Abel Kirui en route to victory at the 2016 Chicago Marathon (© Getty Images)
Organisers of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon have revealed the full elite field for the IAAF Gold Label road race on 7 October.
Past champions Abel Kirui and Dickson Chumba lead the charge on the men’s side, and 2017 runner-up Brigid Kosgei and two-time podium finisher Birhane Dibaba stand out among the women. They will join previously announced global sensations Mo Farah, Yuki Kawauchi and Suguru Osako.
This year’s elite field includes 11 men who have run 2:07 or faster and nine women who have run 2:25 or faster.
“We have put together an exciting elite field, and it should be a fast race to the top of the podium,” said executive race director Carey Pinkowski. “This year’s elite field is a collection of some of the best international and American athletes running on the global stage today. We are confident that they will continue the great tradition of memorable and record setting performances in Chicago.”
Chumba set his personal best of 2:04:32 in Chicago in 2014 when he finished third on a historic day that witnessed three of the top five times ever run in Chicago. He came back to win in 2015 and while he tried to retain his title in 2016, he came up three seconds short, finishing second to Kirui.
He opened 2018 with his second win at the Tokyo Marathon, clocking 2:05:30, the second-fastest winning time in Tokyo’s history.
Kirui is one of the most decorated athletes in the field. As well as being a two-time world champion, he also earned the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics. He won the 2016 Chicago Marathon and finished second 12 months later. Earlier this year he finished fourth in London in 2:07:07, just two minutes shy of his PB (2:05:04).
Namesake and world champion Geoffrey Kirui is also in the field. Before winning the world title in London last year, the Kenyan triumphed at the Boston Marathon.
Ethiopian duo Mosinet Geremew and Birhanu Legese bring both youth and speed to a competitive international field. Geremew, who finished third in Berlin last year, started 2018 with a bang by breaking the course record in Dubai with 2:04:00. Legese, the youngest athlete in this year’s elite field, opened the year by making his marathon debut in Dubai, clocking 2:04:15.
Rotterdam Marathon champion Kenneth Kipkemoi, 2017 Paris Marathon champion Paul Lonyangata, 2016 world half marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki and fellow Kenyan Stephen Sambu will also be on the start line.
Two-time world indoor medallist Augustine Choge will be making his highly anticipated marathon debut. The 31-year-old has represented Kenya on numerous occasions, indoors, outdoors, on the track and at cross country. The 2003 world U18 champion and 2006 Commonwealth 5000m champion has moved up in distance in recent years, clocking 59:26 for the half marathon in 2017.
Brigid Kosgei finished second in Chicago last year, setting a big PB of 2:20:22. Nine weeks later, she won the Honolulu Marathon in 2:22:15, taking more than five minutes off the course record, and she finished second in London earlier this year in a PB of 2:20:13.
Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje upset the form books in Dubai earlier this year, taking three minutes off her PB to set a course record of 2:19:17, making her the eighth-fastest woman in history.
Compatriot Birhane Dibaba finished third in Chicago in 2014 and 2015, and reduced her PB when winning the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year in 2:19:51.
Fellow Ethiopian Shure Demise set her personal best of 2:20:59 at the 2015 Dubai Marathon and finished fifth at last year’s World Championships.
Yuka Ando made headlines in 2017 when she clocked the fastest ever debut marathon by a Japanese woman, 2:21:36, at the Nagoya Marathon.
Along with the previously-announced Jordan Hasay, world bronze medallist Amy Cragg will lead the US charge in the women’s race.
Organisers for the IAAF
Mosinet Geremew (ETH) 2:04:00
Birhanu Legese (ETH) 2:04:15
Dickson Chumba (KEN) 2:04:32
Abel Kirui (KEN) 2:05:04
Kenneth Kipkemoi (KEN) 2:05:44
Galen Rupp (USA) 2:06:07
Paul Lonyangata (KEN) 2:06:10
Mo Farah (GBR) 2:06:21
Geoffrey Kirui (KEN) 2:06:27
Suguru Osako (JPN) 2:07:19
Bedan Karoki (KEN) 2:07:41
Ryo Kiname (JPN) 2:08:08
Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) 2:08:14
Mohamed Reda (MAR) 2:09:18
Stephen Sambu (KEN) 2:11:07
Tsukasa Koyama (JPN) 2:11:20
Yohei Suzuki (JPN) 2:14:53
Taku Fujimoto (JPN) 2:15:30
Pardon Ndhlovu (ZIM) 2:16:22
Daniel Wallis (NZL) 2:19:24
Augustine Choge (KEN) debut
Hugh Williams (AUS) debut
Roza Dereje (ETH) 2:19:17
Birhane Dibaba (ETH) 2:19:51
Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 2:20:13
Jordan Hasay (USA) 2:20:57
Shure Demise (ETH) 2:20:59
Yuka Ando (JPN) 2:21:36
Amy Cragg (USA) 2:21:42
Madai Perez (MEX) 2:22:59
Laura Thweatt (USA) 2:25:38
Jessica Draskau Petersson (DEN) 2:30:07
Vianey De la Rosa (MEX) 2:32:01
Dayna Pidhoresky (CAN) 2:36:08
Hiruni Wijayaratne (SRI) 2:36:35
Melanie Myrand (CAN) 2:39:07
Chirine Njeim (LBN) 2:39:21
Alexi Pappas (GRE) debut