243 Filipino runners compete in Chicago Marathon

CHICAGO, IL — Chicago welcomed Bank of America’s 40th marathon on Sunday, with over 40,000 runners from 100 countries and all 50 states.

Nearly two million spectators cheered the runners as they plowed through the 29 neighborhoods of Chicago.

Galen Rupp is the first American man to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 15 years. Tirunesh Dibaba from Ethiopia won the women’s race in 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 31 seconds.

Tatyan McFadden bagged the top prize in the women’s wheelchair division and Marcel Hug in the men’s wheelchair division. First-place winners took home $100,000.

The Philippines was well represented, with 243 participants — a 127% increase from last year.

40-year old Phoebe Mortensen, a Filipino American from Arizona, said she could not believe that she completed all 26.2 miles (42 kilometers), despite no formal training.

“I’ve never dreamt of being in Chicago Marathon. I’ve started in a small city back home in the Philippines, in Zamboanga. I joined small runs, I started running more and more and here I am!”

For 46-year old Ernie Regalado, though the Chicago Marathon was his 54th, he says, each race feels like his first.

“I feel honored and proud, representing the Philippines.”

Despite the recent Vegas shooting incident, runners participated as scheduled. Security has been heightened.

“Hindi naman kasi yung mga ganong bagay, hindi ko iniisip, otherwise, I won’t be able to do anything else,” said runner Norman Untalan.

Chicago generated an estimated $282 million as a result of the marathon.

Apart from the charitable causes tied to this event, there were 12,000 volunteers, some of them were from various Filipino communities that dedicated their time during the 6.5-hour course.

Spotted at the marathon are Philippine celebrity couple Anthony Pangilinan and Maricel Laxa.

The next marathon will be held in New York in November.

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