Tag Archives: Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich target Chicago Marathon crowns

Kenya’s 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

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.

CAPE TOWN MARATHON BECOMES ABBOTT WORLD MARATHON MAJORS

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has officially been confirmed as an Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) candidate race – the first marathon in Africa to be nominated.

The announcement marks the commencement of a multi-year evaluation process conducted by AbbottWMM.
In order to become a Major, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be required to meet certain criteria for three years and if successful, will join an elite group of races – Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW-BERLIN Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon – as a new member of the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2025.

“We have always believed that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon could be Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Major, so becoming a candidate race is a tremendous honour”, said Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Chairman, Francois Pienaar at the announcement event at Cape Town Stadium.

“It acknowledges the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon as a global event that has consistently delivered a top quality world-class race, and one that continuously innovates and creates world-first initiatives like the immersive audio experience during the 2020 virtual race.

“Becoming an Abbott World Marathon Major would be like hosting a world championship event every single year, and achieving this status would be a tremendous boost for the city, country and continent. Africa is home to the best marathon runners in the world and we hope they will get the opportunity to run an Abbott World Marathon Major on home turf in the coming years.”

Headline sponsor Sanlam is celebrating its eighth sponsorship year and is equally thrilled at the prospect of the event becoming a jewel in the AbbottWMM crown.
Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive of Sanlam Brand, says: “This is our eighth year as headline sponsor of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and we have always believed deeply in the vision for this race – to become Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Major. Africa is our home, this is our race and we are absolutely committed to investing in the potential of this wonderful continent. Our purpose is to help people across Africa live with confidence and this race is the perfect way to foster the growth of Africa’s economy, and to showcase our people’s unparalleled potential.  Creating a lasting legacy for generations to come is a vision and dream we share with all our partners.

“And now we are celebrating coming a step closer. The collective confidence that the continent will garner from hosting an event of this stature will deliver value in many ways, enabling us to benefit economically and socially from a world-class event. We extend our sincerest congratulations to all of our partners who have worked tirelessly to elevate the event to this level. We have no doubt that in just three short years, we will tick all the boxes and have the honour of hosting the continent’s first major on home soil.”

Cape Town is a port city on the tip of South Africa’s southwest coast that is overlooked by the world-renowned Table Mountain, an official New7Wonder of Nature. It is consistently rated as one of the world’s most beautiful cities and most popular tourist destinations – renowned for its exquisite natural beauty, sweeping vistas, beaches, family friendly activities and some of the best restaurants in the world.

Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato said that this candidacy means a lot for Cape Town, South Africa and Africa, and will further solidify the Mother City’s reputation as a sports capital. “We are proud to be the host of SA and Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Majors Candidate and wholeheartedly support the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in the coming years.

“We know that these evaluation years will already offer a tremendous economic boost for Cape Town and its residents, and expect an annual influx of approximately 10,000 international athletes and their supporters in the coming years – especially once the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon earns Abbott World Marathon Major status. We can’t wait to welcome more recreational and elite marathoners to Cape Town; it’s time to show the world how we run a marathon to the African beat.”

Pienaar noted that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon already meets many of the requirements set by the Abbott World Marathon Majors, and that continued enhancements will be made to the race. This also includes a new strategic partnership with Infront, the media and marketing specialists who will join the event on this exciting journey, noted Pienaar. “We are pulling out all the stops to achieve these goals, and are excited to receive the support from our runners, spectators, sponsors and the City to make this dream a reality.”

Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Senior Vice President Personal & Corporate Fitness at Infront, said: “We are happy to become a shareholder of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and we fully buy into the ambition to reach AbbottWMM status by 2025. This is exciting news for the city of Cape Town, South Africa and Africa. Our direct involvement forms part of our growing ambition to further enter the African market and will both strengthen our relationship with the AbbottWMM as well as support future business opportunities.”

Added James Moloi, President of Athletics South Africa: “This is an important step in the history of road-running in the country and Africa as a whole. It will be a significant recognition which would elevate the race to another prestigious level.”

Tim Hadzima, Executive Director, Abbott World Marathon Majors said, “The Abbott World Marathon Majors are delighted to welcome the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon into the candidate process from 2022. This presents an exciting opportunity to expand our impact into Africa and further our mission to create, grow and support opportunities for all to discover the power of the marathon community. We look forward to working closely with the team in Cape Town as we start this journey together!”

