Kelvin Kiptum to race 2023 Chicago Marathon
The second fastest marathoner in history will not face Kipchoge at Berlin after all.
The 2023 Chicago Marathon revealed on Tuesday morning that Kiptum will make his North American marathon debut on Oct. 8, postponing the highly anticipated potential clash against Eliud Kipchoge, who will appear at the 2023 Berlin Marathon.
In the last eight months, Kiptum has emerged as one of the world’s fastest marathoners. In December, he made his marathon debut at the 2022 Valencia Marathon, securing a commanding victory in a remarkable 2:01:53, the fastest debut in history. He continued his dominance at the 2023 London Marathon, where he shattered Kipchoge’s course record and came remarkably close to the world record, with a 2:01:25 finish.
Despite his achievements in London, Kiptum remains relatively unknown on the major marathon scene. The 23-year-old from Eldoret, Kenya, is self-coached and did not enter marathoning from a prolific track career like Kipchoge, or Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.
In June, Kiptum was selected for Team Kenya in the 2023 World Athletics Championships marathon. However, he declined the invitation to focus on a fall marathon instead. With Kiptum eyeing either Chicago or Berlin, many anticipated a head-to-head battle between the two Kenyan titans in Berlin, renowned for its flat and incredibly fast course, having been the location where the previous eight men’s marathon world records were set.
Choosing Chicago, which takes place two weeks after Berlin, clearly indicates Kiptum’s intent to vie for a victory and target Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:09. Chicago’s primarily flat course, with only 70 metres of elevation gain, offers a promising setting.
However, a win in Chicago won’t come easy, as Kiptum will face off against one of the best tactical marathoners in the world and the reigning champion, Benson Kipruto. Kipruto comes off a second-place finish at the 2023 Boston Marathon, where he was runner-up to his training partner, Evans Chebet. Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura, who knows the Chicago course well, having won the race in 2021 and finished as runner-up to Kipruto last fall, will also return. Among the other elite names in the men’s field are Galen Rupp, Conner Mantz and Belgian 2020 Olympic marathon bronze medallist Bashir Abdi.
posted Tuesday July 25th
by Running Magazine