Update on elegant, smiling marathoner Eliud Kipchoge and his recent canter through the Windy City: Now I have the photo documentation I was waiting for. For which I was waiting. Yeah.

It's true, a picture speaks a thousand words. These essays were taken by photographer and cartographer Sean Hartnett from the back of the lead motorcycle. In the early stages, Kenenisa Bekele (left) sizes up his opponent, Kipchoge (foreground)....

Kind of a portend, as it turned out. After the breakup of the lead pack at 20 miles below, we see Kipchoge (left) gleefully turning the screws on guys he likes and trains with, Sammy Kitwara and Dickson Chumba. Whatever, they thanked him later because they both ran personal bests.

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And finally alone, owning this one, Kipchoge flies joyfully over the bridge below, about 400 meters from $100,000. He's averaged 4:44 per mile for the last 26 miles and his form is textbook—head up, shoulders relaxed, slight forward lean because he's sprinting, arms swinging a little higher than earlier in the race. If you can avoid all contact with the ground, as we see below, it really saves your legs. It's quite pleasant to watch someone run a marathon like this.

photo credit: Sean Hartnett