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has been growing in popularity for the better part of the last decade, with its route offering spectacular ocean scenery and mountain views, while passing many of the City’s great attractions from its famous street art to its iconic historical features – including City Hall, where Nelson Mandela delivered his first public speech as a free man in 1990.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was awarded the prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Status for the fourth consecutive year in 2020 – the only marathon on the African continent and one of only a select group of marathons in the world to have this status.

In addition to the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, China’s Chengdu Marathon is also currently an AbbottWMM candidate race. The Singapore Marathon recently dropped out of the process.

The 2021 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is scheduled to take place on 17 October 2021. Entries are open at www.capetownmarathon.com.

Chicago Marathon participants MUST have COVID-19 vaccination Certificate

Chicago Marathon organisers have made it a must for participants at the 43rd edition to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test to be able to participate at the event on 10, October 21.

The 2021 Chicago Marathon, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has made the organizers to publish new updated COVID-19 guidelines.

Around 35,000 people have registered for the 2021 Chicago Marathon, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Registered participants are required to provide proof of a complete COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 test result to participate in the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon,” organisers said.

“Registered participants who are not fully vaccinated are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result for a test administered within 72 hours of attending the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

“The event defines ‘fully vaccinated’ as individuals who are two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

“Proof of vaccination (hard copy, photocopy or digital version of an immunization record) or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of attending the event is required for entrance to the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo.

“Individuals unable to prove full vaccination or negative test will be barred from entering the Health and Fitness Expo and unable to pick up the necessary race materials that allow for participation in the event.”

Organisers say RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, lateral flow, and rapid antigen tests are approved.

Attendees will be required to wear face coverings while at indoor event venues, while participants are encouraged to wear face coverings in Grant Park prior to starting the race.

World Marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich, who dropped out of the Olympic marathon at around 30 km, will make her Chicago Marathon debut. Sarah Hall ousted Chepngetich in a sprint for second place at the 2020 London Marathon, but all eyes will be on their rematch. Chepngetich is the only East African runner in an elite field that’s deep with American talent.

Other top notch elites on the list include Getaneh Molla and Seifu Tura from Ethiopia, Keira D’Amato (USA), and Emma Bates (USA).

Ruth Chepngetich to highlight Chicago Marathon

World Marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich, has been named in the 43rd edition of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon that will be held on 10th October 2012 in Chicago.

 Chepngetich, who dropped out of the Olympic marathon at around 30 km, comes to Chicago as the race favorite. Sarah Hall ousted Chepngetich in a sprint for second place at the 2020 London Marathon, but all eyes will be on their rematch. Chepngetich is the only East African runner in an elite field that’s deep with American talent.

Other top notch elites on the list include Getaneh Molla and Seifu Tura from Ethiopia, Keira D’Amato (USA), and Emma Bates (USA).

Mo Farah to battle Galen Rupp at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that four-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time world champion and five-time European champion Mo Farah will join the 2018 Chicago Marathon elite competition.

In 2012, Farah became the first British athlete in history to win an Olympic gold at the 10,000m, and he is just the second athlete in history to pull off back-to-back gold medals in both the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

The Chicago Marathon marks Farah’s third go at the distance and his first 42K on U.S. soil. He joins defending champion and former training partner, Galen Rupp, at the front of this year’s elite pack. Farah and Rupp made history together at the 2012 London Olympics, finishing with the gold and silver in the 10,000m.

“Mo and Galen are two of the greatest distance runners of all time,” said Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Carey Pinkowski. “They come to Chicago following in the footsteps of incredible runners like Khalid Khannouchi, Sammy Wanjiru, Moses Tanui, Paul Tergat, Steve Jones and more.

These two runners have competed at the highest level of competition and I’m confident they will come prepared for what’s shaping up to be an epic showdown.”

Farah made his marathon debut in 2014 in London, clocking 2:08: 21 to finish eighth. He refocused his energy on the track and the 2016 Rio Olympics before tackling the distance again this spring. He finished third in London with a new personal best and a national record, 2:06:21. Farah dazzled fans at the 2016 Rio Olympics when he experienced a dramatic fall, tumbling hard to the track, in the 10,000m.

