Chicago Men’s Preview: Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge clash again – Is it time to say bye-bye to world record holder Dennis Kimetto’s 2:03:45 course record?
October 9, 2014
Editor’s note: We made a rare mistake and left Ethiopian Feyisa Lilesa out of this preview. He’s a contender for the win. You can read more about him here: It’s Official: There Are Men Besides Kenenisa Bekele And Eliud Kipchoge Racing The Chicago Marathon.
With the 2014 BMW Berlin Marathon in the books, the marathon world will turn its attention to the Windy City on Sunday .for the 37th Bank of America Chicago Marathon, where LetsRun.com will have on-site coverage. To get you ready for Sunday, we’ve broken down the men’s race for you below (women’s preview coming in a separate article). We’ll provide more pre-race coverage for you once we attend the press conferences on Thursday and Friday.
The major story line on the men’s side is the expected duel between Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele and Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, both of whom will be chasing the 2:03:45 course record set by Dennis Kimetto last year. It seems silly to list Bekele’s credentials since anyone reading this preview is almost certainly familiar with his work, but in case you’re new to the sport, Bekele is a three-time Olympic gold medallist, 17-time world champion (5 outdoor, 1 indoor, 11 cross country) who debuted with a 2:05:03 course record in Paris in April. Oh, and he’s also the world record holder at 5,000 (12:37) and 10,000 meters (26:17). Kipchoge is no slouch himself. He’s certainly a worthy challenger as he’s the 2003 World champion at 5,000 (where he defeated Bekele and a guy by the name of Hicham El Guerrouj) who has taken to the marathon like a fish to water as the slowest of his three career marathons has been to 2:05:30 (fastest is 2:04:05).
Can the duel between Bekele and Kipchoge possibly live up to last year’s race which was the first race in history where two men broke 2:04:00 on a records-eligible course as Dennis Kimetto and Emmanuel Mutai, now the two fastest men in history, both broke the previous course record?
The men’s race will also feature Ethiopian Tadese Tola (2:04:49 pb) and Kenyans Bernard Koech (2:04:53 pb), Sammy Kitwara (58:48 half marathon pb) and Dickson Chumba (Tokyo Marathon champ) as well as several Americans, led by Bobby Curtis and Christo Landry.
Start time: Sunday, 7:30 a.m. CT
TV/streaming: Chicago-area residents can watch it on TV on NBC5 Chicago. NBC5 will also be streaming the race online here.
Prize money: $550,000 total
Top American, $10,000 (down to $1,000 for fifth American)
Time bonuses: $75,000 for a course record (down to $5,000 for sub-2:07); $2,500 for each American sub-2:18
World Marathon Majors: Chicago is one of the six World Marathon Majors, but no one in the men’s race has a shot at the 2013-14 overall title and its $500,000 prize. They can, however, accumulate points in the 2014-15 WMM series.
The Favorites: Track Studs Turned Marathoners
Kenenisa Bekele – Ethiopia, 32 years old, 2:05:03 pb (2014 Paris), 60:09 half, 26:17 10,000 (WR), 12:37 5,000 (WR)
Last marathon: 1st, 2014 Paris (2:05:04, debut)
Prep races: none
Bekele debuted at the marathon distance in Paris in April, and it couldn’t have gone much better. He didn’t get Dennis Kimetto‘s debut record (2:04:16), but he set a course record and looked good doing it, running 2:05:03 to win by 1:45. Chicago will be marathon #2 for Bekele, and while it’s unlikely he’ll challenge Kimetto’s 2:02:57 world record from Berlin, Bekele will be chasing the 2:03:45 course record Kimetto set in Chicago last year.
“I know Chicago has a very fast course and, therefore, my goal is to break the course record of 2:03:45,” Bekele said in the Chicago Marathon media guide. “After that, everything is possible.”
