Defending champion Galen Rupp missed his goal in the 41st Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
“My goal was to win,” he said. “I ran the best I could today. I will go back and learn from it.”
He was the highest-finishing American and fifth overall in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 21 seconds. That was 14 seconds slower than the personal record he set this year in Prague.
“They were better today,” he said. “All you can do is run as hard as you. It just wasn’t in the cards.”
He ran with the lead pack through 21 miles, then fell off slightly.
“I would have liked to stay up,” he said. “I tried to keep pushing.”
Sarah Crouch was the highest-finishing American woman, in sixth at 02:32:37. Laura Thweatt, who came in with the highest PR among American women, dropped out before halfway.
Switzerland’s Manuela Schär, third last year, won the women’s wheelchair race in 1:41:38, short of the course record of 1:39:15 set last year by American Tatyana McFadden.
“The first half was really fast. It was still dry,” Schär said. “Then it started to get wet again, and I lost a little bit of grip. But I was still able to get away from the group.”
As to whether wind or rain most affected her, she said, “Definitely the rain. It is even worse if it rains after [the race] starts dry. It is hard to put on Klister [a gripping agent]. It was hard the last four miles with no grip. I almost could not manage the last hill.’’
American Dan Romanchuk won the men’s wheelchair race in 1:31:34, well short of the course record of 1:26:56.
“Coming down Michigan toward the end, it got a lot windier than I expected,” he said.
He said the wind and rain made it difficult to figure out how much Klister to apply.
American Gwen Jorgensen, the gold-medalist triathlete who switched to marathon, said her 11th-place finish in 2:36:23 left her “very disappointed.’’
“I had a fever all week, but I have raced before [ailing],” she said.
But she will stick with the marathon.
“I am definitely humbled by it,” she said. “I knew it was going to be a huge challenge. But I felt I like I had mastered the triathlon.”
Dr. George Chiampas, medical director, said about 1,000 runners were treated, with 18 transports to a hospital. That’s lower than typical, probably because of nearly perfect temperatures for running.
“I was expecting more slips and falls, but really there were no issues,” he said. “That is a credit to our runners, listening to best practices.”
Executive race director Carey Pinkowski said, “The roadway was in excellent shape. The city did a nice job of getting it leveled off.”
Record will wait
Joan Benoit Samuelson came to Chicago with the aim of breaking the age-group record for 60-to-64-year-olds of 3:01:30, but she finished in 3:12:13.
Pinkowski pointed out it rained the last time she ran in Chicago, in 1985. She won that year in 2:21:21.
Icing the cake
Jeannie Sullivan, the mother of four from Clarendon Hills featured Friday in the Sun-Times, finished in 50th place among women with a 2:49:48. In the article, she said “sub-2:50 would be icing on the cake.” That cake is iced.
Kevin Hart, who also ran and finished the New York Marathon, raised money for scholarships and finished in 4:13:10 to place 12,163rd among men.