37 for 5k and 31:22 for 10k. Her frustrated pacer dropped at about mile 8.  Chepngetich said, “To push alone is not easy.  I was not leading to be faster like that.  I just focused and I led for myself.”  Chepngetich hit the half at 1:07:34 with a five-minute lead on the eventual 2nd place runner.  She slowed a bit to finish in 2:22:31, with a victory.  She won the World Championships Marathon in Qatar in 2019, but had a DNF in the Tokyo Olympics.

Emma Bates of Boulder, CO ran a perfect race, aka a negative split, clocking 1:12:27 at the half and a 2:24:20 2nd place finish, a PR in less than ideal conditions.  Bates said afterward, “Going into this race, I knew that with the conditions I needed to go out very conservatively, so I didn’t want to push too much too soon.  And so I went through halfway still feeling really good . . . I felt I needed to pick it up, so I just started slowly and surely, just bit by bit, and I started seeing women ahead of me and that just spurred me along so much . . . and also just all the spectators.  Having all those people lining the streets just really gave me all the energy to be able to press on and really pick up my legs faster and faster.”

Sara Hall of Flagstaff, AZ placed 3rd in 2:27:19.  Hall said: “I think it’s [heat] always a shock, especially when you live and train at altitude.  The humidity is always really shocking.  I’ve really struggled with that my last race before this at Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and so I think maybe we’ll incorporate a little more of that next time if I’m racing somewhere with a potential for that, but definitely I thought my plan was conservative.  I thought I could hold that pace, but it just kind of got exponentially harder as the race went on.”

Keira D’Amato of Richmond, VA was 4th in 2:28:22.  D’Amato gave a “Big shout out to Chicago! What a city, what a race, what a support squad! You all know how to do it!!! I’ll be back for more.”

Vivian Kiplagat of Kenya was 5th in 2:29:14, after going through the half in 2nd place.  Maegan Krifchin of Bellmore, NY was 6th in 2:30:17.  The USA had seven women in the top 10.

Shalane Flanagan of Beaverton, OR, running all the majors, ran a 2:46:39 and was top master.

In the wheelchair event, Daniel Romanchuk took charge on the final Roosevelt Avenue uphill to gain a few yards on rival Marcel Hug and win by one second.  Romanchuk, from Mt. Airy, Maryland and training at the University of Illinois, won in 1:29:07.  It was Romanchuk’s third Chicago Marathon win. Hug, from Switzerland, known as “The Silver Bullet,” was second in 1:29:08.  Hug was the winner of both Berlin and London marathon majors.

Tatyana McFadden of Clarksville, MD won in 1:48:57.  McFadden has now won nine Chicago Marathons.  McFadden said, “It feels amazing to grab a marathon win.  It has been an incredible year to come off the Paralympics with three medals. I’m doing the crazy turnaround to Boston. Racing 52 miles in 24 hours is crazy.”

Top Women’s Division

  1. 2:22:31 Ruth Chepngetich, Kenya
  2. 2:24:20 Emma Bates, Boulder, CO
  3. 2:27:19 Sara Hall, Flagstaff, AZ
  4. 2:28:22 Keira D’Amato, Richmond, VA
  5. 2:29:14 Vivian Kiplagat, Kenya
  6. 2:30:17 Maegan Krifchin, Bellmore, NY
  7. 2:31:51 Carrie Verdon, Boulder, CO
  8. 2:33:11 Sarah Pagano, Boston, MA
  9. 2:33:14 Meseret Belete, Ethiopia
  10. 2:33:20 Lindsay Flanagan, Boulder, CO
  11. 2:34:25 Diane Nukuri, Flagstaff, AZ
  12. 2:34:46 Daiana Ocampo, Argentina
  13. 2:35:24 Alia Gray, Lafayette, CO
  14. 2:35:52 Bria Wetsch, Broomfield, CO
  15. 2:36:30 Amanda Phillips, Hood River, OR
  16. 2:36:46 Kate Bazeley, St Johns, NFLD, Canada
  17. 2:37:25 Tristin Van Ord, Blowing Rock, NC
  18. 2:38:25 Kayla Lampe, Philadelphia, PA
  19. 2:38:25 Carrie Dimoff, Portland, OR
  20. 2:40:22 Veronica Eder, Doylestown, PA