Can Bekele do it? In order to better assess his chances, it’s useful to compare Bekele to similar runners from history. Obviously no one has run 26:17 and 12:37 like Bekele has, but there are two natural comps for Bekele in Paul Tergat and Haile Gebrselassie, the two previous world record holders at 10,000 before Bekele who both by the way went on to becoming world record holders at 26.2. Because Bekele is trying to become one of the world’s elite marathoners, let’s also throw in the top two marathon guys right now — Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang – as well as his chief rival on Sunday, Eliud Kipchoge. Here’s how they fared in their first two marathons:
|Name||Marathon #1||Marathon #2|
|Paul Tergat||2nd, 2:08:15 (2001 London)||2nd, 2:08:56 (2001 Chicago)|
|Haile Gebrselassie||3rd, 2:06:35 (2002 London)||1st, 2:06:20 (2005 Amsterdam)|
|Wilson Kipsang||4th, 2:07:13 (2010 Paris)||1st, 2:04:57 (2010 Frankfurt)|
|Dennis Kimetto||2nd, 2:04:16 (2012 Berlin)||1st, 2:06:50 (2013 Tokyo)|
|Eliud Kipchoge||1st, 2:05:30 (2013 Hamburg)||2nd, 2:04:05 (2013 Berlin)|
Based on that evidence, it’s reasonable to expect a fast time and/or a win from Bekele on Sunday. Of the five men listed above, only Tergat and Kipchoge failed to win their second marathons and Tergat was only four seconds behind winner Ben Kimondiu in marathon #2 (he was 1:04 behind the winner in his debut) and Kipchoge recorded the ninth-fastest time on a record-eligible course ever, losing out only to Wilson Kipsang‘s world record. You can split hairs about whether Kimetto’s 2:06:50 course record at Tokyo was more impressive than his 2:04:16 debut in Berlin (where he may have let training partner Geoffrey Mutai win), but it seems clear that all five men ran either equally well or better in marathon #2 than in marathon #1 (Tergat ran slower but was much closer to the win, Kimetto also was slower but won a major).
History suggests that Bekele will run well in Chicago. Perhaps more importantly, the recent news from his camp has been positive as well. Bekele spoke with Runner’s World‘s Peter Gambaccini in a story published on August 19:
Before the 20-mile mark [in Paris], Bekele’s remaining rival, Tamirat Tola, “made a big surge and Kenenisa responded like a track runner,” noted [Bekele’s agent, Jos] Hermens. “Kenenisa was a little bit too keen to get rid of him,” and his right hamstring tightened up. “After that, he didn’t really push. He just finished the race. I’m sure he could have run a minute faster. He still sprinted at the end because he thought he could get under 2:05.”
Bekele expects to be in better shape for Chicago. He believes he “maybe overtrained” or missed a key element in preparing for Paris. “Now I will calculate everything better,” he said, with the heaviest training load reaching 130 miles a week and at least one long run of 28 or 30 miles about six weeks before Chicago.
Gambaccini went on to note that Hermens, who also represents Kipchoge, expects the two rivals to work together to bring down the course record in Chicago. The most encouraging thing for Bekele is that he seems to have recognized that the marathon is different from the track. It sometimes takes time for a great track runner to become a great marathoner (just ask Mo Farah, the same was also true for Haile and Tergat) and even though 2:05:04 was a very good debut for Bekele, he needs to make a significant improvement if he is to get the course record in Chicago. The comments from Hermens and Bekele must be taken with a grain of salt (athletes generally don’t like to tell reporters that their training has been going horribly) but Bekele is better-prepared to run fast now than he was in April as he will be able to incorporate the lessons he learned during his buildup in Paris and the race itself. Plus, he should have better rabbits and more competition in Chicago as compared to Paris.
One other thing worth noting about Bekele. He hasn’t lost a race longer than 5,000 meters since the Olympic 10,000 in 2012, with notable wins over Farah and Gebrselassie (2013 Great North Run) and Wilson Kipsang (2014 Great Manchester Run) in that span. When healthy, he’s very hard to beat. It’s realistic to expect a time in the 2:03s or low 2:04s from Bekele if the weather cooperates.
