Chicago Marathon Review and Women's Running Roundup 8/10/18

Each week Cajsa and I bring you the news from the roads and the trails. If you have any races your want covered or running-women you want applauded just let us know. Scroll down to find all the results from the weekend just gone and some previews for those ahead.

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Far from ideal conditions with wind (who’d have thought in the Windy City!) and rain making it slightly tricky in the later stages, probably impacting the women more with a slightly later finishing time. I know we’re all about women’s running here, but let’s give credit where it is due - Mo, that was a lesson in running your own race and keeping your cool. He certainly had me cheering at the computer screen even though I’m a Yuki fan really. But, it wasn’t just all about the gents - there were a few surprises in the ladies’ field that made for interesting viewing.

For full analysis of ranks going into the race Vs after and whether people set PBs or not, see my spreadsheet of joy here / below! But here are the headlines..

1. Brigid Kosgei, KEN 2:18:35
2. Rosa Dereje, ETH 2:21:18
3. Sure Demise, ETH 2:22:15

  1. The top three were interesting but not earth shattering and not THAT fast

  2. Further down is where it gets interesting

The early stages of the race were pretty standard, with the lead pack of 5 being the top 5 ranked athletes an no surprises. Despite missing her first water bottle Dereje was looking smooth the whole way and sticking with Kosgei. About 1:46 into the race Kosgei made a positive move to up the pace and Dereje couldn’t quite stick with it. Interestingly Kosgei had a male runner with her at that point. I don’t know if he was an unofficial pacer (Rabbit) or if there just happened to be a guy running that pace, but it must have helped and Dereje didn’t have that benefit once she fell back. Sadly Dibaba suffered some kind of hip issue and had to pull out - but as I said in my preview - I’m not sure she would have gone below her 2:19 PB - though maybe she could have hung in there for a podium place. The first place was fast - a 1’38 PB for Kosgei and finally a first place at Chicago but given that there were 3 sub 2:20ers and 2 more close, it’s a shame it wasn’t a faster race overall - I guess that’s where the conditions came into play.

I wasn’t totally off-course with my predictions as I did say that I thought Kosgei was on the up but perhaps failed to see exactly how much Dereje had to offer and didn’t pay any attention to Demis who was 5th ranked going in and comfortably ran to get 3rd place.

So, we move onto the more interesting stuff. The 8 other PBs set in the top 15 and some of the wheels-came-off perfomances.

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USA favourites Laura Thweatt and Gwen Jorgensen sadly didn’t get the races they hoped for with Thweatt having to drop out of after 15k with an achilles injury. Such a shame when she’s worked so hard to rehab her osteitis pubis. i think all runners do a sharp intake of breath when they hear that A-word. Heal fast Laura! Initially I was gutted for Gwen Jorgensen too who finished in 2:36:23 in 11th but it turns out she had a fever before the race so actually that’s a pretty storming time. With that time alone she’ll struggle to make the USA olympic team but past-performances mean nothing in America and it all comes down to the trials in Atlanta so who knows. Despite those two not hitting it out of the park, the USA’s women’s marathon field is so good at the moment (reports Runners World) that they still had 7 in the top 15. Top USA and non-african athlete was Sarah Crouch in 2:32:37, taking 6th place with Taylor Ward not too far behind in 2:32:42 but Kate Landau has to be the standout from that group finishing 8th in a huge huge PB of over 5 minutes (and Master winner). Imagine the post-race glow you’d get from that! Gosh. Oh and she’s 42 and is a single mum…. my excuses all just went out the window for all my races! Check out her background over here - she was apparently a teen prodigy who then ended up battling an eating disorder for decades, finally got some help in 2012 but then ended up becoming a single mum without any source of income. It really is an incredible story.

Team Canada, who had a decent showing in Berlin recently (Cliff and Tessier 11th and 12th) had a great run too placing 9th and 15th with Melanie Myrand setting a 5 min PB and non-elite runner Shelley Doucet knocking 10… yes 10minutes off hers to run ! Crazymad.

