London, Berlin, New York, Boston and Chicago make up the five World Marathon Majors held annually for runners all over the world. However, the Chicago Marathon has a frightening track record (pardon the pun) for losing contestants in the midst of a race. On Saturday, firefighter William Caviness collapsed just a few hundred meters from the finish line. Although doctors attended to him immediately, the 35 year old’s pulse never returned. His death follows Chad Schieber of Michigan (2007), Rachael Townsend (2003), Luke Roach (2001), Danny Towns (2000), and Kelly Barrett (1998), all of whom started the Chicago Marathon but didn’t survive to the end.
And while this most recent tragedy marks a serious concern for officials, approximately 35,000 runners still completed the race safely by the end of the day. Kenya’s Moses Mosop, an olympic bronze medalist, set a course record at two hours, five minutes, and 37 seconds. As he came in for the final stretch, far ahead of any other opponent, Mosop managed to smile and wave at the cheering crowd. When asked about the injured tendon on the outside of his left ankle prior to Saturday’s race, Mosop expressed a belief that the pain would hinder his performance. With record time and no evidence of any weakness in that ankle, perhaps Mosop is a better runner when his body isn’t at 100%. Either way, good for him. Chicago applauded its winner that evening amidst a sorrowful heart.
A victorious day for Kenyans. A tragic day for Americans.
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