35th Chicago Marathon breaks records, sprains heels

By Emily Ornberg

The Chicago Marathon celebrated its 35th anniversary Oct. 7 with 200,000 safety pins, 45,000 participants, 1.7 million spectators and 1.1 million cups of Gatorade.

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The race started in Grant Park and boasts one of the world’s flattest, fastest courses with no start-finish transportation hassles. World-class runners and handracers faced the daunting task of completing 26.2 miles.

Former Olympians as well as marathon veterans and newcomers were among this year’s runners. This year’s winner in the men’s category, Tsegaye Kebede, is

from Ethiopia.

With an official time of 2:04:38, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Kebede not only broke the course record of 2:05:39, set by Kenya’s Moses Mosop last year but also became the first Ethiopian to win the Chicago Marathon.

The women’s race was also eventful. Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia finished at 2:22:03, ending the three-year winning streak of Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova, who placed fourth at 2:22:59.

With brisk 40 degree fall temperatures, race day went very well, according to Carey Pinkowski, executive race director of the

marathon. He said $13.4 million was raised in 2011 for the 150 participating charities, and there were more this year.

“We had over 160 charities this year [and] over 10,000 runners that were supporting the charity program,” Pinkowski said. “So we’re hoping to reach a new benchmark in the funds for our associated charities. Obviously, 2012 was a very good year for us.”

Although the race itself went smoothly, 1,300 finishers didn’t receive medals at the end of the race, as reported by ABCLocal.go.com Oct 11. Organizers claim they ordered enough medals for everyone, but some “disappeared.”

Senior art & design major Ken Barnett received a medal, however. Barnett said he enjoyed

running his first marathon, despite finishing with a longer time

than expected.

“Six months ago, I fractured my heel and around mile 19, my entire left foot completely gave out,” Barnett said. “I was on pace

to finish in five hours, and if it wasn’t for my stupid foot, I could’ve [done so].”

Barnett limped through the last six miles of the race after making a pit stop at a medical station. He said the only thing that kept him going was the crowd’s support.

“Every freaking 100 yards there was just a crowd of people cheering you on,” Barnett said. “It was

just incredible.”