Kenyan runners Geoffrey Kirui and Bedan Karoki are ready to battle at Chicago marathon

Kenyan runners Geoffrey Kirui and Bedan Karoki may not be the top names at the Chicago marathon, but the duo are holding their cards close to their chest as they plot a surprise show on Oct 7. Kirui, the 2017 Boston marathon champion, was pushed to second position in defense of his title in April while Karoki, who had finished third in last year's London race, was fifth in the English capital clocking 2:08:34. Now the two are relishing challenging the status quo in Chicago, albeit from an obscure position. "The pressure is no longer on me like was the case in London. I can relax and focus on running my own race and leave the top names to choke each other out," Wanjiru said on Tuesday from his training base in Eldoret. Organizers have assembled together at least 11 men who have run two hours and seven minutes or faster, including past champions Abel Kirui and Dickson Chumba. They will face off against Galen Rupp, Mo Farah, Kenneth Kipkemoi, Paul Lonyangata, Kirui, Karoki, Stephen Sambu and Augustine Choge. Executive Race Director Careyu Pinkowski said, "This year's elite field is a collection of some of the best international athletes running on the global stage today. Karoki, a two-time Olympian in the 10,000m, is an exciting athlete who made his marathon debut in 2017. “We are confident that they will continue the great tradition of memorable and record setting performances in Chicago," he added.

posted Wednesday August 15th