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Triumph, Tragedy at Chicago Marathon

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 8, 2007 1:04AM

2007_10_marathon.jpgPatrick Ivuti of Kenya won today's running of the Chicago Marathon in a photo finish over Moroccan Jaouad Gharib. Both runners crossed the finish line at the same time, but Ivuti crossed 5/100th of a second before Gharib. But Ivuti's win, and Ethiopian Berhane Adere's defense of her women's title, were secondary stories to the decision by race officials to cut short the race due to the dangers they posed to participants by unseasonably warm temperatures. Today's official high of 88 degrees was the hottest recorded temperature in the history of this date.

As of this writing, one runner is dead and 312 others were taken to hospitals or treated at medical stations set up throughout the marathon's course. 35-year-old Chad Schieber of Midland, Michigan collapsed near 15th and Ashland. He was taken to the VA Hospital on the West Side, where he was pronounced dead at 12:50 p.m. The decision to cut the race short was made at 11:45 a.m. All runners who were not at the race's halfway point (around Halsted and Adams) were re-routed back to Grant Park as part of a contingency plan put together by race officials earlier in the week in case temperatures went up and runners' race times went down, as they did today. 15 extra cooling buses, 10 extra "drop-out buses" and tens of thousands of fluid servings were added throughout the course to keep runners hydrated and safe. Of the nearly 36,000 runners who started the race, 10,000 failed to complete the course.