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Mosop sets Record while Shobukhova Three-peats

Moses Mosop sets Chicago record

Moses Mosop sets Chicago record

The 34th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon today witnessed historic performances by men’s champion Moses Mosop of Kenya and women’s champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia as 35,628 participants crossed the finish line in sunny Grant Park, the second largest field in event history.

“Moses and Liliya set the pace for a special day at the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon,” said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director. “Race day is the pay off for months of hard work for all the participants, as well as planning and coordination between the event, the city and our sponsors, and I am proud to congratulate everyone on a wonderful day of marathon running in Chicago.”

With a start time temperature of 64 degrees and low humidity, the men’s elite field set off a course record pace. When the lead pack of 12 runners reached the halfway point in 1:02:54, the two-year-old course record of 2:05:41 was in jeopardy. Shortly after 14 miles, America’s Ryan Hall fell behind the lead group, and at 30K, Kenya’s Wesley Korir bid for the race title with a bold surge, but he was reeled in by Mosop with 7K to go. Speeding down the final straightaway on Columbus Drive, Mosop savored the opportunity to wave to the finish line crowd before breaking the tape in 2:05:37, improving the course record by four seconds. Korir finished second in 2:06:15 and Kenya’s Bernard Kipyego was third in 2:06:29, both personal bests.

After reaching 13.1 miles in 1:09:25 with Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi and Ethiopia’s Ejegayehu Dibaba in tow, Shobukhova found herself in familiar territory—leading the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Running her second half faster than her first, Shobukhova reached the finish line in 2:18:20 to become the first athlete in Chicago Marathon history to win three consecutive titles. Her time is a new Russian record, the second fastest women’s time in event history, and the fourth fastest women’s time ever run. Ejegayehu was runner-up in her debut marathon in 2:22:09 and Fukushi was third in 2:24:38.

Prior to the race, Shobukhova had already secured her second consecutive World Marathon Majors series title, yet her Chicago victory put an exclamation point on her claim to the $500,000 grand prize. Mosop’s first Major victory moved him into a tie for fourth on the 2010-11 leaderboard with 40 points.

In the wheelchair race, two prior champions returned to the winner’s circle. On the men’s side, Australia’s Kurt Fearnley bested defending champion Heinz Frei of Switzerland, 1:29:18 to 1:29:23. It was Fearnley’s fourth Bank of America Chicago Marathon title in the past five years. In the women’s race, Tatyana McFadden of Champaign, IL, the 2009 champion, distanced herself from the lead group after 10 miles to win by more than two minutes in 1:45:03. With her victory, McFadden secured her spot on Team USA for next summer’s 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Australia’s Christie Dawes finished second in 1:47:04.

The third annual Nike Northside/Southside Challenge featured the area’s top high school cross country athletes competing over the final 2.62 miles of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course. In the boys’ race, Mark Derrick of Neuqua Valley High School was the first across the finish line in 12:38. In the girls’ race, Veronica Rozynek of Whitney Young High School won in 15:46. In the team challenge, the boys’ Southside team and the girls’ Northside squad won bragging rights over their cross-town rivals.

New this year, the Let’s Run Together Charity Relay, featuring 13 selected runners and celebrity team captains Hope Solo, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan of the women’s U.S. soccer team, completed the 26.2-mile distance, each running approximately two miles a piece. Bank of America contributed $5,000 to each of the members’ charity of choice. Additionally, Air Force Captain William Boland won the first-ever Bank of America Chicago Marathon satellite race in Kabul, Afghanistan. Captain Boland will be invited to participate in the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon as an elite athlete, and Army Captain John Zimmerman, the driving force and director of the satellite race will be welcomed as a VIP guest.

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