Eliud Kipchoge – Kenya, 29 years old, 2:04:05 pb (2013 Berlin), 59:25 half, 26:49 10,000, 12:46 5,000 (2003 world champ)
Last two marathons: 1st, 2014 Rotterdam (2:05:00); 2nd, 2013 Berlin (2:04:05)
Prep race: 2nd in Giro di Castelbuono 10k road race on July 26 in 30:36
Like Bekele, Kipchoge enjoyed a decorated career on the track (12:46/26:49 pbs, two Olympic medals, two WC medals, including 2003 world title at 5,000) and found immediate success in the marathon. Kipchoge turned to the marathon earlier than Bekele (age 28 vs 31) and has run three marathons to Bekele’s one. There hasn’t been a stinker in the bunch: a 2:05:30 win in his debut in Hamburg last year, followed by a 2:04:05 (2nd) at 2013 Berlin and a 2:05:00 (1st) at 2014 Rotterdam. Kipchoge is actually a member of a three person club which Bekele isn’t – the sub 12:50 5000 and sub 2:05 marathon club. Only three men are in that club, Kipchoge, Gebrselassie and Tergat.
Given his sterling track credentials and growing reputation as a top-tier marathoner, we expect Kipchoge to battle Bekele for the win in Chicago.
We’re likely looking at something similar to last year’s Berlin Marathon, where Kipchoge hung with Kipsang for 30+K before Kipsang broke away to set the world record. Replace “Kipsang” with “Bekele” and “world record” with “course record” and you’ve got the likely scenario in Chicago. Kipchoge wants to play the role of Kipsang this time around, dropping his rival for the win, but that will be difficult given the presence of Bekele. Kipchoge, like most runners who have faced Bekele, has a losing record against the Ethiopian at just 3-11. The main silver lining for Kipchoge is that the two have never met on the roads. Also he’s younger and has been focused on the marathon for two years, compared to just one for Bekele; will that extra experience pay off? Kipchoge has the talent to win and should run in the low 2:04s/high 2:03s. Bekele will have to be at his best to hold off the Kenyan.
Bekele and Kipchoge will both be gunning for the course record but they’re not the only guys capable of winning on Sunday. Four other men have the ability to run with them for much of the race or steal the win from behind should Bekele and Kipchoge go out too fast.
Tadese Tola – Ethiopia, 26 years old, 2:04:49 pb (2013 Dubai), 59:49 half
Last two marathons: 1st, 2014 Warsaw (2:06:55); 2nd, 2014 Tokyo (2:05:57)
Prep races: none
Tola loves the marathon. This will be his seventh marathon since the start of 2013 and he’s done pretty well in that span: wins in Beijing (October 2013) and Warsaw (April 2014), seconds in Paris (April 2013) and Tokyo (February 2014) and thirds in Dubai (January 2013) and at the World Championships (August 2013). It’s certainly possible that all that racing will take its toll on Tola in Chicago (most elite marathoners run two, maybe three marathons per year) but he’ll also be better-rested for this race than any of his previous six. Since the end of 2012, his longest gap between marathons was four months; it will be six months between his last race (Warsaw) and Chicago.
At 2:04:49, he has the second-fastest pb in the field (ahead of Bekele), but he’ll likely have to be prepared to lower that significantly if he is to challenge for the win. That’s a big ask, but with a few rabbits, plus Bekele and Kipchoge to drag him along, Tola will have a chance to set a pb and run in the 2:04s. In the past, that would be good enough for the win, but Chicago, like marathoning in general, has never been more competitive; a 2:04 might not even get Tola second. His 2:04:49 in Dubai in 2013 only got him third.
Bernard Koech – Kenya, 26 years old, 2:04:53 pb (2013 Dubai), 58:41 half
Last two marathons: 2nd, 2014 Rotterdam (2:06:08); 3rd, 2013 Amsterdam (2:06:29)
Prep race: Won Tilburg (the Netherlands) 10 Miles in 45:12 on September 7
Koech, whose brother is 3:30 1500 runner Bethwell Birgen, is a really strong half-marathoner and though he’s not as proven over 26.2 as the rest of the guys in this group, he appears to have a very high ceiling. Last June, Koech ran 58:41 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, the fastest time ever on U.S. soil. He’s carried that form over to this year, taking second in Rotterdam in April behind his training partner Kipchoge and running 45:12 for 10 miles on September 7, to become the fifth-fastest all-time over that distance.
Koech will need something special to challenge the top two, but he’s clearly very talented. He’s an aggressive race, so expect to see him in the lead group for much of the race on Sunday.
