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Evans Rutto Going for Historic Three Peat in Chicago
By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2005 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
October 5, 2005

When he toes the line at the start of Sunday's LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, Evans Rutto believes he'll be up to the task for his third straight win on the streets of the 'Windy City.'

"I'll have to wait to see how the race is, but of course it is my aim to win again this year," said the 27-year-old Kenyan who debuted over the distance in Chicago in 2003 clocking 2:05:50, the fastest ever by a debutante. Last year he followed up with another brisk performance clocking 2:06:16 but remains hesitant to predict fast times.

"Of course I would like to run a fast race, but most importantly, I want to win."

"To win Chicago again this year would be a great honor since it is one of the world's greatest marathons," he continued, "and I believe that only Khalid (Khannouchi) has won three times, so it would be great to equal his record. I am feeling confident, but not under pressure."

Khannouchi has actually raced to victory four times in Chicago, but no one has won the race on three consecutive occasions.

Running against strong fields, Rutto has won three of his four marathons --in addition to Chicago, he also won the Flora London Marathon in 2004-- but hasn't raced since his tenth place finish in London last April. In Chicago, he'll face another stiff challenge. The high-powered field includes training partner Timothy Cherigat, the 2004 Boston Marathon winner; 2003 Chicago runner-up Paul Koech; Sammy Korir, the second fastest marathoner ever; two-time Chicago runner-up Daniel Njenga, and 2003 Rotterdam winner Felix Limo. But he's not singling out anyone in particular as the man to beat.

"I only know the shape of my training partners and they are also in very good shape. I can't comment on the others," said Rutto, who's been preparing in Boulder, Colo. "But I know that there is a very strong field and this is great for me since we can hopefully push each other to great performances."

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