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Kenya’s Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich will target Chicago Marathon crowns

Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich head the fields for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday (10), with Sara Hall and Galen Rupp leading US hopes at the World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race.

After action in Berlin and London in recent weeks, Chicago is the next race in a busy period of major marathons and the Boston event follows just one day later. The weather in Chicago looks set to be warm, with temperatures of around 21°C expected for the start of the elite races at 7:30am local time.

The last edition of the Chicago Marathon in 2019 saw a world record fall as Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei clocked 2:14:04 to take 81 seconds from Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 mark. This time her compatriots Chepngetich, who won the 2019 world title, and Vivian Kiplagat are among the athletes in the spotlight.

Chepngetich sits fourth on the women’s marathon all-time list thanks to the 2:17:08 PB she set when winning in Dubai in 2019 and she ran a world half marathon record in Istanbul in April with 1:04:02. The 27-year-old was unable to finish the Olympic marathon in Tokyo but is looking forward to her US debut race in Chicago.

“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,” she said. “I will give all myself trying to run as fast as possible.”

Hall will be among those looking to challenge her. The US athlete beat Chepngetich at last year’s London Marathon, as the pair finished second and third respectively behind Kosgei, and Hall went on to run a PB of 2:20:32 in Arizona a couple of months later. Now she has her eye on Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36 US record, should the conditions allow.

“When I thought about where I wanted to chase the American record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the US, and Chicago is such an epic race,” she said.

The other sub-2:25 women in the field are Kiplagat, the USA’s Keira D'Amato and Ethiopia’s Meseret Belete. Kiplagat, who ran her marathon PB of 2:21:11 in 2019, clocked 2:39:18 in Eldoret in June but showed her current form with a personal best performance in the half marathon of 1:06:07 in Copenhagen last month. Like Hall, D'Amato also ran a PB in Arizona in December, clocking 2:22:56, while 22-year-old Belete – who was sixth at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships and ran a world U20 best of 1:07:51 later that year – has a marathon PB of 2:24:54 set when finishing fourth in Houston last year.

Among those joining them on the start line will be the USA’s Emma Bates, Diane Nukuri and Lindsay Flanagan.

Kipyego ready to turn up the heat

With his PB of 2:03:55 set at the Milan Marathon in May, Kipyego goes into the Chicago race as the second fastest man in 2021. The 25-year-old made his marathon debut in Buenos Aires in 2019, clocking 2:05:18, and later that year he improved to 2:04:40 to win in Abu Dhabi, despite having started the race as a pacemaker. He also seems unfazed by the warmer than expected temperatures, simply replying: ‘No problem’ at the pre-race press conference when asked about the weather.

Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura, meanwhile, explained how he is not as comfortable in the heat but he will go into the race looking to build on the 2:04:29 PB he set when finishing fourth in that same Milan Marathon in May. He also has experience of the Chicago event, having finished sixth in 2019 in 2:08:35.

Rupp leads US hopes as the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist returns to action after his eighth place in the Tokyo Olympic marathon nine weeks ago and third-place finish in the Great North Run half marathon in 1:01:52 last month. Eighth fastest among the entries, his PB of 2:06:07 was set in Prague in 2018 but he will be looking to regain the crown he claimed in 2017.

Kenya’s Dickson Chumba is also a former Chicago winner, having triumphed in 2015, and he set his PB of 2:04:32 in the same city the year before that. The fourth sub-2:05 runner in the field is Kengo Suzuki, who broke the Japanese record with his 2:04:56 to win the Lake Biwa Marathon in February.

Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui is also one to watch. Having helped to pace world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge in the past, the 58:42 half marathon runner made his own marathon debut last year and improved to 2:05:47 to win in Siena in April. 

“I was so happy to run 2:06 for my first marathon,” he told NN Running Team. “What it proved to me was, yes, I was in good shape but that I had the mentality to perform over the marathon distance.” Looking ahead to Chicago, he added: “I aim to run 2:03/2:04 but my first priority is to win the race."

Ethiopia’s Chalu Deso and Shifera Tamru have respective bests of 2:04:53 and 2:05:18, while Ian Butler, who is coached by former world record-holder Steve Jones and balances his running with his job as a teacher, is the second-fastest US runner in the field with a PB of 2:09:45 set in Arizona last year.

(10/09/2021) Views: 89 ⚡AMP
by Jess Whittington for World Athletics
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...

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Chicago Marathon added 17 but 14 withdrawn to its 2021 lineup

There have been some changes made to the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon elite lineup.

Marathon organizers said that previously announced athletes Getaneh Molla (ETH), Hassan El Abbassi (BRN), Joel Kimurer (KEN), Laban Korir (KEN), Masato Kikuchi (JPN), Derlys Ayala (PAR), Sid Vaughn (USA), Vianey De la Rosa (MEX), Bridget Lyons Belyeu (USA), Rosie Edwards (GBR), Josh Cassidy (CAN), Brent Lakatos (CAN), Joey Gibbs (USA) and Madison de Rozario (AUS) have withdrawn from the 2021 event.

