Monday, October 13, 2014

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Rita Jeptoo win the 2014 Chicago Men's and Women's Marathon, respectively

Eliud Kipchoge and Rita Jeptoo - Kenyan Double in The Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2014

Next Issue - Ashley Liew's Interview on his success in doing a personal best time in the Chicago Marathon 2014

By Rameshon
Photo : By Samuel Tan

Kenensia Bekele (front, centre) , winner of Paris Marathon 2014, leading the pack at the 8th mile in Chicago Marathon 2014

2014 Paris Marathon winner Ethiopian Kenensia Bekele, was fourth in 2:05:51 in his second marathon in The Bank of America Chicago Marathon race while Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, a two-time Olympic 5000m medalist, won the men's marathon by clocking 2 hours, 4 minutes, 11 seconds for the course. Experience of running marathons must have given Kipchoge the advantage of winning Bekele in the race.

Kenensia Bekele (front, centre) , winner of Paris Marathon 2014, leading the pack at the 8th mile in Chicago Marathon 2014 (another angle shot by Samuel Tan)

Kipchoge missed the course record by 26 sec, set by non other than the current world record holder by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, who set the time in 2014 Berlin Marathon two weeks ago. It was a 1-2-3 finish for his fellow countrymen Kipchoge as Sammy Kitwara and Dickson Chumba as they did 2hr 04min 28sec and 2hr 04min 32sec to win second and third, respectively. Kipchoge pulled away over the last two miles for his first major marathon victory, finishing strongly in the race.

In the womens race, Kenyan Rita Jeptoo, won her second straight Chicago Marathon in an unofficial 2:24:35. She has won the  2006, 2013 and 2014 Boston Marathon titles, in the past. Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia (2:25:37) was second and Florence Kiplagat of Kenya (2:25:57) was third.

The temperature was great today, between 9 to 13 degrees centigrade, as I myself ran during the race. The climate did not change except for some parts of the race where it was a little windy. I experienced the weather becoming slightly warmer at times. It was fluctuating slightly up and down for some parts of the run. However, the fluctuation was not too great. I call it a perfect weather. 

In the past, some of ours Flexifitness runners have run here and have seen extreme weather betwwen 0 and 4 degrees centigrade. We were blessed to run the weather yesterday. The crowd was great. I will share this experience in another blog about this race in detail, as I like the race a lot. I like the Chicago people as well. They are very friendly people as well.

The men's race was competitive and fast times were seen. However, the winning time for the men open and women open was slightly slower as compared to many Major marathons.

Samuel Tan taking photos of the marathon while his wife Suren Wong (Ashley's cousin) supporting us in the Chicago marathon. So sweet of them to support

Ashley Liew, one of our national top marathon (Singapore), and I were happy as we had only two targets. I told Ashley that I came to Chicago to ensure that he gets his personal best time. He was very confident of 2hr 30min. However, we felt getting a personal best time was more imperative than anything. Ashley was running a 1hr 14min 43sec. It was at the 23km mark that he started incurring a blister. It was getting worse and he had to slow down. Fortunately, he gave off his best to do what he can to get at least a personal best. He finally got it  - the 2hr 35min 39sec time.

Ashley Liew - a photograph shot of running with the elite pack

As for me, the race was like a training run for me for my future marathon. It was more of conditioning to run in the future races. At the same time, I knew that it will be hard to see Ashley's race in series. As such, I told myself to run in the race itself. I was very happy with my 1hr 37min 46sec half-way time on my way to the finish of the marathon. I ran all the way and did not stop, although I was slowing down a lot. The only thing that I was looking for was to complete the marathon safely in the race, without any problem. Nothing happened but it was race of joy. Nobody blocked me during the race and the race was a perfect race, throughout.I finally, using this as a conditioning race did 3hr 30min 33sec. This marathon has given me the confidence to to a sub- 3hrs for my next marathon.

Ashley Liew - running with good technique

Ashley and I were just lucky that everything turned out well. The race organisation was one of the best of the world, if not the best! A salute to Chicago Marathon organisers!