Instead of panicking, he found his feet, rejoined the pack and ran away from the rest of the field to win gold. In addition to his Olympic and world titles, he has landed on the top of the podium 20 times in the Diamond League track competitions.

Farah holds national track records in the 1500m, 3000m, two-mile, 5000m and 10,000m, and British road records in the 5K, 10K, 20K, half marathon and marathon. In 2017, Farah was named BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2018 will re-introduce pacers ” “rabbits” ” into the elite competition after breaking from the tradition for the past few years.

“The championship style of racing that spectators enjoy will continue as the race enters its final miles,” Pinkowski said. “The epic 2010 duel between the late Wanjiru and Tsegaye Kebede – arguably one of the greatest finishes in marathon history – underscores the importance of the tactics that still exist and flourish in paced races.”

Pinkowski and event organizers decided to transition back to pacers to leverage the speed of the course, to work towards setting up ideal conditions for the top tier elite athletes confirmed so far, and to respond to feedback received from runners.

“We listened to the athletes and they want to come to Chicago because of our tradition of fast times and our legacy as a world record course,” continued Pinkowski. “If athletes want to run in races without pacers, there are several opportunities for them to do so.”

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Rupp to defend his Chicago Marathon title

Organisers of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that defending champion Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay will return to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on 7 October.

““Galen and Jordan are leading an exciting American resurgence in the marathon, and we are thrilled to welcome them back to Chicago this coming fall,”” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. ““Galen won in a decisive move last year and just dominated a talented men’’s field. Jordan ran with pure guts and she was rewarded with a podium finish and the fastest American time ever run on Chicago’s course. She has found her distance with the marathon.”

Rupp’’s commitment to the race comes on the heels of his victory and personal best at the Prague Marathon on 6 May. Rupp ran to a convincing win, stopping the clock in 2:06:07 to become the third-fastest US marathoner.

Rupp, the 2016 Olympic Marathon bronze medallist and the 2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medallist, stamped his name in Chicago Marathon history with less than three miles to go last fall to become the first US male runner to win since Khalid Khannouchi broke the tape in 2002, clocking 2:09:20.

Last fall, Hasay hit the first 10 kilometres on course-record pace and hung on to finish third in 2:20:57, the second-fastest time ever recorded by a US athlete.

“I’’m thrilled to be coming back to Chicago,”” said Hasay. “My goal is to target a fast time and contend for the win.”

Stage set for Abbott World Marathon Majors Series finale

There is plenty to play for as we reach the conclusion of Series XI of the Abbott World Marathon Majors at the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for many of the world’s greatest marathon athletes, and after six races we are still unclear as to who will scoop the $250,000 top prize on 22 April.

The Series got underway in spectacular style in the English capital as Mary Keitany scorched her way to a women’s only world record of 2:17:01, beating Paula Radcliffe’s mark of 2:17:42 set in 2005.

Daniel Wanjiru made it a Kenyan double in the open division with his win in the men’s race and there was home crowd delight as David Weir took his seventh London wheelchair title, beating Marcel Hug in a hard-fought sprint along The Mall. Manuela Schär claimed the women’s crown to begin a dominant Series for the Swiss racer.

The open Series made a quick return to London in the summer, as it encompassed the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships, where Geoffrey Kiriu of Kenya maintained the form he had shown to win the 2017 Boston Marathon to take the gold and 25 points on offer in the Abbott WMM competition. Rose Chelimo of Bahrain was the women’s champion, beating the veteran Edna Kiplagat into second place as she crossed the finish line on Tower Bridge.

The Series then recommenced in the rain of Berlin where the stage had been set for a tussle between three of the best men in marathon history as Series IX and X champion Eluid Kipchoge faced off against Series VII king Wilson Kipsang and Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele, who had finished second in London in the spring.

The contest provided the perfect stage for the world record to tumble, but Bekele and Kipsang could not last the distance in the German capital and dropped out to leave Kipchoge in a shoot-out with surprise package Guye Adola. The Kenyan legend won the battle of wits and eased to his first win of the Series.

Gladys Cherono took the women’s title with a 22-second margin over Ethiopian Ruti Aga, and there was a second win of the women’s wheelchair Series for Schär, who was matched by her compatriot Hug in the men’s race.

