How Did The American Women Run At The 2014 Chicago Marathon?

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By LetsRun.com
October 12, 2014

Like the American men, the American women at the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon were not expected to be a factor in the fight for first. Rita Jeptoo came in as the defending champion with a 2:18:57 PR and was expected to be challenged by half-marathon WR holder Florence Kiplagat as well as sub-2:20 woman Mare Dibaba and Birhane Dibaba (2:22:30 PB). Amy Hastings was the top American seed with a 2:27:03 PR from 2011. In the end, the race went to Jeptoo as expected (2:24:35) with Hastings finishing 5th, tying her PR in 2:27:03. However, even though Hastings finished 2:28 behind, she was a much bigger factor than expected.

Behind Hastings, the top American from Chicago last year, Clara Santucci, was 6th place in 2:32:21 and Sarah Crouch, Melissa White, and Lauren Jimison all finished in the top 10.

The US had 5 in the top 10, and 20 in the top 25, as 21 USA women ran sub-2:43 to pick up a $2,500 bonus.

We briefly analyze the performances of the top 10 below, plus Lisa Uhl and the LRC Marathon Roundtable runners.

Amy Hastings Pleased Afterwards

Amy Hastings Pleased Afterwards

Amy Hastings – 5th place – 2:27:03
Hastings tied her pr in a tough, well-run race. She put herself in contention for a top placing as she led the women’s race until after 10K as she went through 10km in 34:22, nine seconds ahead of the pack of African women. When they caught her, she stayed right with them for a while before falling about 10 seconds back by the half and working her way back up and regaining contact at 30K. She was dropped again before 35K, but managed to hold on enough to tie her PR and become the first American to finish top-5 in Chicago since Desiree Linden in 2010.

Afterwards, Hastings was happy with her race although she wished she could have got her PR. However, she wasn’t down about it, saying “You can’t be bummed when you give it everything and I did.”

Clara Santucci – 6th place – 2:32:21
Santucci had the weird distinction of being over 5 minutes behind Hastings but only one spot back. Santucci has a wind-aided 2:29 to her name and ran 2:31:39 last year at Chicago, so the time here was short of her best, but she did place higher. She has shown she is consistently in the 2:31-2:32 range, although this performance was much less impressive than her 2:32:25 win in Pittsburgh earlier this year.

Sarah Crouch – 7th place – 2:32:44
The ZAP Fitness athlete had a huge PB, dropping from 2:44:25 to 2:32:44 and got the biggest improvement in PB today. But running 2:32 was not totally unexpected as she ran fairly even splits – 1:15:41 at halfway. With her run today, Sarah goes from being an unknown to one of the U.S. women hoping to get under the 2:30 barrier and in the talk for an Olympic team birth. She told Flotrack,  “I fell in love with the marathon today, I think that is my future.”

Melissa White – 9th – 2:34:19
Chicago has been good to Melissa, who ran her two best times here and her PB of 2:32:37 last year. She wasn’t as quick this year, but a sub-2:43 is worth $2,500 for American women and she cracked the top 10 for the third time.

Lauren Jimison – 10th- 2:34:38
Lauren lowered her PB from her debut at Grandma’s in 2:35:17.

Lisa Uhl – 18th – 2:40:51
Being a 2012 Olympian, Uhl got a lot of attention for her debut, despite saying she was shooting for a modest 2:37 as she tries to resurrect her career. She came up a little short as she went out on pace, 1:18:31, but faded the second half.

Uhl is a long way from being the 14:55 5k runner who ran 31:12 to place 13th in the Olympic 10,000m.

How did the LRC Marathon Video Roundtable Women Do?
Sarah Cummings – 11th – 2:34:47 PB Previous best 2:34:57. Just missed the top 10. Not bad for someone who works 12 hours a day.

Lindsey Scherf – 12th – 2:37:26 PB In our USA women’s roundtable video article we said this was her debut but it wasn’t. Way back in 2007 while in college at Harvard, Lindsey ran a 2:41:22 at the Gold Coast Marathon. She refused a drug test afterwards because she was on asthma medication and as a result had to serve a one-year drug ban. Scherf’s goal here was a sub-2:28 with a negative split. She went out as she wanted in 1:14:34 and was the second-fastest American at halfway. She faded badly but still got a PR.

Wendy Thomas 13th – 2:37:38 Thomas came up well short of her PB of 2:32:49 as she tries to turn things around under new coach Lee Troop.

Whitney Bevins-Lazarra – 16th – 2:40:12 PB Previous best 2:41:19, goal 2:37.

Heidi Greenwood – 22nd – 2:42:22  PB: 2:42:08; Goal: Sub-2:40.

Pos.Name (CTZ)City, StateBIBDivisionAgeOverall PaceDiffTime
1Jeptoo, Rita (KEN)10130-343305:31+00:0002:24:35
2Dibaba, Mare (ETH)10320-242405:34+01:0202:25:37
3Kiplagat, Florence (KEN)10225-292705:34+01:2202:25:57
4Dibaba, Birhane (ETH)10620-242105:37+02:2702:27:02
5Hastings, Amy (USA)10730-343005:37+02:2802:27:03
6Santucci, Clara (USA)10825-292705:49+07:4602:32:21
7Crouch, Sarah (USA)South Lake Tahoe, CA11625-292505:50+08:0902:32:44
8Burka, Gelete (ETH)12725-292805:53+09:4202:34:17
9White, Melissa (USA)11130-343305:54+09:4402:34:19
10Jimison, Lauren (USA)11420-242405:54+10:0302:34:38
11Cummings, Sarah (USA)New York, NY12025-292505:55+10:1202:34:47
12Scherf, Lindsey (USA)11025-292806:01+12:5102:37:26
13Thomas, Wendy (USA)11235-393506:01+13:0302:37:38
14Portis, Laura (USA)Kalamazoo, MI11525-292706:02+13:3102:38:06
15Maxson, Allison (USA)Folsom, CA49425-292806:05+14:4102:39:16
16Bevins-Lazzara, Whitney (USA)12330-343306:07+15:3702:40:12
17Vongvorachoti, Jane (USA)New York, NY40730-343006:08+16:0502:40:40
18Uhl, Lisa (USA)10925-292706:09+16:1602:40:51
19Duke, Andrea (USA)Schertz, TX16135-393506:09+16:3002:41:05
20Crowley, Loring (USA)Winston Salem, NC41130-343106:10+17:0402:41:39
21Blackham, Merrilee (USA)Ogden, UT45735-393606:11+17:2402:41:59
22Greenwood, Heidi (USA)Cleveland Heights, OH12125-292906:12+17:4702:42:22
23Heckert, Kristen (USA)Bolingbrook, IL19025-292706:12+17:5702:42:32
24Composti, Jeanna (USA)New York, NY18630-343306:12+17:5902:42:34
25Phillips, Caitlin (USA)New York, NY17030-343206:13+18:1002:42:45
26Stephan, Faith (USA)Larkspur, CO18225-292806:13+18:1902:42:54
27Varanka, Alexandra (USA)Amherst, NH16625-292906:14+18:4402:43:19
28Lee, Rosy (USA)Mountain Green, UT39835-393806:14+18:4502:43:20
29Calle, Maria Elena (ECU)Glen Allen, VA19935-393906:14+18:5102:43:26
30Tessier, Lyndsay (CAN)Toronto, ON45335-393606:19+21:0402:45:39