Wanjiru is from Kenya. During the 2009 race he set a new course record. In fact he set the fastest record for a man on U.S. soil by running the race in 2:05:41. Wanjiru is also an Olympic gold medalist. In today’s race he finished in 2:05:25.
The finish was decidedly dramatic for a marathon. Normally the winners of the marathon pull away from the huge pack of runners and set a very lonesome pace. This year Wanjiru put on a huge effort and sprinted across the finish line, waving at the cheering crowds and holding his arms up in victory. He managed to edge out Ethiopian runner Tsegay Kebede. Kebede had just won the London Marathon. It was one of the most competitive fields in the men’s race for some time for the Chicago Marathon.
The two runners have been in a fierce competition with each other during the marathon season. They were tied at 50 point a piece heading into the Chicago Marathon. Now, with the dramatic win, Wanjiru has the lead in the World Marathon Majors.
Another repeat winner also won for the women’s side. Liliya Shobukhova crossed the finish line first for the women’s side. She also won in 2009.
The marathon also has racers who do so in wheelchairs. Running for the first time in this marathon in the wheelchair race was Heinz Frei from Switzerland. He is 51-years-old and he crossed the line first for the win. He set a course record of 1:26:56.
Amanda McGory won the wheelchair race for the women. She had a time of 1:47:25.