Ethiopians Kebede, Baysa Win Men's and Women's Races - NBC Chicago

Ethiopians Kebede, Baysa Win Men's and Women's Races



    Marathon Winners Medal Presentation

    Tsegaye Kebede and Atseda Baysa are presented with the winning medals at the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. (Published Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012)

    Sunday was Ethiopia's day in Chicago as Tsegaye Kebede and Atsede Baysa won the men's and women's races, respectively. 

    Kebede won in record fashion, crossing the finish line at an unofficial time of 2:04:38. It's the fastest Marathon recorded in the United States, which was 2:05:05 set last year by Geoffrey Mutai in New York.

    Kebede is the first Ethiopian man to win the Chicago Marathon. His win also breaks the nine-year winning streak held by Kenya.

    On the women's side, Baysa held off a challenge from Kenyan Rita Jeptoo -- who forced a near photo finish -- to take her first marathon title. She finished with a time of 2:22:03.
    Chicago's chilly temperatures -- below 40-degrees at race time -- helped lead to fast times on both sides. 
    Once the elites were finished, nearly 45,000 others made their way to personal glory.  

    Supporters from around the world crowded the city streets to cheer them on.

    The cheering stations had signs in foreign languages, flags and other activities to welcome international athletes who are running the race. Chicago Sister Cities expects runners from more than 100 different countries.

    Cheering stations were  organized by places like Osaka, Japan; Lucerne, Switzerland; and Vilnius, Lithuania.