(Reuters) – Mo Farah scored a stunning Chicago Marathon victory as he won in an unofficial two hours five minutes and 11 seconds in only his third race over the distance on Sunday.
After biding his time for much of the race, the British four-time Olympic track champion surged to the lead in the final four miles and broke Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew to shatter the European marathon record of 2:05:48 despite wet and sometimes windy conditions.
Farah, 35, thrust his right arm into the air as he neared the finish line and delightedly celebrated the victory with his ‘Mobot’ pose.
“It was amazing to cross the finish line first,” he told reporters. “This is a major marathon.”
Geremew finished second in 2:05:24 with Japan’s Suguru Osako third in a national record of 2:05:50.
Farah’s former training partner and the defending champion Galen Rupp was fifth in 2:06:21.
Last year’s runner-up, Kenyan Brigid Kosgei won the women’s race in an unofficial 2:18:35.
Kosgei, 24, won by more than two minutes as she defeated Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje.
The men’s wheelchair race produced a major surprise, with 20-year-old American Daniel Romanchuk edging Swiss double defending Chicago winner Marcel Hug to win in an unofficial 1:31:34.
In the women’s race, world-record holder Manuela Schaer of Switzerland clocked 1:41:38 to end American Tatyana McFadden’s seven-race Chicago streak. McFadden finished seventh.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Clare Fallon)