•The Kenyan led from start to finish, timing 2:22:31 to finish first ahead of the American duo of Emma Bates and Sarah Hall
•Another Kenyan, Vivian Kiplangat, finished fifth in 2:29:14
•2018 Berlin Half Marathon champion Eric Kiptanui clocked 2:06:51 to finish third in the men's race
Despite dominating the women's race at the Chicago Marathon, world marathon champion Ruth Chepng'etich believes her win was not as easy as many people think.
Chepng'etich established daylight between herself and the closest opponents, timing 2:22:31 to finish first ahead of the American duo of Emma Bates (2:24:20) and Sarah Hall (2:27:19) in second and third respectively. Another Kenyan, Vivian Kiplangat, finished fifth in 2:29:14.
"The race was good but not easy because I had to push alone from 13km all the way to the finish line. However, the weather today was fine and I was confident in myself that I would win the race. I trusted in God to help me push myself to victory," Chepng'etich said.
The race was the first for the Istanbul Half Marathon champion since suffering the heartbreak of dropping out of the women's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics, where she had been tipped beforehand to shine.
She was all smiles as she cut the tape in the windy city for a first win in a World Marathon Majors in her athletics career.
Chepng'etich said she was not too concerned by whoever was trailing her but was solely focused on the finish line the moment she took the lead.
"I was just pushing myself to cross the finish line and was not really looking back to see who was behind me. Even though I was fatigued in my legs, I was feeling strong overall. I really thank God for this victory," she said.
Although she was unable to replicate the exploits of her fellow countrywoman, Brigid Kosgei — who broke the women's world record at the 2019 edition in 2:14:04 —Chepng'etich was still able to exert some measure of revenge on Hall who defeated her at last year's London Marathon where the American came second.
In the men's race, 2018 Berlin Half Marathon champion Eric Kiptanui clocked 2:06:51 to finish third behind winner Seifu Tura (2:06:12) of Ethiopia and second-placed American Galen Rupp (2:06:35).
Another Kenyan, Reuben Kipyego, finished a disappointing eighth in 2:14:24 as the country awaits its first win for men in this year's World Marathon Majors series, which also comprises Berlin, London, Boston, Tokyo and Boston.
The Chicago Marathon was returning after last year's cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic — the second time in its existence that it has been cancelled.