Deep fields and fast times on tap for Bank of America Chicago Marathon
INDIANAPOLIS – Reigning Olympic Marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru
of Kenya and Liliya Shobukhova of Russia will return to Chicago to
defend their Bank of America Chicago Marathon title(s) Sunday.
The 33rd edition of The Bank
of America Chicago Marathon will see the deepest field in race history
with five men who have run faster than 2 hours, 6 minutes for the
marathon distance. In addition to the defending champion, the women’s
field will feature Irina Mikitenko of Germany. With a personal best of
2:19:19, Mikitenko is the fourth fastest woman ever in the marathon.
Challenging Wanjiru for the overall title
will be London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia and Boston
Marathon champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya and 2009 Boston
Marathon champion Deriba Merga of Ethiopia.
A strong contingent of U.S. marathoners will also be on the line
in Chicago this Sunday. Among the favorites in the women’s field will
be Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.), who posted the fastest
marathon time in 2010 for a U.S. woman, with a 2:26:22 at the Rotterdam
Marathon in April. Along with Boulet, Desiree Davila (Rochester Hills,
Mich.) will be looking to improve on her personal best of 2:27:53, set
last year at the IAAF World Championships Marathon in Berlin, Germany.
Also in the women’s field will be 1984
Olympic Marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson (Freeport, Maine).
Samuelson will compete in Chicago to celebrate the 25th anniversary of
her 1985 Chicago Marathon victory where she won in an American record
time of 2:21:21, a time that stood until 2003.
Samuelson is also hoping to join several U.S. women in the quest
to run under the U.S. Olympic Trials standard of 2:46:00, qualifying
her to compete in a record fifth U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. She has
previously competed in the 1984, 1996, 2000 and 2008 Olympic Trials.
Though Ryan Hall (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.)
withdrew from the race last week, a number of U.S. men will look to make
a name for themselves in Chicago. Nick Arciniaga (Flagstaff, Ariz.),
the fourth-place finisher at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, is
the fastest U.S. man in the field with a 2:11:46. Joining Arciniaga
will be 2009 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon champion Jason Hartmann
(Boulder, Colo.) with a best of 2:12:09 and 2010 USA Men’s 10 Mile
Champion Fasil Bizuneh (Flagstaff, Ariz.).
In a continuing effort to support the development of American
athletes in the marathon, the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will
once again offer the following American Development Time Bonuses:
Men: $2,500 for sub 2:19:00; $1,000 for sub 2:21:00
Women: $2,500 for sub 2:39:00; $1,000 for sub 2:46:00
NBCChicago.com will stream the entire Bank of America Chicago
Marathon online, complete with on-air commentary and mile-by-mile
analysis. On race day, Oct. 10, go to NBCChicago.com.
In its 33rd year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the
Bank of America Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 participants,
including a world class elite field and a world class elite wheelchair
field, and 1.7 million spectators. The 2010 Bank of America Chicago
Marathon will start and finish in Chicago’s Grant Park beginning at 7:30
a.m. on Sunday, October 10.
For more information on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon visit www.chicagomarathon.com.