, CHICAGO, Oct 12 – Eliud Kipchoge and Rita Jeptoo won Chicago Marathon titles on Sunday, completing only the fourth Kenyan double title sweep at the event but the second in as many years.
Kipchoge, a two time Olympic 5,000m medalist competing for only his fourth time at the 26.2 mile distance, won in two hours, four minutes and 11 seconds to defeat his countryman Sammy Kitwara by 17 seconds.
Dickson Chumba was third in 2:04:32, completing the eighth Kenyan podium sweep in the past 14 events and second in a row.
Jeptoo, 33, defended her title in 2:24:35 and collected her fourth marathon triumph in a row since settling for second at Chicago in 2012 behind Atsede Baysa, having swept the Boston and Chicago crowns this year and last.
“I’m the queen of Chicago,” Jeptoo said.
Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba, a 2012 Olympian and the third place finisher in Boston, was second, more than a minute off the pace, with Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat third in 2:25:57.
Windy conditions greeted runners from more than 100 nations in the 37th edition of the event.
Kipchoge, 29, took $155,000 in prize money and bragging rights over long time Ethiopian track rival Kenenisa Bekele, the three time Olympic champion and 5,000 and 10,000 world record holder who finished fifth in 2:05:51 in only his second marathon start.
Kipchoge, who took 5,000 meter silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and bronze four years earlier at Athens and captured a 2003 world title at the distance, won his marathon debut last year at Hamburg.
The Kenyan podium trio pulled away from the lead pack after 20 miles and Kipchoge left his countrymen behind in the penultimate mile.
Kipchoge was six seconds off his personal best, set last year at Berlin, but had the third-fastest winning time in race history.
Kipchoge finished 26 seconds off the course record set last year by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, who did not try to defend his crown but instead won last month’s Berlin Marathon in a world record time of 2:02:57.
Kenya’s Bernard Koech, runner up to Kipchoge in Rotterdam this year, was fifth in 2:08:30.
Jeptoo, coming off a course record run of 2:18:57 in Boston, was well off her 2013 Chicago winning time of 2:19:57.
American Amy Hastings surged ahead early in quest of the first Chicago triumph by a US woman since 2005, but by mile eight she was caught by the pack and settled for a fifth place finish in 2:27:03.
Kiplagat, the world half marathon record holder, and Dibaba battled Jeptoo into the 23rd mile before the defending champion began pulling away.
American Joshua George won his fourth men’s wheelchair title in 1:32:12 while Russian born American Tatyana McFadden won her fifth women’s wheelchair crown, and fourth in a row, in 1:44:50.