Another “oh boo” moment though was Alexi Pappas’ result - 2:48 can’t have been what she was hoping for - in fact I’m certain of that as she posted that she found it harder than expected and had a hamstrong issue but kept going for her ‘braveys’. Now, I know there is wisdom in stopping if you have an injury but I for one and delighted to see a top level athlete tough it out just because she knows others look to her and giving in isn’t an option. It’s not always the right choice, but it seems like it was this time for Alexi.

For GB, with Aly Dixon choosing not to complete the race, Paula Rutherfoord has the awesome bragging rights of being the top Gb female in the year that Mo Farah was won it for GB - she finished in 69th place and 2:53:04.

FastRunning also notes : American Joan Samuelson, the first ever women’s Olympic champion, was 16th at the age of 61, her 3:12:13 being outside the targeted world age-group record.

Elsewhere people were running 26.2 in various places…

1. Milliam Naktar EBONGON, KEN 2:27:16
2. Sheila Jerotich, KEN 2:59:40 (who set course record of 2:27:34 in 2017)
3. Wortesa Shur Jemila, ETH 2:32:32

First local athlete was Sylvia Sebastian in 6th place with 3:01:39. First GB athlete was Marina Verescakova in 100th place with 4:17:20.

1. Rebecca Robisch, GER 2:46:01
2. Juliane Meyer, GER 2:50:01
3. Katharina Nuser, GER 2:52:24
Germany dominated the top 10 with only Switzerland and Luxembourg sneaking into 9th and 10th place. First GB athlete was Heather McWalter from Scotland - 94th in 3:37:02. USA and Canada only featured beyond 300th place

1. Tünde Szabó, HUN 2:47:40
2. Simona Staicu HUN 2:53:04
3. Inger Dagny Saanum, NOR 2:56:11
First GB athlete was Karla Borland of Southampton AC in 3:11:06 and for the USA, Christine Quiros from New York in 3:32:52

Now in its 8th year running around the lake and forests of Kielder. This year it was won by local lady Wendy Chapman of Sunderland Strollers in 3:14:09.


My nemesis race - this one is well organised and has a fast start but a nasty hill at 18 and a long home straight along the seafront. Great to see Juliet placing second this year after smashing up the trails of Europe over the summer but a shame that only one lady went sub three give that it has potential to be fast.

1. Sarah Hill 2:55:39
2. Juliet Champion 3:01:18 - her highest placing and fastest finish for this Bournemouth regular
3. Becky Atkinson 3:01:35

(inc.England Age Group Masters & British Masters Marathon Championship)
1. Jo O’Regan, St Neots Riverside Runners, 2:45:31
2. Laura Trimble, Wimbledon Windmilers, 2:47:33 (who won Bournemouth last year in 3:5:18)
3. Hannah Claydon, Swindon Harriers 2:51:01

inc. Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships

  1. Juliet Chekwel, UGA 1:09:44

  2. Celia Sullohern, AUS 1:11:03

  3. Doreen Chesanf UGA 1:11:09

Tracy Barlow took top honours for England in 1:12:15 which was an 18s PB. England’s women took the Bronze medal in the team event.

You can read more about Cardiff Half, a swift Swedish Half in Oxford and reports men’s results and lots of other races over at



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Cajsa brings you all the news from the trails: 

CRUNCH CRUNCH - what's that?! The sound of leaves being impaled by the spikes of a hoard of frostbitten cross country runners? The Bake Off squirrel feasting on vegan pastry crumbs? The first two bars of a new Daft Punk single? No that is just the soundtrack of me starting cross training season by packing and unpacking 300 000 moving boxes … In other words; sorry for last week's hiatus, I have not hibernated from the news room just yet I've just been a bit spare-time busy trying to execute a house move without a removal van (do not try this at home kids).

Whilst I've been wrapped up in a world of wellpack my trailsisters have been busy shredding the last out of the indian summer of 2018.

