The 2017 Chicago Marathon menâ€™s field is lacking in quality by World Marathon Major standards
To the untrained observer, this yearâ€™s Chicago Marathon looks like a great field. Youâ€™ve got the top American in the world, the Olympic bronze medallist, Galen Rupp, versus the world record holder Dennis Kimetto vs the defending champion and two time World Champion Abel Kirui, versus the world record holder at the half marathon Zersenay Tadese.
However, last week LRCâ€™s Robert Johnson argued how weak he thought the 2017 menâ€™s elite field in Chicago is: LRC Is the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon being watered down so Galen Rupp can win it?
In that article, he compared this yearâ€™s Chicago menâ€™s field to the past three editions of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and found that this yearâ€™s Chicago field pales in comparison to a normal Chicago menâ€™s field. Weâ€™ve had more time to do some research and now compare Chicago to the other major marathons held in the last year.
2017 Chicago 2017 Worlds 2017 London 2017 Boston 2017 Tokyo 2017 Dubai 2016
NY 2016 Berlin Avg #
#sub-2:06 2 5 6 7 5 6 2 8 5.6
#sub-2:08 3* 9 7 10 9 12 5 11 9
# sub-2:10 5* 14 14 13 14 12 6 14 12.4
The average number of sub-2:06 guys entered in the other Abbott World Marathon Majors + Dubai in the last year is 5.6. As of August 30, 2017, Chicago has just two men with those credentials.
The average number of sub-2:08 guys entered in the other Abbott World Marathon Majors + Dubai in the last year is 9. If you give Chicago the benefit of the doubt and count Zersenay Tadeseâ€˜s 2:06:51 from Nikeâ€™s sub-2 attempt, 2017 Chicago has just one-third as many, 3.
The average number of sub-2:10 guys entered in the other Abbott World Marathon Majors + Dubai in the last year is 12.4. If you give Chicago the benefit of the doubt with Tadese from Nikeâ€™s sub-2 attempt, 2017 Chicago has 5.
If you ignore New York, Chicago has less than half as many sub-2:06, sub-2:08 and sub-2:10 guys of any of the majors held in the last year.
And we donâ€™t want to hear the excuse that there arenâ€™t enough quality guys to go around. The fact of the matter is that 35 different men ran sub-2:08 in the first four months of 2017.
Galen Rupp himself should be considered a sub 2:08 guy for sure, but Chicago needs to add a couple more guys to its field to increase its depth.