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10 Greatest Marathon Moments of 2023: #1 Kiptum edges closer to breaking two hours.

1: Kiptum edges closer to breaking two hours.

There is nowhere else we could have finished. October 8 is a day that will live long in the memory. A day when a new star was born.

Apparently, Chicago was always the plan. After his performance in London, coming so close to breaking the world record on a course that wasn’t famed for the quickest of times, Kelvin Kiptum set his sights on doing something extraordinary in the Windy City.

Kiptum strides towards glory at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

It was last century when the world record was previously broken in Chicago, when Khalid Khannouchi stormed to victory back in 1999.

Since then, we have seen Berlin place a stranglehold on the title, with the record falling on eight separate occasions since the dawn of the new millennium.

It’s been a goal of the Chicago team for many years to see the record return to Chicago. When we interviewed Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director, earlier in the year, he said of the course: “Is it built for athletes to go fast? Yes. Is that part of the mindset we have? Yes.”

The stage was set for Kiptum to stake his claim to greatness.

The 45th running of the event took place in near-perfect conditions as Kiptum set off on what was remarkably just his thirdrd time over the distance.

He quickly set the pace with compatriot Daniel Mateiko. By the time they reached the halfway point, in a time of 1:00:48, we had an inkling that something special was about to happen, but the next 21.1km proved to be more than anyone looking on could have hoped for.

Around mile 19, as the course headed south down Loomis St., Kiptum turned on the afterburners, clocking a split time of 4:21 for that mile, with just seven miles left to go.

It proved too much for Mateiko and, by this point, it was a matter of by how much Kiptum would win.

Another blazing split at 22, an incredible three seconds faster than his mile 19 time, meant that as we approached the final mile, the world record was in sight, and you got the sense that Kiptum knew it too!

As he turned from East Roosevelt Road onto Columbus Drive, the soon-to-be-crowned king saluted the grandstands, waving to the crowd as they cheered him on to victory. When he crossed the line, he was immediately embraced by Pinkowski, and his performance, in a city that has had its fair share of great sporting moments, was lauded as one of the greatest Chicago had ever seen.

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