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UK Athletics

Chicago so hot for brave Yelling

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Liz Yelling: hot pace
Liz Yelling: hot pace

7 October 2007


Liz Yelling (Bedford and County AC) finished a fabulous fourth in the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon today – but the unseasonal heatwave that slowed all of the competitors prevented her beating the Olympic qualifying A standard of 2 hours 31 minutes.


She clocked 2:37:14 to finish 1 minute 16 seconds ahead of Benita Johnson (Australia). Berhane Adere (Ethiopia) won for the second successive year, in 2:33:49, three seconds ahead of Adriana Pirtea (Romania), who had held a 25-seconds lead with less than half a mile to go, with Kate O’Neill (USA) third in 2:36:15.


Yelling, aiming to improve on her Flora London Marathon time of 2:30:44 in April, had spent the days leading up to the race hoping that the heatwave would be blown away in America’s windy city. But half an hour before the start, the temperature was 75°C and by the time the leading women reached 15 miles, the mercury in the official thermometer had risen to 87°C.


Recalling the horrendous conditions at the 2004 Olympic Games, she said: "It was almost an Athens re-run. Phew! No fast times today."


Yelling’s 5km splits vividly illustrate the bad patch she went through after dropping out of the leading group at 11 miles: 17:48, 17:36, 17:58, 20:09, 17:37, 19:04, 19:48, 19:55.


Kathy Butler (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC) began so positively that she led through 5km (17:32) but finished 10th in 2:48:21, which places her 12th in this year’s Power of 10 national rankings.


So the only UK women under the Power of 10 National Standard of 2:39:30 so far this year are Mara Yamauchi (Harrow AC) with 2:25:41 in London, Hayley Haining (Kilbarchan AAC) 2:30:43 in Berlin last month, Yelling 2:30:44 in London and Tracey Morris (Valley Striders) 2:36:40 at the World Championships in Osaka.


For more details of today’s race, please click on Chicago