Schär would not get it all her own way in the next stop for the Series at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, as a resurgent Tatyana McFadden edged a sprint finish with training partner Amanda McGrory, the Swiss star just two seconds behind them. No such problems for Hug who was crowned Chicago champion for the second time with a sprint victory over Australia’s Kurt Fearnley.

In the open division, Tirunesh Dibaba claimed her maiden Abbott WMM race win to add to her second in London, while the USA was able to celebrate its first male winner in Chicago since 2002 when Galen Rupp, former training partner to Mo Farah, ran away from the pack with three miles to go to take the tape and fire himself into Series contention.

The American fairytale was to continue on the damp streets of New York City, but this time in the women’s division. In a race dominated in recent years by Keitany, the Kenyan was beaten by Shalane Flanagan in a memorable run that saw the Boston-born athlete punching the air with delight as she romped home through Central Park.

There was a Kenyan one-two in the men’s race, with Geoffrey Kamworor just about holding off the late-charging Wilson Kipsang to win his first Abbott WMM race.

Manuela Schär returned to the top of the podium in the women’s wheelchair race, turning the tables on McFadden and matching Hug who claimed the men’s wheelchair race.

Kipsang was the firm favourite to finally claim a win in this Series in Tokyo when the show rolled into the Japanese capital in February.

But the 36-year-old succumbed to an illness picked up prior to the race and stepped off the road just 17km into proceedings. Kipsang’s withdrawal opened the door for his compatriot Dickson Chumba to run away from the field and claim a second Tokyo title.

The roars were arguably louder for the man who followed him home, however, as Yuta Shitara smashed the Japanese national record and Asian record, having carved his way from fifth to second in the late stages. Birhane Dibaba also scooped her second Tokyo victory in the women’s race.

There was more home joy in the men’s wheelchair tussle as 51-year-old Hiroyuki Yamamoto made a daring early break stick. With just Tomoki Suzuki for company, Yamamoto rounded the final bend on one wheel before out-muscling his younger compatriot for a famous victory. 

Manuela Schär again proved head and shoulders above her competition with her fourth win in five Series races to establish an unassailable lead, McFadden coming home over a minute behind her rival.

And so as we head for Boston and – just six days later ¬– close the Series in London, the wheelchair spoils are largely decided with Schär and Hug both uncatchable.

But there is the potential for drama aplenty in both open divisions.

Flanagan can take a commanding position in the fight for the Series XI title if she can claim victory in Boston on 16 April.

The American scored 25 points with her win at the TCS New York City Marathon, and can move to 50 with a second triumph of the campaign.

A first place for Flanagan would deny a third Series crown for Keitany when she mounts the defence of her London title.

The Kenyan is now hunting Paula Radcliffe’s male pacemaker-assisted time of 02:15:25 in London. But Keitany’s defeat to Flanagan in Central Park last November means the Marblehead native has a better head-to-head record than the two-time Series champion.

With only the top two results counting for open division athletes, that win for Flanagan on the streets of New York City means if both women end up with two wins apiece, we will have the first American women’s champion in the history of the Series.

But Flanagan, who missed last year’s Boston Marathon with a stress fracture in her back, will have her work cut out if she is to make it to that Boylston Street Finish Line ahead of the pack.

Alongside a formidable-looking American field, defending champion Edna Kiplagat will be desperate to repeat her success of 2017. The veteran Kenyan can take a share of the lead on 41 points if she can claim the spoils on Patriots Day.

World champion Chelimo, Berlin winner Cherono and Chicago champ Dibaba are all due to be on the start line in London, too and will all still have a shot at the title.

On the men’s side, Geoffrey Kirui, who is also seeking to retain his status as Boston champion after rounding off Series X with a win there, can move to 50 points with victory after being crowned world champion last summer in London. 

The same goes for Rupp who can also make it two wins from two appearances.

A win for either will leave it down to one of Kipchoge or Wanjiru to match them in London. In that scenario, there will have been no head to head between the only two men on 50 points, forcing a vote by the six race directors to find the men’s Series XI winner. Should neither Kipchoge or Wanjiru secure first or second place 22 April, and Rupp and Kirui both miss out in Boston, the door is open for the likes of Bekele and Adola to sneak into first place. Calculators at the ready.

Source: virginmoneylondonmarathon.com