CHICAGO— 361 Degrees athlete Sarah Crouch scored a seven-second personal best and finished as the top American in the competitive Bank of America Chicago Marathon on the streets of Chicago Sunday morning.
Crouch was in a group of about four American women including Jorgensen and Laura Thweatt through the early part of the race, running 5k splits between 17:37 and 17:59 through the first 30 kilometers of the race, with Crouch leading the group of Americans at the half-marathon mark at 1:15:10.
However, before the 10-mile mark, Thweatt dropped out of the race with an Achilles tendon injury.
Despite running the last two 5k segments in over 18 minutes each (18:13 at 35k, and 18:41 through 40k), Crouch hung on to cross the finish line in 2:32:37, seven seconds better than her personal best of 2:32:44, set in Chicago in the 2014 race.
The 29-year old, who was a Division II All-American on the track and cross country at Western Washington, and now lives and trains in Flagstaff, Arizona, earned $15,000 for finishing as the top American.
Crouch, who is sponsored by 361°, finished sixth overall, matching her placing from the 2014 race, with fellow American Taylor Ward seventh in 2:32:42. Two other Americans made the top ten, with Kate Landau eighth in 2:33:24, and Marci Klimik rounding out the top ten in 2:34:53.
In the weeks leading up to the race, Crouch had a bit of a scare, after having surgery to remove a benign tumor from her quadricep muscle.
At the post-race press conference, Crouch said, “I was on about 2:30 pace until maybe mile 23 and had a very rough last couple of miles.”
“I put myself in a good enough position that fortunately no other American women were able to catch me. About 100 meters to go, I glanced over my shoulder and I was like, ‘Ah, that’s a woman.’ I kicked pretty darn hard. I had no idea who it was. I didn’t even know my own name at that point.”
Courtesy of letsrun.com, here is a post-race video interview with Sarah.