Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (pictured) won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a convincing fashion clocking 2:18:35, the third fastest time in Chicago women’s race history and more than two minutes ahead of her closest competitor, Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje.
It also was a personal best for the 24-year-old Kosgei, who finished second in last year’s marathon with a then-personal best 2:20:22, the sixth fastest.
Kosgei has now finished first or second in eight of her nine career marathons.
A group of five elite women were packed together at the halfway point, with the eventual winner Kosgei and Dereje leading the field by a second at 1:10:09. Kosgei and Dereje were neck-and-neck since the 10K mark. At the half way mark, they were projected to finish with a time of 2:20:19.
Florence Kiplagat led the women early, clocking 16:47 after 5km before Kosgei seized control of the race. She timed 33:24 at 10km point with Dereje just on her shoulders.
The Ethiopian led through 15km with 49:49.
The Kenyan took back race leadership and went all the way, passing the half way point at 1:10.09.
She slightly slowed but led the field through the splits and struggled to shake off Dereje and compatriot Demise Shure. Kosgei created a one-minute buffer at the 35km point and stretched it to two minutes ahead by the 40km point. She sustained her pace and won comfortably her compatriots Florence Kiplagat and Veronica Nyaruai finishing fourth and fifth. In the men’s race, Sir Mo Farah won his first marathon in his third attempt after converting from his legacy on the track where he won four Olympic medals.
Farah cruised towards the Chicago Marathon finish line pumping his fists and blowing air kisses to the crowd. The Great Britain star clocked 2:05:11 to win and blow away a strong Kenyan, Ethiopian, Japanese and American opposition.
Wearing bright green arm compressions, he pulled away from Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia in the final mile while Japan’s Suguru Osako finished third at 2:05:50.
Kenyans Kenneth Kipkemoi (2:05:57), Geoffrey Kirui (2:06:45), Abel Kirui (2:07:52) and Bedan Karoki (2:07:59)finished fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth.