On Sunday, October 8th, the Chicago Marathon witnessed not only a world record but also the smashing of four course records, with several marathoners capitalizing on the favorable course conditions and finding extra motivation to achieve their goals.
Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum stole the spotlight by shattering the men’s world marathon record at the Chicago Marathon, clocking an astonishing 2:00:35. This remarkable feat easily surpassed Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record of 2:01:09. Kiptum’s achievement was undoubtedly the highlight of the day, but he was not the only beneficiary of Chicago’s rapid course.
In the women’s division, Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands clinched victory with a time of 2:13:44, breaking Brigid Kosgei’s course record of 2:14:04. Swiss athletes Marcel Hug and Catherine DeBrunner also etched their names in the record books by setting course records in the wheelchair division.
USA’s Conner Mantz and Clayton Young seized the opportunity to meet Olympic standards with their impressive runs, as Mantz finished in 2:07:47 and Young completed the race in a flat 2:08. Two-time Olympian Desiree Linden added to the record-breaking spree by surpassing Deena Kastor’s masters women’s record with a finish time of 2:27:35.
The near-perfect marathon weather conditions played a significant role in the outstanding performances. With temperatures hovering between nine and ten degrees Celsius, minimal wind, and mostly cloudy skies, the environment was ideal for record-breaking runs.
Chicagoans showed their unwavering support as they lined the course, cheering on the participants and displaying encouraging signs. Additionally, Chicago’s marathon course is renowned for being exceptionally flat, boasting an elevation gain of just 74 meters.
Beyond the favorable terrain, enthusiastic fans, and pleasant weather, Chicago provided an extra incentive for record-setters. Kiptum, Hassan, Hug, and DeBrunner all earned a $50,000 bonus for setting course records.
Before the race, Kiptum had expressed his determination to break the course record, held by Kenyan legend Dennis Kimetto. He remained focused on that objective throughout the race, even as he eventually achieved the world record.
Kiptum’s performance appeared effortless as he gracefully navigated the course, leaving his pacers and closest competitor, Daniel Kibet Kateiko of Kenya, behind after 32 kilometers. Maintaining a steady pace, Kiptum weaved through Chicago’s neighborhoods and accelerated in the final kilometers. Along the way, he efficiently grabbed water and communicated with his coach, seeking updates on his splits.