KIPTUM SHATTERS 2:01 BARRIER AT CHICAGO MARATHON
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2023Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved – Used with permission.
CHICAGO (08-Oct) — The possibility of a sub-two hour marathon achieved under standard race conditions came one step closer today when Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum smoked the famously flat course of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon here this morning in a pending World Athletics record of 2:00:35. Kiptum, just 23 and running in only his third marathon, cut 34 seconds off of compatriot Eliud Kipchoge’s ratified world record of 2:01:09 set in Berlin in 2022.
“The record has sat in Berlin for a long time,” said executive race director Carey Pinkowski, who last saw a world record at his race in 1999 when Khalid Khannouchi ran 2:05:42. “It was time to bring it back to Chicago.”
Remarkably, Kiptum’s mark was just one of four course records set here today. In the women’s contest two-time Olympic gold medalist Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands –who had only six weeks to prepare for today’s race after competing in three events in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest– ran away from defending champion Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya in the second half to win in 2:13:44, the second fastest time in history. Moreover, wheelchair champions Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner of Switzerland, both set course records of 1:22:37 and 1:38:44, respectively. All four race champions earned $50,000 course record bonuses in addition to their prize money.
KIPTUM IN A RUNAWAY
Kiptum, who won last April’s TCS London Marathon in 2:01:25, didn’t come to Chicago looking for a world record. Instead, he had his eyes on Dennis Kimetto’s course record of 2:03:45 set ten years ago. He said that he had prepared well despite missing some training at the beginning of his build-up due to a groin injury.
“I think I have trained good,” Kiptum told reporters on Friday. “It was a little bit less [mileage] but I’m fit for the race.”
At the 5-K mark Kiptum was part of a lead pack of seven (plus four pacemakers) who ran 14:26, just a little bit faster than 2:02 pace. Benson Kipruto, the race’s 2022 champion, was in the pack as well as another Kenyan, Daniel Mateiko, who was making his half-marathon debut.
“I feel quite controlled,” said Kiptum as he reflected on the early pace.
But by the 10 km point (28:42), that pack had been shattered. Only Kiptum and Mateiko were in the lead now. Their gap to the chase group was 30 seconds and would only…