Jeptoo on the cusp of pocketing 500,000 USD marathon majors windfall
15 October 2013, 12:17
Nairobi - For the second year running, a Kenyan woman will walk away with the coveted 500,000 U.S. dollars prize money as the winner of the World Marathon Majors crown next month in New York.
This is after Rita Jeptoo obliterated the Chicago marathon course on Sunday to pick her second win, since returning from motherhood in late 2012.
Jeptoo cracked the two hour and 20 minutes barrier with a winning time of 2:19:57, the fastest women's marathon time in the world this year. Jemima Sumgong Jelegat of Kenya was timed at 2:20:48 in second, followed by Maria Konovalova of Russia (2:22:46).
"Today Rita was unbeatable, after 35km she was able to run the kilometre in 3:01 and destroying the rest of the field," Federico Rosa, Jeptoo's agent said on Monday.
Jeptoo and Jelagat are both coached by Italian Claudio Berardelli and managed by Federico Rosa.
Jeptoo rallied back from her narrow defeat here last year to an Ethiopian opponent, breaking away from training partner Jemina Jelagat Sumgong in the final kilometers.
Kenya's Dennis Kimetto smashed the men's course record with a 2:03:45 performance, taking 53 seconds off the previous mark. He beat the mark of 2:04:38 set by Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede last year.
Both athletes won 100,000 dollars in prize money plus time bonuses. Kimetto gets an additional 75,000 dollars for the course record, while Jeptoo gets another 40,000 dollars for finishing under 2:20:00.
Jeptoo became the 18th runner to break 2:20 barrier (in her 17th marathon). Only Sun Yingjie ran more marathons (17) before she broke 2:20 in her 18th marathon. Chicago now has 4th fastest course record. Only Boston, Berlin and Frankfurt are faster.
But Jeptoo is on course for another windfall from the World Marathon Majors (WMM), should her rivals from Kenya Edna Kiplagat and Priscah Jeptoo fail to win on November 11 during the New York marathon.
Jeptoo is top of the leaderboard with 65 points ahead of Kiplagat on 55 while Sharon Cheron and Kiptoo are tied on third place with 50. Ethiopia's Atsede Baysa is out of the race in fifth place with just 31 points.
Only Kiplagat and Jeptoo will be running in New York and a win for either will see them clinch the WMM. A win will fetch them 25 points. Cherop, who was second at Berlin marathon is not competing.
Taking full advantage of a fast early pace, Kenya's Dennis Kimetto smashed the course record of the Chicago Marathon clocking the fourth-fastest time in history on a record-legal course: 2:03:45.
"We were just going back and forth," said Kimetto who denied there was any cooperation between the two adidas-sponsored Kenyans.