On the other hand, Reuben Kipyego (KEN), Dickson Chumba (KEN), Kengo Suzuki (JPN), Chalu Deso (ETH), Ian Butler (USA), Tyler Jermann (USA), Turner Wiley (USA), Jacob Thomson (USA), Vivian Kiplagat (KEN), Meseret Belete (ETH), Carrie Dimoff (USA), Maegan Krifchin (USA), Tristin Van Ord (USA), Whitney Macon (USA), Polina Hodnette (USA), Kate Bazeley (CAN) and Sarah Pagano (USA) have been added to the lineup.

The changes continue to bring some of the world's best elite runners to the start line at the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 10, including previously announced headliners Galen Rupp and Sara Hall.

"We are excited to welcome so many outstanding athletes to Grant Park this fall," said Bank of America Chicago Marathon 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."

Pinkowski acknowledged that hosting the Chicago Marathon during an Olympic year, coupled with a fall racing season that includes all six of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, adds to the excitement of the city's beloved race.

Several athletes in the elite wheelchair competition will compete back-to-back, in Chicago on Oct. 10 and Boston on Oct. 11, with Romanchuk, Hug and McFadden planning to complete the double.

"McFadden stands out as the most decorated athlete in Bank of America Chicago Marathon history with eight championships," organizers said, noting that Romanchuk, the 2018 and 2019 champion, and two-time champion Hug could "propel each other to course record times if the conditions are right."

"The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is where my Abbott World Marathon Majors journey began back when I was 16 and where I won for the first time, so it's very special to me," said Romanchuk. "We've all been eagerly anticipating the return of in-person marathon racing, and I can't wait to get back to the streets of Chicago!"

(10/06/2021) Views: 112 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...

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After setting a personal best of 2:02:37 to win the Milano Marathon in May, Titus Ekiru believes he can run under two hours

 Titus Ekiru believes he can run under two hours at the upcoming Chicago and London marathons. 

The 2019 African Games half marathon champion led a 1-2-3 Kenyan finish as he set a new course record, ahead of Reuben Kipyego (2:03:55) and Barnabas Kiptum (2:04:17) in second and third respectively. 

"I've been working hard in training to improve on the weak aspects of my performance. So far, so good; I believe that running under two hours is possible with the way my training has worked out so far. We are discussing with the management to explore the possibility of running at the Chicago and London marathons, among other races in the future," Ekiru said.

If he achieves this target, he would become the second man to ever run a marathon under two hours after marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge timed 1:59:40 during the INEOS Challenge in Vienna, Austria. 

Ekiru admitted that he had dreamt of representing the country at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics until these hopes were dashed when Athletics Kenya named Eliud Kipchoge, Lawrence Cherono, Vincent Kipchumba and Abel Kirui as Kenya's representatives in the road races. 

"It was my desire and hope that I would have been selected to compete in the marathon. Now that the team has been named, there's nothing much to do but to focus on the future. I can't compete in the 10,000m because I have not been specialising in it for a while," he said. 

(06/21/2021) Views: 124 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Ekiru and Gebrekidan break Italian all-comers’ records in Milan

Kenya’s Titus Ekiru and Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan recorded world-leading times of 2:02:57 and 2:19:35 to break the Italian all-comers’ records at the Generali Milano Marathon, a World Athletics Label road race, on Sunday (16).

It was Ekiru’s second victory in Milan, having won in 2019 in 2:04:46, the previous Italian all-comers’ record. Gebrekidan, meanwhile, was competing in Italy for the first time and was rewarded with a four-minute PB.

This year’s race, held in ideal 13C temperatures, was staged on a 7.5km circuit in front of the Castello Sforzesco in the heart of Milan.

In the men’s race, the leading pack of 10 athletes set a consistent pace in the first half, passing 5km in 14:47, 10km in 29:28 and 15km in 44:13. Leading South African runner Stephen Mokoka, acting as a pacemaker in Milan, reached the half-way mark in 1:01:48.

Ekiru started to push the pace after 30km, covering the next five-kilometre segment in 14:11 and the following one in 14:34. He maintained that pace to the end and, having covered the second half in 1:01:09, went on to cross the finish line in 2:02:57.

The 29-year-old now moves to fifth on the world all-time list, level with former world record-holder Dennis Kimetto.

The first five men finished inside the previous Italian all-comers’ record. Reuben Kipyego finished second in 2:03:55 ahead of Barnabas Kiptum (2:04:17), 2018 Milan Marathon winner Seifu Tura from Ethiopia (2:04:29), Leul Gebrselassie from Ethiopia (2:04:31), and Gabriel Gerald Geay, who set a Tanzanian record of 2:04:55.

