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Khalid Khannouchi Out of 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
By David Monti
(c) 2005 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
September 20, 2005

The organizers of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon confirmed today that former marathon world record holder and four-time Chicago Marathon champion, Khalid Khannouchi of Ossining, N.Y., had withdrawn from their race.

"It is certainly disappointing that I won't be competing in this year's LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon," Khannouchi said via press release.  "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."

Khannouchi, 33, who rose to fame with his sizzling performances in Chicago, first won there in 1997 in 2:07:10.  He won again in 1999 in a world record 2:05:42, defended his title in 2000 (2:07:01) and won again in 2002, the same year he beat Paul Tergat and Haile Gebrselassie at the Flora London Marathon.  Khannouchi has been battling various injuries to his foot, hip and legs and had a "minor surgery" in June which forced him to miss enough training so that he felt he could not line up in Chicago.

Taking over the mantle at Chicago from Khannouchi is Evans Rutto of Kenya, who has won the race the last two years in a row.  He is expected to be challenged by a group of mostly Kenyan rivals: Timothy Cherigat, Paul Koech, Alan Culpepper, William Kipsang, Sammy Korir, Felix Limo, Patrick Ivuti, James Kwambai, Ben Maiyo and Thomas Nyariki.

"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."

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, October 9.

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