By Larry Eder
Galen Rupp wanted to be "invisible" in the race until after 22 miles. "And in the last four miles, you know, anything can happen."
And it did.
Between 35 kilometers and 40 kilometers, Galen Rupp took the field apart. The early pace was modest, as the field hit the half marathon in 1:06:11. The men just spent too much time watching each other and not enough trying to break the key players. Galen Rupp purposely did not lead early in the race. His attitude was as if this were a championship event, and for Galen Rupp, winning a World Marathon Major event was, and is a championship event.
Lots can go wrong over 26.2 miles. If one prepares with precision, then, one cuts down the number of things that can go wrong. Galen Rupp told us about a 25 mile run where he ran the first 20 at good pace and the final five at 4:30 per mile pace. "That gave me great confidence," noted Galen Rupp in the post race conference.
The 35th kilometer was run in 2:50, and the field of ten dropped to four, with Rupp, Lemma, Sambu and Kirui. Then, the race got intense. It was beautiful to watch.
As Abel Kirui, two time World champion, defending Chicago Champ, tried to control the race, Galen Rupp felt his opportunity. A 4:31 mile was followed by a 4:30 mile, which had been preceeded by a 4:36 mile. That 5k of 14:25 was the fastest in history on the course.
Galen Rupp ran his fastest kilometer, between 40-41 kilometers, with a blistering 2:38, and he ran to his first marathon win!
Galen Rupp was the first American male to win the Chicago Marathon since 2002! He has also won his first World Marathon Major in a exciting finish!
Now, it's off to the Field Museum for the Rupp family to check out some dinosaur bones.