“At 20 km I felt in very good shape and I tried to push the pace,” said Ekiru, the 2019 African Games half marathon champion. “I feel emotional. Maybe I can run 2:01 in the future.”

Unlike the men’s contest, the women’s race was a one-runner affair with Gebrekidan making a break in the early stages.

After covering the first 5km in 16:43 as part of a leading pack, the 26-year-old Ethiopian made a break and went through the half-way point inside 70 minutes with a lead of 20 seconds, hinting at a finishing time inside 2:20.

By the time she reached 30km in 1:38:28, Gebrekidan’s lead over Kenya’s Racheal Mutgaa had grown to 84 seconds. Gebrekidan’s pace dropped only slightly in the second half and she held on to win in 2:19:35, breaking the previous world-leading time and Italian all-comers’ record of2:20:08 set by Kenya’s Angela Tanui in Siena last month.

"I trained very well and I prepared for this race at the Istanbul Half Marathon," said Gebrekidan, whose previous PB of 2:23:50 was set at the 2019 Guangzhou Marathon. "I will celebrate this win with my family."

Mutgaa went on to finish second in 2:22:50 ahead of Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba (2:23:10). With the first seven women finishing inside 2:25, it was the deepest ever women’s marathon held in Italy.

(05/16/2021) Views: 275 ⚡AMP
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Milano Marathon

Milano Marathon

Passion is what allows us to go beyond our limits. It’s what makes us run when our heath is bursting in our chest, it’s whats makes our legs move even if they’re worn out. It’s passion against sacrifice, and the winner will be declared though hard training, hearth and concentration. Milano Marathon has been presented in the futuristic Generali Tower,...

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Abu Dhabi Marathon has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizers to postpone the 2020 ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon until next year.

Thousands of runners had already signed up to compete in the event which was due to take place on December 11.

But with the public’s health and safety remaining the organisers’ "top priority" the competition has been called off for 2020 as the search begins for a new date in 2021.

Aref Hamad Al Awani, secretary general of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, insisted implementing safety and precautionary measures in every event staged in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was key.

"With such an overwhelming response, both within the UAE and the region, the Sports Council is looking forward to organizing this popular event on another date during next year," said Al Awani.

"We are deeply committed to implementing the highest safety standards and precautionary measures in all global and community sporting events held in Abu Dhabi.

"This is based on the instructions of the competent Government agencies emphasizing great attention to the safety and health of everyone.

"Under its exceptional efforts in managing the optimal handling of the crisis and with the joint coordination with all concerned parties it led us to postpone the third edition of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon from December 2020 to 2021, in the context of ensuring the safety of everyone.

"We now look forward to welcoming all participants and unite with the solidarity and support of each other in overcoming these unfavorable times."

Kenyan duo Reuben Kipyego and Vivian Kiplagat came out on top in last year's event.

Race organizers said every runner registered for this year’s postponed event would be able to keep their place for next year with refunds given out to those that are unable to compete in 2021.

(10/13/2020) Views: 393 ⚡AMP
by Geoff Berkeley
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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Kenya’s Evans Chebet breaks south american all-comers´ record in Buenos Aires

Kenya’s Evans Chebet stopped the clock at 2:05:02 at the Buenos Aires Marathon on Sunday, breaking the South American all-comers’ record in the process at the IAAF Bronze Label road race.

Chebet was joined by compatriots Daniel Kibet, Allan Kiprono and Reuben Kipyego through the first half, which was covered in a swift 1:02:13, suggesting that the course record of 2:05:21, set last year, was under threat.

Kiprono was the first of the Kenyan quartet to drop off the pace, and by 30km it was down to just Chebet and Kipyego. Although Chebet’s pace slowed slightly in the second half, he was able to detach himself from Kipyego at about 34km and went on to win in 2:05:02, taking 28 seconds off the PB he set in Valencia two years ago.

Kipyego finished second in 2:05:19 with Kibet placing third in 2:06:52.

Rodah Tanui took almost five minutes off the women’s course record to win in 2:25:46.

Having been joined by Ethiopia’s Mulu Demissie for the first half, Tanui broke away from her opponent before the 25-kilometre mark and went on to win comfortably.

Demissie finished second in 2:30:33 with Faith Chemaoi placing third in 2:32:52.

(09/23/2019) Views: 898 ⚡AMP
by Vincent Wu
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Buenos Aires Marathon

Buenos Aires Marathon

The Maratón of Buenos Aires is an annual marathon foot-race which takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the Southern Hemisphere's Spring, usually in October. The 21st edition of the Buenos Aires Marathon started on October 9, 2005 at 7:30 at the 9 de Julio Avenue and Córdoba Avenue in the Recoleta neighborhood, being the start also the end point. ...

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