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Americans impressive in Chicago Marathon elite races, McFadden takes seventh consecutive wheelchair marathon title

10/12/2014
 

CHICAGO -- The 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon provided plenty of excitement, as five American women finished in the top 10 and eight U.S. men crossed in the top 20. Sunday also saw 11-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden continue her marathon dominance, earning her fourth straight Chicago Marathon crown.


The American women were led by Amy Hastings (Providence, Rhode Island), who finished fifth in 2:27:03. Hastings matched her marathon personal best, a feat made only more impressive by the fact she led the women’s race for much of the early-going and joined the lead pack again in the latter stages of the marathon.


“I was feeling really good for the first bit and the crowd got me going,” Hastings said. “I had a pacer, Joe Moore, who was kind of my governing chip at the beginning. I was hurting so bad at the end, so if I had gone any faster at the beginning, I would’ve been done. I was looking at the clock to see how fast I had to run to PR and I really pushed that last bit to try to get under but didn’t quite get there.”


Hastings stayed with the lead pack for the first couple miles before breaking away three miles into the race. Six miles into the course, Hastings furthered her advantage, pushing the gap to 15 seconds between her and the chase pack. At eight miles in, the pack caught back up to Hastings but she hung with them for the next four miles until falling 10 seconds back at mile 12.


Hastings wavered between 10-20 seconds behind the lead pack until mile 19, where she surged back to the leaders. Running with the pack was short-lived, however, and Hastings fell back to sixth. One final surge put Hastings ahead of Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka in fifth and she’d hold that position to the end, matching her PR in 2:27:03.


Hastings was joined in the top 10 by Clara Santucci (6th - 2:32:21), Sarah Crouch (7th - 2:32:44), Melissa White (9th - 2:34:19) and Lauren Jimison (10th - 2:34:38). The elite women’s marathon winner was reigning champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya in 2:24:35.


On the men’s side, Bobby Curtis (Rochester, Michigan) was the top American man, turning in a new personal best of 2:11:20. Curtis was pushed through much of the race by fellow American Matt Llano (Flagstaff, Arizona) through 17 miles. Curtis stayed behind the lead pack through the entirety of the race but Llano was unable to keep up with Curtis through the final 15K.


“We had a pacer take us through 1:05:30 and we were zig-zagging a bit under-5 (mile pace) and over-5 (mile pace), but when I got to halfway, I knew I was in good condition. I had a bit of a crisis at mile 22, where I took on some fluids and got a cramp, but I battled. I slowed down a bit but for a marathon, (my time) wasn’t too bad.”


Curtis finished ninth overall in 2:11:20, besting his previous marathon PR by over two minutes (2:13:24 - Fukuoka, Japan). The next-highest American man was Curtis’ teammate Jake Riley (Bellingham, Washington), who finished 11th in 2:13:16 in his marathon debut. Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge won the elite men’s race in 2:04:11.


U.S. Paralympians Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland) and Josh George (Herndon, Virginia) won the women’s and men’s wheelchair titles. McFadden took home her seventh consecutive World Marathon Major and fifth overall Chicago Marathon crown in 1:44:50, while George won a highly-contest men’s race in 1:32:12.


“There’s no pressure,” McFadden said. “I know this is my seventh consecutive win and I’m halfway for possibly another grand slam but I’ve had such an incredible year and I think for most of us, as an elite athlete, we’re just here to push our sport. I just want to see how many marathons I can run in a year. I’m always thinking of how to get faster and stronger; hope for the best and give 100%...I’ve had such a great year.”


Both athletes look to the New York Marathon on November 2 to conclude their 2014 seasons. McFadden and George both train at the U.S. Paralympic Training site at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Top 30 American Men

Pos.

Name

Time

9

Curtis, Bobby

2:11:20

11

Riley, Jake

2:13:16

12

Proctor, Gabe

2:13:45

13

Landry, Christo

2:14:30

14

Young, Tim

2:14:40

15

Morgan, Mike

2:14:42

19

Leon, Craig

2:16:00

20

Trujillo, Carlos

2:16:49

22

Witt, Jason

2:17:31

23

Dewitt, John

2:17:38

24

Llano, Matthew

2:17:43

25

Rizzo, Patrick

2:18:04

26

Davis, Jesse

2:18:13

27

Humphrey, Luke

2:18:19

28

Gregg, Brendan

2:18:30

29

Christiansen, Jed

2:18:55


Top 30 American Women

Pos.

Name

Time

5

Hastings, Amy

2:27:03

6

Santucci, Clara

2:32:21

7

Crouch, Sarah

2:32:44

9

White, Melissa

2:34:19

10

Jimison, Lauren

2:34:38

11

Cummings, Sarah

2:34:47

12

Scherf, Lindsey

2:37:26

13

Thomas, Wendy

2:37:38

14

Portis, Laura

2:38:06

15

Maxson, Allison

2:39:16

16

Bevins-Lazzara, Whitney

2:40:12

17

Vongvorachoti, Jane

2:40:40

18

Uhl, Lisa

2:40:51

19

Duke, Andrea

2:41:05

20

Crowley, Loring

2:41:39

21

Blackham, Merrilee

2:41:59

22

Greenwood, Heidi

2:42:22

23

Composti, Jeanna

2:42:34

24

Phillips, Caitlin

2:42:45

25

Stephan, Faith

2:42:54

26

Varanka, Alexandra

2:43:19

27

Lee, Rosy

2:43:20




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