Let's start with a quick recap of what should have been featured in last weeks round up. I was stoked to see my pre-race predictions come true as Ekaterina Mityaeva crushed the field over the 110 k / 6800 m course of Ultrapirineu by running home a 45 minute victory ahead of Magdalena Laczak in second and Roser Espanol in third. A much deserved late season win for Mityaeva.

Back home in Blighty Claire Prosser dominated the trails of the 102 mile long Cotswold Way Century and won the womens race by some margin. She finished as 7th runner OA and had nearly three hours down to Rachael Mitchell in second. Third fastest lady across the Cotswoldian hills was Marion Crawford.

Costal Trail Series hosted a 56 k /1440 m race on the North York Moors which saw Toosie Bawden fly to the top of the podium (and place 4th OA), twenty minutes ahead of Bianca Rahill-Marier in second and Sarah Challans as a close third.

Whilst me and my post-TDS logs was busy mingling with the mid pack on the climbs of the Maverick X Series finale in Snowdonia Julia Davis was churning up the Welsh bogs in style at the front. She won the womens race with over 30 minutes and took 3rd on the OA podium. Lauren Woodwiss was second lady home and Katherine Hudson bagged third. (yours truly crawled in on 5th place licking recovery wounds but with a vest full of foraged Chanterelles)

Onwards and forwards to more recent results from the international trail circuit.

PIRIN ULTRA SKYRACE 66 km / 4400 m

It was a starting field stacked with strong mountain runners that lined up to race the 8th and penultimate race of the Skyrunner World Series. The competitive level of the field made for some speedy running and when Brittany Peterson crossed the finish line as first lady it was in a time THREE HOURS faster than that of the previous course record. I reckon that Peterson ran too speedy to notice that she had created quiet the gap down to the chasing pack behind her because she had to wait for nearly 40 minutes to see Emily Hawgood and Antoniya Grigorova battle it out for second place. Hawgood pulled out a sprint finish and bagged the silver by finishing just twenty seconds ahead of Grigorova.

1. Brittany Peterson (USA) 9:01:59

2. Emily Hawgood (ZIM) 9:38:41

3. Antoniya Grigorova (BUL) 9:39:03

Full results can be found here;



The skyrunners are wrapping up the season in style with this classic race in the Italian mountains surrounding Lake Garda. It might not be the longest course in the calendar but this rugged race is a technical challenge to say the least and a firm favourite for the international elite. There are no starting lists released but being the final of the Skyrunning Series I am expecting at least the current top 5 in the overall rankings to be toeing the line in Limone Sul Garda on Saturday and keeping my fingers crossed for a battle between Holly Page and Hillary Gerardi challenged by Laura Orgue, Ragna Debats and at least one of the El Kott twins!

CENTURION AUTUMN 100, 100 miles / 1500 m

Another series finale is taking place on the trails around Goring & Streatley where Centurion are wrapping up their 100 mile Grand Slam series. Last years winner Mari Mauland will be out seeking revenge after a 2nd place at NDW 100 back in July and DNF's at Thames Path 100 and Tooting Bec 24h. Another contender with unfinished business is Laura Swanton, she placed 3rd at NDW 100, 2nd at SDW 100 and TP100 and would probably want to finish the year off with a number 1in front of her name. Team GB 24 hr runner Wendy Shaw is also likely to be chasing the trophy after having finished second behind Mauland in 2017 and I am hoping for Amy White (who recently broke the course record at Chiltern Wonderland 50) to have a great debut at the 100 mile distance and give the old veterans a challenge.

If you, like me, have finished your race season and need some inspiration to lace up and inhale the fresh air of the trails i recommend tuning into Billy Yangs interview with Round Up favourite Courtney Dauwalter and the latest episode of British Ultra Running Podcast featuring 'fell runner gone mountain queen' Natalie White. I challenge you to binge on the two and NOT want to go out a crush some golden leaves on your local soil.