Evans Cheruiyot and Bernard Kipyego Join 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Field
By: Bank of America Chicago Marathon
September 14, 2011
2008 Champion Evans Cheruiyot Returns to Chicago After Two-Year Injury Layoff; 2011 Race Could Be One for the Record Books
CHICAGO -- The Bank of America Chicago Marathon today
announced several additions to its elite field that figure to spearhead
the elite pack and push a potential world-record pace on October 9.
On the men’s side, 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Evans Cheruiyot is back to regain his title and will face off against fellow Kenyan Bernard Kipyego, the silver medalist at the 2009 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships. They will be joined by sub 2:06 athletes Bazu Worku (2:05:25) and Getu Feleke (2:05:44) of Ethiopia.
The women’s elite field welcomes Ethiopian aces Atsede Habtamu Besuye, the 2009 Berlin Marathon winner, and Askale Tafa, champion of the 2007 Dubai and Paris Marathons.
“These athletes round out an elite field that is not only dynamic, but has the potential to attack the record books. If the weather is good, there could be some reshuffling of not just the Bank of America Chicago Marathon records, but also the list of all-time fastest certified marathons,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “You’re looking at a field that is not going to be afraid to push the pace with a mix of young, fearless athletes, and seasoned performers who have tasted victory and success at the marathon distance.”
After capturing the 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon title in a personal best 2:06:25, Cheruiyot was sidelined by injuries in 2009 and 2010, but he resurged at the 2011 Dubai Marathon with a runner-up finish. Kipyego is a half-marathon specialist with a 59:10 personal best and a silver medal from the 2009 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships. He ran 2:07:01 in his debut at the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon and turned in a 1:00:09 tune-up race in warm conditions at the Lille Half-Marathon in France on September 3. They will be joined by fellow Kenyan Dickson Kiptolo Chumba, the 2011 Rome Marathon champion.
Worku brings the third fastest personal best to the men’s field behind Kenya’s Moses Mosop (2:03:06) and America’s Ryan Hall (2:04:58). As an 18-year-old, Worku became the fastest teenager to cover 26.2 miles after his 2:06:16 debut at the 2009 Paris Marathon. He improved his time to 2:05:25 the following year in Berlin. Feleke won the 2010 Amsterdam Marathon in a course record 2:05:44. Ethiopians Bekana Daba, the 2011 Houston Marathon winner and course record holder (2:07:04), and Terefe Maregu will also be on the start line.
After serving as a pacer-maker at the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Ireland’s Martin Fagan returns to contest the full distance. The Irish national record holder in the half-marathon (1:00:57) will aim for John Treacy’s Irish record of 2:09:15. Australia’s Shawn Forest will make his marathon debut after running a half-marathon personal best of 1:01:25 (No. 6 all-time for Australia) in the spring.
Besuye ran a personal best 2:24:47 to score a World Marathon Major victory at the 2009 Berlin Marathon, which she followed up with another win at the 2010 Eindhoven Marathon. Besuye ran 1:08:29 at the 2007 World Half-Marathon Championships at age 19—the fastest ever by a teenager. Tafa’s personal best of 2:21:31 ranks second in the women’s elite field behind two-time defending champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia, and she has a wealth of WMM experience with top five finishes at the Boston, London and Berlin Marathons.
Ethiopia’s Belainesh Zemedkun Gebre, an up-and-comer who won the 2010 Honolulu Marathon in her debut and ran 1:09:17 at the Prague Half-Marathon in March, and Cruz Nonata da Silva, one of the top Brazilian distance runners, were also added to the women’s field.
Marilson Dos Santos
Dickson Kiptolo Chumba
Cruz Nonata da Silva
About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 34th 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 runner and wheelchair field, and an estimated 1.7 million spectators. As a result of its national and international draw, each year, the iconic race assists in raising millions for a variety of charitable causes while generating $170 million in economic impact to its host city according to a report by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (R.E.A.L.). The 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will start and finish in Chicago’s Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on October 9. In advance of the race, a two-day Health & Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place Convention Center on October 7-8.
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