Kelvin Kiptum sets unofficial world record


Early Sunday morning, Mirayda Rivera began stretching as she mentally prepared to enter Grant Park for the start of the Chicago Marathon. Wearing a hat and earrings adorned with the flag of Puerto Rico to remind her of home, the 52-year-old battled last minute nerves about not being able to finish.

Not only did Rivera travel thousands of miles to compete in her first marathon, she also fought through hip and knee injuries while training.

“My goal is to get to the finish line. I’m going to dedicate every mile to the health of everybody, especially my friends,” Rivera said in Spanish.

Rivera joined about 47,000 runners who traveled to the city to run 26.2 miles in one of the world’s six major marathons. The course attracts both beginners and elite athletes with its “fast and flat” course, which goes through 29 neighborhoods, organizers said. Runners start and finish in Grant Park, but go as far north as Sheridan Road and as far south as 35th Street.

The Chicago Marathon has been the site of five marathon world records and may have added another record to its books Sunday when runner Kelvin Kiptum won the 2023 Chicago Marathon with an unofficial world record race time of 2:00:35.

The men’s wheelchair racers started out the competition, lining up at the start line at the intersection of Columbus Drive and Monroe Street at 7:20 a.m. The first wave of runners began at 7:30 a.m. with the final group heading out at 8:35 a.m.

More than 1.5 million spectators are expected to line city streets, cheering on runners with loud clapping and colorful signs.

One of the spectators is José Robles, 55, who met Rivera on the plane ride from his home in Orlando. Robles, who is also from Puerto Rico, was happy to root for Rivera during the marathon while he cheers on his wife. He’s planning to headto mile 13 with Gatorade and other supplies.

It was cloudy and chilly as the race began, with temperatures hovering near 50 degrees by midmorning. For high school friends, Katie Malizzio and Meredith Keller, it’s the perfect weather. Keller has run 13 marathons, including 10 Chicago Marathons, and said training this year has been brutal with the scorching summer temperatures.

The duo from the suburbs run and train together. Malizzio, 50, has run four marathons, with today achieving her goal of finishing one after she turned 50.

Keller, 49, is also running with a milestone birthday on the horizon.

“I turn 50 next year and she made me do it again, and my first one was when I was 39 turning 40,” Keller joked.

The friends said one of the best parts of running marathons — besides keeping them motivated and in shape — is that they’re able to eat more. After today’s race, they plan to snack on Lou Malnati’s pizza and beer.

“We do it every year, we just love it,” Malizzio said.

Roads on the course close at 7 a.m. and begin reopening at 9:30 a.m. after the final runners have passed through. Other streets throughout the city will open later in the afternoon.

Molly Ferazani and Corinne O’Toole, seniors at the University of Notre Dame, are running the marathon to support Recovery on Water, a rowing team for breast cancer patients and survivors. Ferazani, 20, said her grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, helping inspire the duo’s first marathon. There’s 190 official charity teams at the marathon, with last year’s charity runners raising $27.6 million.

“There’s a lot of people in our lives that are either suffering with cancer, or had breast cancer in the past and so we thought it would be a great thing to do,” O’Toole, 22, said.

In addition to relying on their extensive training regimen, the friends also plan to listen to a playlist with country and electronic dance music remixes. They said they haven’t talked to each other in three days, so conversation will also flow during the run. They’re most nervous about finishing the 18 to 20 mile stretch.

“I’m excited, I feel like the adrenaline is going to take us a good amount of the way,” O’Toole said.


Source link