Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bellingham native Jake Riley impressive in marathon debut; WWU grad Crouch sets PR in Chicago...

CHICAGO--Competing in his debut over the distance, Bellingham native Jake Riley (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished eleventh overall at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon through the streets of the Windy City Sunday.

Riley, an alum of Sehome HS in Bellingham, and Stanford University, where he was a six-time All-American at 10000 meters and in cross country, started off conservatively, going through the half-marathon mark in 1:06:33, 63 seconds behind Hansons/Brooks Distance Project teammate Bobby Curtis.

Throughout the race, Riley, currently residing in Rochester, Michigan, was able to click off 5-kilometer splits between 15:43 and 15:54, as he finished in a time of 2:13:16, making the Bellingham native the second American to finish the race.

Curtis finished two spots ahead of Riley, taking ninth in a personal best 2:11:20.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge took the victory in a time of 2:04:11, followed by countrymen Sammy Kitwara (2:04:28) and Dickson Chumba (2:04:32).  Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, one of this century's greatest distance runners on the track and cross country, finished fourth in 2:05:51.

In the women's race, Western Washington alum Sarah (Porter) Crouch finished seventh overall in a personal best of 2:32:44, a twelve minute personal best, eclipsing her previous mark of 2:44:25, set at the 2011 New York City Marathon.

Crouch, who now resides in South Lake Tahoe, California, started slow, but ran average miles between 5:38 and 5:52, before slowing down over the last 7 kilometers, dropping to 6:10-6:12 mile pace.

The native of Hockinson in southwest Washington, and former NCAA Division II 10000m and cross country champion for the Vikings went through the half-marathon point in 1:15:41.

Crouch was the third American across the line, behind Amy Hastings' fifth place finish in 2:27:03,  and Clara Santucci's sixth place mark of 2:32:21.

Kenya's Rita Jeptoo won her second straight Bank of America Chicago Marathon as well as the World Marathon Majors series title and the $500,000 prize, running 2:24:35.

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