News20 Sep 2017

Biwott and Lilesa among latest additions to Chicago’s elite fields


Stanley Biwott at the 2015 Bogota International Half Marathon (© Organisers / Victah Sailer)

Organisers of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon have announced changes to the elite field for the IAAF Gold Label road race on 8 October.

Stanley Biwott will make his Chicago Marathon debut as the seventh-fastest man in history over the marathon distance and the 11th-fastest in history over the half marathon on a record-eligible course (58:56).

The Kenyan won the 2015 New York City Marathon, and finished second to Eliud Kipchoge at the 2016 London Marathon in a personal best of 2:03:51.

Olympic silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa first made a name for himself in 2010 when, just two months after his 20th birthday, he became the youngest athlete to run faster than 2:06 for the marathon, clocking 2:05:23 in Rotterdam.

The Ethiopian has previously performed well in Chicago, finishing third in 2010 and second in 2012 in a PB of 2:04:52. His 2017 campaign started with a second-place finish at the Houston Half Marathon and wins at the New York City Half Marathon and the Bogota Half Marathon.

Bernard Kipyego returns to Chicago after finishing third in 2011 and sixth in 2012. He started his international career 14 years ago as a junior competitor, and he has represented Kenya on the track, in cross country and on the roads.

He earned a silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and he has consistently run faster than 60 minutes for the half marathon and 2:07 for the marathon. He set his current personal best, 2:06:19, in Amsterdam when retaining his title there in 2015.

Ezekiel Chebii opened his marathon career in 2014 by winning the Madrid Marathon in a Spanish all-comers’ record of 2:09:15. The Kenyan returned to Madrid in 2015 to pick up another win, and he hit his stride in the marathon in 2016 when he ran 2:06:07 in Amsterdam to finish fifth. In 2012 he clocked a half marathon PB of 59:05, which at the time made him the 11th-fastest man in history over the distance. Chebii started his 2017 campaign by winning the Lake Biwa Marathon in 2:09:06.

Japan’s Yuki Takamiya and Zambia’s Jordan Chipangama have withdrawn from the race.

Brigid Kosgei has only been competing in marathons for the past two years, but within that timeframe she has won three marathons and set a PB of 2:24:45 when finishing second at the 2016 Lisbon Marathon.

So far in 2017, she has won half marathons in Verbania and Bogota, finished third at the Copenhagen Half Marathon in a PB of 1:06:35, and finished eighth at the Boston Marathon.

USA’s Maegan Krifchin clocked 2:33:30 on her marathon debut in 2015 and later that year went on to become just the ninth US woman in history to run a sub-70-minute half marathon, winning in Philadelphia in 1:09:51.

Organisers for the IAAF