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Cherigat, Culpepper, Kipsang, Korir, Limo and Rutto to Lead the Men's Elite Field in the 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Khalid Khannouchi withdraws
from The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

Race Press Release
CHICAGO (September 20 2005) The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon men's elite field is set. On Sunday, October 9, Returning champion Evans Rutto hopes to hold onto his title against Timothy Cherigat, Alan Culpepper, William Kipsang, Sammy Korir, and Felix Limo.

"This year's men's field has athletes that have produced record performances in some of the greatest events in the world," commented Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "This group of talented athletes have collectively prepared and focused with the same dedication and goal in mind, to be the Champion of The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon."

Although not competing this year, Khannouchi will still take part in the Race Weekend activities and support what would have been his competition.

"It is certainly disappointing that I won't be competing in this year's LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon," remarked Khannouchi. "Chicago is the best place in the world to run a marathon, but due to some setbacks and injuries I won't be able to perform at a competitive level. My goal is to join the thousands of runners this year in Chicago as a spectator and to be back in the field ready to win the race next year."

Even with Khannouchi's absence, the men's field remains strong and competitive, led by Returning Champion Evans Rutto.

Evans Rutto, 27, in 2003, ran his debut marathon performance at The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. Rutto overcame a strong elite field to win with a record setting fastest debut time of 2:05:50. This performance also earned him the spot for the sixth fastest time ever.

His success continued in 2004 when he won his second consecutive LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:06:16. After receiving amazing support last year from the estimated 1.2 million spectators, Rutto is thrilled to come back to Chicago and attempt the three-peat. Like his predecessor, Khannouchi, Rutto hopes to continue to do well on the flat, fast course that defines Chicago.

Timothy Cherigat, 28, won the 2002 San Sebastian Marathon and set a new personal record of 2:09:34, also a course record and fastest time ever recorded in Spain. Two years later he won the Boston Marathon in 2004 with a time of 2:10:37.

This will not be his first appearance in Chicago. In 2004 he was a pacer for The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, leading the pack in 62:24. After experiencing The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon as a pacer, he is eager to compete with the elite field this year.

Alan Culpepper, 33, ran his first Marathon at The 2002 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, placing sixth overall and coming in second among American males. His time of 2:09:41 tied Alberto Salazar for the fastest American debut ever. In only his second marathon, Culpepper won the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Birmingham, Ala. with a time of 2:11:42. At the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, he competed against the world's best marathoners and finished twelfth in hot, humid conditions.

This year at the 2005 Boston Marathon, Culpepper came in fourth with a time of 2:13:30, marking the best performance in Boston by an American male since 1987. After great success in only four marathons, Culpepper hopes his fifth marathon and second time running in Chicago will prove to be his best.

William Kipsang, 28, won the 2003 Amsterdam marathon running a personal best of 2:06:39, which also broke the course record. More recently, on September 18, Kipsang won the Dam to Dam 10-miler in Holland, the Netherlands, clocking in at 46:04

In February of 2005, Kipsang won the Seoul International Marathon after outpacing defending champion Gert Thys of South Africa. Kipsang clocked 2:08:53 ahead of Thys, who was bidding for a three-peat in Seoul after back-to-back victories in 2003 and 2004. Kipsang hopes to have the same fate against Rutto this year, who is also going for the three-peat in Chicago.

Sammy Korir, 33, is the second fastest marathon runner in history with a time one second off the world record. Korir will make his first appearance at The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. Korir won five of his first six completed marathons and holds seven spots in the top 200 all-time marathon performances.

In 2004, Korir raced against The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon defending champion Evans Rutto at the London Marathon. After a tough fall on the cobblestones by the Tower Hotel in London, Korir was still able to place second behind Rutto with a time of 2:06:48. This year in Chicago, Korir looks to have better success against Rutto.

Felix Limo, 25, made his Marathon debut at the 2003 Amsterdam Marathon where he raced to second place with a time of 2:06:42. He came in just three seconds behind Kipsang. Like Kipsang, Limo also competed in the Dam to Dam 10-miler in Holland, the Netherlands, placing fifth with a time of 46:48.

His time at the 2004 Rotterdam Marathon of 2:06:14 is the ninth fastest marathon time ever, making Limo the sixth fastest marathon runner in history. Above him in rankings include Korir and Rutto.

As of September 2005, the Men's Elite Athlete Field includes:

Dejene Berhanu, ETH

Timothy Cherigat, KEN

Alan Culpepper, USA (Boulder, Colo.)

Josh Eberly, USA (Rochester, Mich.)

Luke Humphrey, USA (Rochester, Mich.)

Patrick Ivuti, KEN

Laban Kipkemboi, KEN

William Kipsang, KEN

Craig Kirkwood, NZL

Paul Koech, KEN

Sammy Korir, KEN

James Kwambai, KEN

Matt Lane, USA (Eugene, Ore.)

Felix Limo, KEN

Ben Maiyo, KEN

Daniel Njenga, KEN

Thomas Nyariki, KEN

Pablo Olmedo, MEX

Evans Rutto, KEN (Returning Champion)

Atsushi Sato, JPN

Shinichi Watanabe, JPN

The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon takes place Sunday, October 9 starting and finishing in Chicago's Grant Park. The Race will be broadcast live beginning at 8 a.m. on CBS 2 CHICAGO and ESPN 1000. Elite athletes will compete for a portion of the $650,000 prize purse, the highest in the sport. The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon draws world-class athletes and participants from all 50 states and from more than 110 countries.

The Health & Fitness Expo will take place Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8, 2005. The Expo will include more than 150 exhibitors featuring the newest designs in running gear and shoes, as well as the latest developments in sports, fitness and nutrition. For more information on The LaSalle Chicago Marathon visit .chicagomarathon.com or call 312/904-9800.

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