“I am always racing to win a race,” he said in the Chicago media guide. “And in Chicago it won’t be different. It will be my WMM debut and I
know the opposition will be strong. A time faster than my personal best will be needed but we strive to be faster every day anyway.”
Sammy Kitwara – Kenya, 27 years old, 2:05:16 pb (2013 Chicago), 58:48 half
Last two marathons: 3rd, 2014 Tokyo (2:06:30); 3rd, 2013 Chicago (2:05:16)
Prep race: Won Luanda (Angola) International Half Marathon in 60:24 on September 7
Kitwara, like Koech, is an extremely quick half-marathoner (58:48 pb) and though he has a slower pb than Koech, he is more experienced in competitive races as three of his four career marathons are majors. Kitwara is familiar with the layout in Chicago, taking third last year and fourth in 2012, and that can’t hurt his chances this time around. He’s definitely someone to watch in the lead pack but in his last marathon, in Tokyo, he lost to Tadese Tola and Dickson Chumba, both of whom will be racing in Chicago. With those two, plus Bekele and Kipchoge, Kitwara is a long shot for the win on Sunday.
Dickson Chumba – Kenya, 27 years old, 2:05:42 pb (2014 Tokyo), 60:39 half
Last two marathons: 1st, 2014 Tokyo (2:05:42); 8th, 2013 Amsterdam (2:10:15)
Prep race: 2nd in Bogota Half Marathon in 64:10 on July 27 (8,660 feet of elevation, Geofrrey Kamworor won in 63:18)
Chumba is something of a wildcard in this race. He had a poor 2013, DNF’ing the Xiamen International Marathon in China in January, finishing seventh in Boston in April (2:14:08) and only eighth in Amsterdam in October (2:10:15). All of which made his victory in Tokyo in February a complete surprise.
Tokyo is part of the World Marathon Majors, but it’s still the weakest of the six WMM races (Chicago, New York, Boston, London and Berlin are the others) — recent winners include Michael Kipyego (2012) and Hailu Mekonnen (2011), who aren’t exactly giants of the sport, but they did win those titles before they joined the WMM in 2013. Chumba’s win there is a positive sign, but Tokyo was his only good marathon in the past two years and his pb of 2:05:42 isn’t nearly fast enough to suggest he could contend in Chicago. Still, he beat Tola and Kitwara in Tokyo, so there’s a chance he could finish in the top 4 or 5 here.
He Only Has a Chance If It’s Really Hot (or if everyone blows up)
Wesley Korir – Kenya, 31 years old, 2:06:13 pb (2012 Chicago), 61:19 half
Last two marathons: 4th, 2014 Ottawa (2:09:17); 9th, 2013 New York (2:11:34)
Prep races: none
The former University of Louisville runner isn’t a real contender for the win, but we mention him here because he has won a major marathon in the past (2012 Boston). The temperatures were in the 80s that day in Boston, and a repeat of those conditions is the only way we could see Korir contending in Chicago since he hasn’t placed higher than fourth or run faster than 2:06:13 since winning Boston. The current forecast calls for a high of 55 in Chicago on Sunday, which is good for fast times but probably doesn’t help Korir.
The Top Americans
2013 was a good year for American men at Chicago as Dathan Ritzenhein was 5th in 2:09:45 and Matt Tegenkamp was 10th in 2:12:28. It was the first time since 2010 that the U.S. put two men in the top 10 in Chicago and you have to go back to 2006 to find the last time an American placed higher than Ritz’s 5th (Abdi Abdirahman was fourth that year). Neither Ritzenhein nor Tegenkamp is running Chicago in 2014 and with Meb Keflezighi racing New York, it’s unlikely that an American man will finish in the top five on Sunday. The full Chicago field is listed at the bottom of this article, but here are a few Americans to watch.
Bobby Curtis – 29 years old, 2:13:24 pb (2013 Fukuoka), 13:18. 27:24, 61:53 half
Last two marathons: 10th, 2013 Fukuoka (2:13:24); 15th, 2011 New York (2:16:44)
Prep races: 7th at Peachtree Road Race (10K) in 29:16 on July 4
Curtis has the fastest pb of any American in the field and ran a solid 2:13:24 in his last marathon, in Fukuoka in December 2013. He hasn’t done anything yet in 2014 to indicate he’s capable of a truly great performance in Chicago, with a sixth-place finish at watered-down USAs in the 10,000 his most impressive race. But let’s not forget, Curtis has track pbs of 13:18 and 27:24. You’d think a 2:12 clocking has to be in that body somewhere, a sub 2:10 isn’t out of the question.
