Alejandro Cruz set a Mexican national record of 2 hours 8 minutes 57 seconds in winning Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, edging favored Iakov Tolstikov of the Soviet Union by 23 seconds.
Cruz, a 20-year-old civil engineering student from Mexico City who didn’t enter the race until late last week, broke from the lead pack at the 17 1/2-mile mark and opened a 500-foot lead that he never relinquished. Mexico’s old national record of 2:09:31 was set by Rudolfo Gomez in Tokyo in 1983.
Lisa Weidenbach of Issaquah, Wash., won the women’s division in 2:29:17, beating Emma Scaunich of Italy by 29 seconds and finishing 10 minutes behind her husband, Bill, who was 23rd in the men’s division.
Weidenbach, the 1985 Boston Marathon winner, just missed the last qualifying spot for the 1988 U.S. women’s Olympic marathon team. “It was a bittersweet victory as nothing will make up for missing the Olympics,” she said. “My ultimate goal now is to make the 1992 team.”
Weidenbach is having the best year of her career, having set a personal best in every distance she has run from a mile up. Her time was the 4th fastest marathon run by a U.S. woman.
Cruz and Weidenbach each won $50,000 from a purse of $350,000. This was the 11th running of the race, and officials said 6,000 of 7,900 runners finished.