Kelvin Kiptum Shatters World Record at 45th Running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Broken records were the theme of the day at the 45th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Headlined by a stunning new men’s marathon world record, the largest finisher field in event history included four course records and the race’s millionth finisher. Kelvin Kiptum (KEN) became the first man to run a sub-2:01 marathon in an officially sanctioned competition, breaking the tape in a world-record time of 2:00:351. Course records fell in every professional division of the race, with Sifan Hassan (NED) setting a new women’s course record in 2:13:44, Marcel Hug (SUI) breaking his own record set last year in the men’s wheelchair race in 1:22:37 and Catherine Debrunner (SUI) writing her name in the race’s history books with a new women’s wheelchair course record of 1:38:44.

Kiptum, who came into the race with the second and third fastest times in history, broke away from the rest of the field just before the 10K mark, taking only his pacers and countryman Daniel Mateiko with him. The pair reached the half marathon behind world-record pace, but Kiptum lived up to his reputation of finishing fast. He ran the 19th mile in a blistering 4:21, leaving Mateiko behind and setting off on a solo mission to make history.

As he made the final turn onto Columbus Drive, Kiptum began to sprint as he pumped up the already-roaring crowd. He then broke the tape and smashed Eliud Kipchoge’s record by 34 seconds.

“I knew I was in good shape to run a fast race,” said Kiptum, who told reporters he knew the record was possible by the time he approached 5K. “Now I can go take a little rest and resume my training.”

Kiptum’s world record is the sixth set in Chicago, but the first in the men’s race since Khalid Khannouchi in 1999. 

“It was time to bring it back to Chicago,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski.  “This is a great sporting community. There is a great energy and a great crowd, and the weather was pretty near perfect.”

2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Benson Kipruto (KEN) finished second in 2:04:02, while Bashir Abdi (BEL) took third in 2:04:32.

Training partners Conner Mantz and Clayton Young became the first two American men to achieve the Paris 2024 qualifying standard by running under 2:08:10. Mantz finished sixth in 2:07:47. Young was seventh in 2:08:00.

“It was really a good run,” said Mantz, who now is tied for the fourth fastest man in American history. “I had a goal to run under 2:07, but it was a B goal to run a personal record and run under 2:08:10.”

The women’s field chased the world record as well with two-time defending champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) and Olympic gold medalist Sifan Hassan running through the halfway point in 1:05:42. Hassan, just six weeks removed from winning two medals on the track at the World Championships in Budapest, broke away at 30K. While her pace slowed in the closing miles, the move was too big for Chepngetich to overcome. Hassan crossed the line in 2:13:44, the second fastest women’s marathon time ever, two minutes ahead of Chepngetich.

“It’s just amazing. I am grateful that I won,” said Hassan, the first athlete from the Netherlands to win any division of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. “The last 5K was very hard. I said to myself, ‘I’m never going to run a marathon again.’ I can’t describe how happy I am.”

Seven American women ran under the Paris 2024 standard of 2:26:50. Leading them was Emily Sisson who finished seventh in 2:22:09, after making an early run at her American record of 2:18:29.

“I felt a side stitch come on and the last 8 miles were pretty rough,” said Sisson. “I was proud to be able to gut it out and still be able to finish strong.” 

Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel was eighth in a new personal best of 2:23:07 and Sara Vaughn was tenth in 2:23:24. Gabriella Rooker (2:24:35), Dakotah Lindwurm (2:24:40), Emma Bates (2:25:04) and Tristin Van Ord (2:25:58) also all now have the Paris standard. 

In her first Bank of America Chicago Marathon since 2010, two-time Olympian Des Linden (USA) broke the U.S. masters record with her 17th place finish in 2:27:35.

“That was the goal,” said Linden. “Anytime you get to chase a Deena Kastor record, it’s something that is worth getting excited about.”

The men’s wheelchair race was a time-trial effort from Marcel Hug. Hug pushed out to lead from the start and never had competition up front. He shattered his own course record by nearly three minutes, winning his fourth Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 1:22:37.

“It’s unbelievable. I was feeling great this morning.” said Hug, who is undefeated through four races in 2023. “I tried to break the record, but to break it by so much is crazy.”

Three-time Chicago champion Daniel Romanchuk (USA) was second in 1:31:34. Jetze Plat (NED) was third in 1:31:40.

The women’s wheelchair competition was a battle from start to finish between Susannah Scaroni (USA) and world record holder Catherine Debrunner. The two traded the lead throughout the race with Debrunner taking over for the last time in the final mile. After the turn onto Columbus Drive, Debrunner was able to pull slightly ahead, winning in a new course record of 1:38:44, two seconds ahead of Scaroni. 

“It was an amazing race,” said Debrunner, who was competing in the United States for the first time. “I had a really great race together with Susannah Scaroni. She attacked really hard at the last hill, but I could fight and I made it. I am really proud of both of us.”

Nine-time Chicago champion Tatyana McFadden, who previously held the course record, finished third in 1:41:17.

Under ideal conditions for fall in the Midwest, more than 48,500* finished the 45th running of the Bank of Chicago Marathon, the most in race history. That includes the event’s millionth finisher, Allison Naval of Evanston, Ill.

Jake Caswell of New York, NY was the first non-binary participant to cross the finish line with a time of 2:38:05. 

The 46th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon will take place on October 13, 2024. Applications for the event open on October 17.

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