Christo Landry – 28 years old, 2:14:44 pb (2013 Twin Cities), 13:39, 27:50.
Last two marathons: 5th, 2013 Twin Cities (2:14:44); 4th, 2012 Richmond (2:17:11)
Prep races: 2nd at U.S. 20K Champs on September 1 (61:27); 1st at Peachtree Road Race (10K) in 28:25 on July 4
Landry has only the sixth-fastest pb among Americans at Chicago, but he’s put together a great summer on the roads, suggesting that he could knock a minute or two off his 2:14:44 pb. He was second at the U.S. 25K Champs on May 10 (his 1:14:18 tied the American record of drug cheat Mo Trafeh), won the Peachtree Road Race (which also served as the U.S. 10K Champs) on July 4 and was second at the U.S. 20K Champs on September 1. With a group of Americans to work with, Landry has a great shot to run 2:12 or 2:13 in Chicago, possibly faster.
Mike Morgan – 34 years old, 2:14:22 pb (2012 Houston), 62:56 half
Last two marathons: 13th, 2014 Boston (2:14:40); 16th, 2013 Chicago (2:15:01)
Prep race: 1st at Frankenmuth (Mich.) 20K on July 4 (63:32)
Craig Leon – 30 years old, 2:13:53 pb (2013 Chicago), 64:02 half
Last two marathons: 12th, 2014 Boston (2:14:28); 13th, 2013 Chicago (2:13:53)
Prep races: 2nd at Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon on August 31 (66:33); 15th at Peachtree Road Race (10K) in 29:51
Morgan and Leon have similar pbs and have similar results in their last two marathons. It would make sense for the two veteran marathoners to work together to chase a pb in Chicago.
Matt Llano – 26 years old, debut, 61:47 half
Last marathon: debut
Prep race: 7th at U.S. 20K Champs on September 1 in 62:17
Llano ran 61:47 at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships in Houston in January. Based on that performance, he has publicly said he’s aiming for sub-2:10 in Chicago and has said that Ryan Hall‘s American debut record of 2:08:24 isn’t out of his reach. While we love to see athletes dream big as dreams rare powerful motivators, Llano’s chances of running 2:08:24 are basically zero.
If he’s a natural-born marathoner, maybe 2:10 is possible, but it will be difficult. Look at the men who beat Llano in Houston and what they’ve run for the marathon.
|Name||Time in Houston||Marathon pb|
2:08:24? No way. That’s about as likely as us guaranteeing that either the Kansas City Royals or Baltimore Orioles will be in the World Series. Oh wait.
On a serious note, only two American-born athletes have ever run under 2:09 on a record-eligible course – Ryan Hall (2:04:58 wind-aided, 2:06:17 normal) and Dathan Ritzenhein (2:07:47). Only five Americans have done it on a record-eligble course, period (the others were Moroccan-born Khalid Khannouchi, Kenyan-born Mbarak Hussein and Somalian-born Abdi Abdirahman). Hall and Ritz have 5000 pbs of 13:16 and 12:56 respectively. Llano has run 14:00. Even if you use his 28:43 10,000 pb, that only converts to roughly 13:43 for 5000. 13:40 guys don’t normally run 2:08. Even if he’s a total marathoner, he’s not Alberto Salazar (2:08:51 pb at Boston) or Bill Rodgers (2:09:27 pb).
Llano’s half-marathon converts to about 2:12 for the marathon. Thus anything under 2:14 would be very good for a debut. Anything under 2:12 would be amazing, and anything under 2:10 is near fantasy land. Llano told Chris Chavez recently that his “main goal has been to run under 2:10.”
Llano’s preparations for Chicago are going well, and he’s detailed them in depth in a video series produced by his training group, Northern Arizona Elite (Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4). Episodes 3 and 4 are worth a watch, as Episode 3 shows a 16-mile tempo run in 1:23:19 (5:12 pace at altitude) and Episode 4 features Llano discussing his decision to come out as openly gay.
