Oh London. It’s been buzzing about the royals, especially Prince William and Princess Kate and their near one-year marriage. Its landmarks–Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus–are known across the globe. It’s hosting the Olympics this summer. Its marathon, the Virgin London Marathon held April 22, draws droves of runners–not just those residing in England.
This year, a Chicago contingent hopped across the pond to run the London Marathon. A fast group of Chicago women. Not only did a few of them turn in speedy times that many women would be jealous of (and wish they could run that fast) but they were the top U.S. women finishers. Their names? Jill Czarnik, Kate Kostal, Olga Ulitsky and Monika Neale, who all call the Windy City area home. They may not have been as lucky as overall winners Mary Keitany and Wilson Kipsang of Kenya, who received their trophies from Prince Harry, but they certainly gained some stories that will be tough to top.
Czarnik was the first U.S. woman to cross the finish line with a 3:07:23. She’s also planning the ultimate challenge, finishing this race and then running the Big Sur Marathon on April 29. Kostal was the second U.S. woman to finish, clocking a 3:08:38. Ulitsky clocked a 3:10:37, which made her the fourth U.S. woman, and Neale was fifth with 3:18:14. Congratulations ladies!
To view more results from the race, click here. To learn more about the London Marathon, check out the event website. You never know, if you sign up to run next year, or enter the lottery for a chance to score a spot, you could be running with Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. But Prince Harry’s joke would have to come true first.