Galen Rupp has become the first American to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in more than a decade.
Rupp beat out fierce competition, including defending champion Abel Kirui, to take an historic victory and become the first US winner since Khalid Khannouci won in 2002.
He finished with an official time of 2:09:20.
“It’s just incredible,” he said at the finish line. “You train so hard year in and year out, day in and day out and to have a race like this where it all comes together and be able to win in a city that really is such a special place to me, given that my dad grew up here – words can’t express the feeling of crossing the line.”
Rupp’s father grew up in Maywood and the Oregon alum said he spent a lot of time in the Chicago area during his childhood.
The Chicago Marathon was only his fourth marathon ever.
“It’s tremendous,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been second so many times in my career, just always this close so I just am so thrilled that I was able to pull it out here. And again in a city like this, the crowd support was incredible. You know, you go through different areas and it was just booming how loud it is. It really picks you up, picks your spirits up.”
Rupp clinched the silver medal in the men’s 10,000m race at the 2012 London Olympics. The last U.S.A. runner to medal in that race was Bill Mills, who won gold at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
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