Galen Rupp Wins Chicago Marathon, First American Champion In 15 Years
Galen Rupp became the first American to win the Chicago Marathon in 15 years with his 2:09:20 victory on Sunday afternoon. Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba won the women's race in 2:18:31.
Before Sunday, Khalid Khannouchi was the last American winner when he crossed the finish line first in 2002. Khannouchi was born in Morocco so Rupp is the first U.S. born winner since 1982.
Last year's champion Abel Kirui of Kenya finished second. The crushing blow by Rupp was a 2:47 surge in the 38th kilometer to break the race open and leave Kirui behind.
"I hadn't really planned out when I was going to go but I definitely wanted to wait until 20 to 22 miles," Rupp said after the race. "The longer the better. I made the mistake in the past of going out a little too hard too soon and you still have a long ways to go for several miles. I really wanted to wait. I kind of felt a little gap pulling away and at that point you just got to put the hammer down and drive to the finish. That was my plan."
Rupp is a three-time U.S. Olympian. Sunday marked his fourth career marathon. He won his debut at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials before winning a bronze medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He finished second in April's Boston Marathon. His win on Sunday is the first by an American man at the World Marathon Majors since Meb Keflezighi won the 2014 Boston Marathon.
World record holder Dennis Kimetto was also in the race but dropped out due injury.
Before the race, Dibaba told reporters that her plan was to break Paula Radcliffe's 2:17:18 course record from 2002. She went out with an aggressive pace and was all alone by the 30-kilometer mark. She missed the course record but clocked her second-fastest time ever.
One of the biggest breakthroughs in the race was 26-year-old Jordan Hasay, who ran 2:20:57 to become the second-fastest American woman of all-time. This was her second career marathon. She broke 1984 Olympic medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson's Chicago course record for an American. Only Deena Kastor's 2:19:36 at the 2006 London Marathon is the fastest marathon by an American woman.
Check out the top five fastest marathons by American women below:
1. Deena Kastor – 2:19:36, 2006 London Marathon
2. Jordan Hasay – 2:20:57, 2017 Chicago Marathon
3. Shalane Flanagan – 2:21:14, 2014 Berlin Marathon
4. Joan Benoit Samuelson – 2:21:21, 1985 Chicago Marathon
5. Desi Linden – 2:22:38, 2011 Boston Marathon
The World Marathon Majors continue on November 5 with the New York City Marathon.