Rita Jeptoo Wins 2013 Chicago Marathon, Sets World-Leading 2:19:57 Time By Running A Big Negative Split

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by LetsRun.com
October 13, 2013

Last year, Rita Jeptoo suffered heartbreak in Chicago as she lost in a sprint finish by just one second. This year, Jeptoo was pumping her first on the way home as she was flying to victory.

The early celebration on the course turned into an even bigger one just after she crossed the finish line, as Jeptoo’s winning time of 2:19:57 was the first sub-2:20 worldwide in 2013. The victory today was Jeptoo’s second on the year at a major, as she also won Boston in April.

Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong Jelegat, the 2013 Rotterdam champion, lowered her personal best from 2:23:27 to 2:20:48 for second.

Jeptoo broke 2:20 by running a huge negative split, as she went 1:11:15 for the first half and 1:08:42 for the second half.

RIta Jeptoo was deservedly very excited after this one

RIta Jeptoo was deservedly very excited after this one.

Two Americans finished in the top 10 as Clara Santucci ran 2:31:29 for ninth. Stephanie Pezzullo knocked five seconds off her personal best by running 2:32:37 to equal her 10th place showing from 2012. Melissa White had an 18-second PR over her 2009 Chicago showing to place 10th in 2:32.37 today. (correction: Stephanie Pezzullo was 12th).

“It’s the marathon so you never know what’s going to happen,” said Santucci to David Monti after the race. “Halfway, I was right on target to break 2:30 (but) I made my goal to be the first American.”

The Race

The race saw eight women go through the half in 71:15 (10 were at 71:30 or faster). Considering only two women had come into the race with a personal best under 2:23 (Jeptoo and defending champion Atsede Baysa), many of the women were already under pressure. The pace was about to get much faster.

The first four 5k splits were all run between 16:50 and 16:59, as the leaders had gone 16:59, 16:52, 16:53, 16:50. From 20 to 25k, the leaders ran a 16:45 and only five were left in the lead pack, with one of them being last year’s champion Atsede Baysa, who would end up fifth (2:26:42).

After a sixth 5k of 16:33, the race was down to the eventual top two. Jeptoo was just getting going.  Jeptoo ran a 16:07 seventh 5k and Sumgong Jelegat hung in there but she finally succumbed to Jeptoo’s relentless pressure before 40k, as Jeptoo ran a 15:58 eighth 5k. She’d keep that sub-16 5k pace all the way to the finish even though she was pumping her first on the way home as her final 2.194988k was run in 7:00 (15:56.7 5k pace).

After crossing the finish line, Jeptoo had more left, as she proceeded to have a great post-race celebration which was much deserved.


Quick Take (QT) #1: Jeptoo was sensational from 30k on.

Jeptoo with men's winner Dennis Kimetto

Jeptoo with men’s winner Dennis Kimetto.

From 30k to the finish, Jeptoo took 39:05 to run the final 12.194988 kms. That’s very fast. It’s 5:09.5 mile pace.

What does that mean? Well, it’s Paula Radcliffe territory. She ran the final 12.19k at 2:15:13 marathon pace. Very good and shows how absurd Paula Radcliffe’s 2:15:25 world record is.

That’s really good. Believe it or not, it’s actually faster than Americans Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Tegenkamp ran from 30k to the finish in the men’s race and Ritz was 5th in the men’s race!

Final 12.19km At 2013 Chicago Marathon
Rita Jeptoo: 39:05
Ritz: 39:28
Teg: 39:51

QT #2: Coaching does matter.

With a second in Chicago last year, first in Boston this year and first in Chicago, there is no doubt that Rita Jeptoo is in the form of her life at age 32.

Prior to last year’s Chicago’s race, she’d run 14 career marathons and none had been faster than 2:23:38 she ran to win Boston in 2006. Since then she’s run 2:22:04 in Chicago, won in Boston (2:26:25) and now run 2:19.57. She credits the increased form to her new coach. As she told Phil Hersh before the race, “The secret? Maybe it is my new coach (Claudio Berardelli) since before Chicago last year. With him, I am happy to train and confident.”

QT #3: Nice work for Russia’s Maria Konovalova, who was third in 2:22:46.

That’s a lifetime PR for the 39-year-old (previous PR of 2:23:50).

Top 30 results appear below. Men’s race recap here: Dennis Kimetto Wins, Shatters Course Record With 2:03:45 Clocking.

Rita Jeptoo en route to victory

Rita Jeptoo en route to victory.

Top 30 Women’s Results For 2013 Chicago Marathon
Pos. Name (Country) Age Time
1 Jeptoo, Rita (KEN) 32 2:19:57
2 Sumgong Jelegat, Jemima (KEN) 28 2:20:48
3 Konovalova, Maria (RUS) 39 2:22:46
4 Duliba, Aliaksandra(BLR)27 2:23:44
5 Baysa, Atsede (ETH) 26 2:26:42
6 Kiros Reda, Ehitu (ETH) 25 2:27:42
7 Akaba, Yukiko (JPN) 33 2:27:49
8 Afework, Abebech (ETH) 22 2:28:38
9 Santucci, Clara (USA) 26 2:31:39
10 White, Melissa (USA) 32 2:32:37
11 Knowles, Laurie (USA) 35 2:36:29
12 Pezzullo, Stephanie(USA)31 2:38:04
13 Slaby, Gina (USA) 32 2:40:45
14 Trana, Gabriela (CRI) 33 2:41:50
15 Eder, Elizabeth (USA) 26 2:42:37
16 Heenan, Erin (USA) 31 2:42:47
17 Heckert, Kristen (USA) 26 2:44:13
18 Crowley, Loring (USA) 30 2:44:13

Rita Jeptoo post race

Rita Jeptoo post-race.

19 Braswell, Erica (USA) 33 2:45:24
20 Morales, Maria (USA) 34 02:46:04
21 Rice, Amanda (USA) 29 02:46:10
22 Northrup, Julie (USA) 25 02:46:32
23 Robinson, Sarah (USA) 30 02:47:14
24 Hagley, Laura (USA) 29 02:47:15
25 Composti, Jeanna (USA) 32 02:47:26
26 Howe, Mackenzie (USA) 24 02:47:42
27 Moats, Joy (USA) 37 02:48:00
28 Evans, Ashley (USA) 27 02:48:49
29 Eaton, Briana (USA) 19 02:49:00
30 Keating, Paula (CAN) 47 02:49:18

Note: Originally we had the incorrect women’s results up in places 20-30.

Rita Jeptoo wins 2013 Chicago Marathon

Rita Jeptoo wins 2013 Chicago Marathon.


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