Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich defended her Chicago Marathon title in a dominant display on Sunday, breaking the tape in two hours 14 minutes and 18 seconds, as her compatriot Benson Kipruto cruised to victory in the men’s race in 2:04:24.
Chepngetich built up an early lead and had established an astonishing three minutes 42 seconds advantage over the chasing pack by the halfway point.
Charging to the line with no one else was in sight, the 2019 world champion was in a race against the clock as she tried to break the world record but came up 14 seconds short of compatriot Brigid Kosgei’s mark, set on the same flat course three years ago.
“I wanted to break the world record... but I’m happy,” Chepngetich said. “Next year I’m ready to come back again.”
American Emily Sisson finished second in 2:18:29 and Kenyan Vivian Jerono Kiplagat third.
On the men’s side, Kipruto joined a large leading pack from the start and had grabbed the outright lead with an 11-second margin over last year’s champion Seifu Tura Abdiwak of Ethiopia by the 40-kilometre mark in one of his trademark late surges.
The 2021 Boston Marathon winner hardly looked fatigued as he broke the tape in sunny conditions, seven years after his older brother Dickson Chumba won the race, with Tura Abdiwak finishing second in 2:04:49 and Kenyan John Korir taking third.
“I’m so happy,” said Kipruto. “I’m here to take up from where (Chumba) left.”
Paralympic champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men’s wheelchair race in a blistering 1:25:20, building on a stellar 2022 that also brought him wins in Tokyo, Berlin and London.
American Susannah Scaroni stunned last year’s champion Tatyana McFadden on the women’s side in 1:45:48 for her first major marathon title.