News18 Aug 2021

World champion Chepngetich to make Chicago Marathon debut


Kenyan distance runner Ruth Chepngetich (© Getty Images)

Kenya’s 2019 world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich will be among the athletes in action when the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label Road Race, returns on 10 October.

In addition to previously announced US athletes Galen Rupp and Sara Hall, Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla and Seifu Tura, plus Chepngetich and the USA’s Keira D’Amato, Emma Bates, Chris Derrick and Lindsay Flanagan are among the recently named athletes for this year’s field.

“We are excited to welcome so many outstanding athletes to Grant Park this fall,” said executive race director Carey Pinkowski.

“While we expect to see fast times up front, we are focusing on celebrating every athlete in this year’s field - and the personal stories, challenges, and triumphs that they bring with them. This event is special in so many ways because it captures the human spirit - from the first runner across the line to the last.” 

This year’s marathon coincides with the elation of an Olympic year and the thrill of an autumn road racing season that includes all six of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM). With seven sub-2:06 men in the field vying for their first AbbottWMM victory, the stage is set for a dramatic race up front.

Top athletes in the men’s elite field include two-time Olympic medallist Rupp, 2019 Dubai Marathon champion Molla, 2018 Valencia Marathon runner-up Hassan El Abbassi of Bahrain and fourth-place finisher at the 2021 Milan Marathon, Seifu Tura. The following four athletes boast 2:05 personal bests: Shifera Tamru, Joel Kimurer, Eric Kiptanui and Laban Korir.  

Chepngetich will make her Bank of America Chicago Marathon debut. The 27-year-old made a splash when she set the world record in the half marathon this spring, clocking 1:04:02 in Istanbul, and she holds a marathon personal best of 2:17:08, making her the fourth fastest woman in history.

D’Amato and Bates join Hall – who finished second in last year's London Marathon ahead of Chepngetich – as the top US athletes in the field. D’Amato carries one of the most inspiring stories in the field. She took a seven-year break from running, returned to the roads in 2016, and had a breakthrough season in 2020, including a 12-minute PB in the marathon of 2:22:56. Bates, the 2018 US marathon champion, comes into this year’s competition with a 2:25:27 PB, set in Chicago in 2019. 

“I have never raced in the States and making my debut in such a great race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is more than a dream to me,” said Chepngetich. “I will give all myself trying to run as fast as possible. The presence of such a wonderful elite field will boost me.”

Organisers for World Athletics