Steve Jones successfully defended his title and missed a world record by one second yesterday, racing 26 miles 385 yards through the streets of Chicago in 2 hours 7 minutes 13 seconds. Joan Benoit Samuelson ran a personal-best, U.S.-record 2:21:21 in the women's division of America's Marathon-Chicago.
Jones, 29, a Welsh corporal in Britain's Royal Air Force, defeated his closest pursuer, Robleh Djama of Djibouti, by almost a full minute. Djama was clocked in 2:08:08 with Rob de Castella of Australia third in 2:08:48.
"I'm not disappointed," said Jones of barely missing the record 2:07:12 set by Portugal's Carlos Lopes in Rotterdam in April. "I came to win the race and I did. I still picked up a little bit of money ($35,000 for winning and $25,000 in appearance pay)."
In the women's race, Norway's Ingrid Kristiansen was intent on preventing a repeat of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic marathon in which Benoit pulled away early and never was headed. Kristiansen, who owns the world best of 2:21:06, ran with Benoit through some fast early going and was within five yards through 19 miles. Kristiansen finished second in 2:23:05 and two-time defending champion Rosa Mota of Portugal third in 2:23:29 . . .
Peter Elliott overpowered fellow Briton Steve Ovett to win the inaugural California Mile in 3:43.3. Despite its title, the run was only 1,200 meters, begun at sea level near San Francisco Bay and ascending 275 feet to the top of Nob Hill.