Top Men’s Division

  1. 2:06:12 Seifu Tura, Ethiopia
  2. 2:06:35 Galen Rupp, Portland, OR
  3. 2:06:51 Eric Kiptanui, Kenya
  4. 2:08:50 Kengo Suzuki, Japan
  5. 2:09:39 Shifera Tamru, Ethiopia
  6. 2:13:31 Colin Mickow, Oswego, IL
  7. 2:13:55 Nico Montanez, Mammoth Lakes, CA
  8. 2:14:24 Reuben Kipyego, Kenya
  9. 2:14:41 Reed Fischer, Boulder, CO
  10. 2:14:55 Wilkerson Given, Atlanta, GA
  11. 2:15:04 Zachary Panning, Lake Orion, MI
  12. 2:15:49 Jacob Thomson, Flagstaff, AZ
  13. 2:16:07 Clayton Young, Provo, UT
  14. 2:16:51 Turner Wiley, Issaquah, WA
  15. 2:18:02 Chris Derrick, Boulder, CO
  16. 2:18:49 Josh Izewski, Blowing Rock, NC
  17. 2:20:01 Ian Butler, Boston, MA
  18. 2:20:11 Jonathan Phillips, Brookline, MA
  19. 2:20:40 Kevin Havel, Elmhurst, IL
  20. 2:22:15 Mike Sayenko, Snohomish, WA
Daniel Romanchuk leads Marcel Hug and the other wheelchair athletes down State Street in Chicago.
Galen Rupp running with the lead pack, which includes fellow podium finishers Seifu Tura (orange in back) and Eric Kiptanui (next to Rupp).
Keira D’Amato gets crowd support running up LaSalle.
Alia Gray of Boulder, CO getting some crowd support on LaSalle. Gray placed 13th in 2:35:24.
Shalane Flanagan in a large group running north on LaSalle in Downtown Chicago.
Tatyana McFadden entering Chinatown, after Mile 21 is well on her way to her 9th Chicago Marathon win.
Entering Chinatown at Cermak and Wentworth, the lead wheelchairs make the turn south. Clay’s attempt at being artistic LOL. It really was a weekend of the L and the T.
Seifu Tura of Ethiopia would stay in the lead until the finish, winning in 2:06:12. Galen Rupp of Portland, OR ran a solid second in 2:06:35.
Seifu Tura of Ethiopia does the front-running going through Chinatown, followed by Galen Rupp, and Eric Kiptanui. The trio would finish in the exact same order.
Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya went out at record pace and slowed in the second half. The World Championship Marathon winner (Qatar 2019) won in 2:22:31
Emma Bates of Boulder, CO ran a superb marathon to place second in 2:24:20.
Emma Bates of Boulder, CO runs a negative split and places 2nd in 2:24:20.
Sara Hall of Flagstaff, AZ placed 3rd in 2:27:19.
Keira D’Amato of Richmond, VA placed 4th in 2:28:22.
Kengo Suzuki of Chiba City, Japan was 4th in 2:08:50. Suzuki is Japan’s marathon record holder (2:04:56, Lake Biwa 2021).
Colin Mickow of Oswego, IL leading trio of runners. Mickow would place 6th in 2:13:31. Nico Montanez of Mammoth Lakes, CA placed 7th in 2:13:55. Clayton Young of Provo, UT placed 13th in 2:16:07.
Maegan Krifchin of Bellmore, NY placed 6th in 2:30:17.
Carrie Verdon of Boulder, CO placed 7th in 2:31:51.
Sarah Pagano of Boston, MA placed 8th in 2:33:11.
Daiana Ocampo of Buenos Aires, Argentina placed 12th in 2:34:46.
Bria Wetsch of Broomfield, CO placed 14th in 2:35:52.
Kayla Lampe of Philadelphia, PA placed 18th in 2:38:25.
Brooks/Hanson runners Olivia Pratt and Anne-Marie Blaney, both of Rochester Hills, MI, run through Chinatown together. Blaney was 21st in 2:40:24; Pratt was 22nd in 2:40:42.
Jessica Watychowicz of Colorado Springs, CO was 23rd in 2:40:46.
Hannah Cocchiaro of Baltimore, MD was 24th in 2:40:49.
Whitney Macon of Blowing Rock, NC was 31st in 2:44:48.
Carter Norbo of Roanoke, VA was 40th in 2:48:22.
Caryn Just of Baltimore, MD ran 2:52:35 (pictured next to a runner who isn’t looking too perky).
Ian and Zachary Prochaska of Grand Blanc, MI run together in 2:58:37.
Clay’s last Chicago Marathon photo from Chinatown before heading onto the L and eventually to Boston.


Categories: Race Coverage

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