Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia waved his sweat band above his head as he ran the final stretch of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. He knew he had it in the bag.
"I don't believe it!" said Kebede, who broke the course record when crossed the finish line at 2:04:38.
Kebede started Sunday's race looking for remdeption from the 2010 race, where he was run out of the top spot during the final stretch by the late Sammy Wanjiru by about 20 seconds.
"Two years ago, I was right here, it was the same, but I could not run," said Kebede. "Two years ago it was Wanjiru. But this was my goal! My goal!"
It's the fastest Marathon recorded in the United States, which was 2:05:05 set last year by Geoffrey Mutai in New York.
The 23-year-old was not the only one to break records from his country. Fellow Ethiopian runners Feyisa Lilesa and Regassa Tilahun helped shut out the Kenyans from the top three spots, ending Kenya's nine year streak of winning the event.
Lilesa crossed at 2:04:52 followed by Tilahun 2:05:26. The top American finisher was Dathan Ritzenhein, who placed ninth with a time of 02:07:47.