We gotta give Llano a lot of credit for his PR work. The big talk and videos have us paying attention as fans: MB: Who is Matt Llano and why does he think he can run 2:08?
*MB: Can LR have a respectful conversation about Matt Llano’s announcement?.
How Will the Race Play Out?
Perhaps the strongest argument in favor of Bekele getting the course record is the race itself. Berlin still gets the fastest times, but Chicago is turning into the Berlin of the U.S. The course record in Chicago has gone down three straight years and four of the past five, culminating with Dennis Kimetto’s 2:03:45 last year (#6 all-time among record-eligible courses). Before 2011, only three men had broken 2:06 on Chicago; the course record was Sammy Wanjiru‘s 2:05:41 from 2009. In the last three years, seven men have run faster than Wanjiru’s 2:05:41, with four sub-2:05s and two sub-2:04s. Chicago is getting to the point where, like Berlin, it will bring in a few very fast guys and ensure that the race is set up for them to break the course record (though Chicago has much deeper fields than Berlin). This year, Bekele and Kipchoge are the ones going after the record, and there’s no reason why they can’t make it four straight years with a course record in Chicago (assuming the weather is good).
As Dennis Kimetto and Emmanuel Mutai showed in Chicago and Berlin, a good way to get records is to have a couple really good guys going after it together. Bekele and Kipchoge both qualify as really good guys, and though 2:03:45 is incredibly fast, would it really shock you to see the following headline?
“10,000-Meter World Record Holder Breaks Course Record at Chicago Marathon”
Bekele was one of the best — if not the best — ever on the track, and at 32 he’s still got a few years left of world-class marathoning (Paul Tergat broke the WR at age 34; Haile Gebrselassie did it at 35). He’ll need the weather and the rabbits to cooperate but he has a great chance to drop into the 2:03s on Sunday.
The full men’s field appears below. Check back later as this is the ‘on paper preview’ only. We’ll have real insider insight from onsite in Chicago later in the week after we talk to athletes, agents, coaches and other journalists.
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Give us your thoughts on the race by voting on our poll on the right or discuss the race in our fan forum:
- Official Chicago Marathon Tips and Tricks Thread
- BEKELE WILL RUN 2:02!
- Why the hell is nobody talking about Bekele and Kipchoge?
- Do I have any shot at sub-2:32:00?
- Kenenisa Bekele vs Eliud Kipchoge in ChicagoMarathon: what do you think about this duel?
- Watching the Chicago Marathon on the course
- Will KENENISA BEKELE get the WR at Chicago?
Full Elite Field
|Eliud Kipchoge||Kenya||2:04:05||2003 World 5k champ has placed 1st, 2nd, 1st in 3 career marathons, all 2:05:30 or faster|
|Tadese Tola||Ethiopia||2:04:49||’13 WC bronze medallist won Warsaw in April; this is his 7th marathon since start of ’13|
|Bernard Koech||Kenya||2:04:53||Set PR in Dubai last year; 2nd in Rotterdam in April|
|Kenenisa Bekele||Ethiopia||2:05:04||Arguably the greatest ever on the track; won debut at 26.2 in Paris in April|
|Sammy Kitwara||Kenya||2:05:16||3rd + 4th in Chicago last two years; 3rd in Tokyo in February|
|Dickson Chumba||Kenya||2:05:42||Won Tokyo in February in second career major appearance|
|Wesley Korir||Kenya||2:06:13||2012 Boston champ was 4th in Ottawa in May|
|Koji Kobayashi||Japan||2:08:51||9th in Tokyo|
|Satoru Sasaki||Japan||2:09:47||PR’d by 1:41 at Lake Biwa Marathon in March|
|Ryosuke Fukuyama||Japan||2:10:59||First career major appearance|
|Bobby Curtis||USA||2:13:24||3rd career marathon (10th ’13 Fukuoka, 15th ’11 NYC)|
|Patrick Rizzo||USA||2:13:42||Ran just 2:26 at Brighton Marathon in April|
|Craig Leon||USA||2:13:52||13th in Chicago last year; 12th in Boston in April|
|Mike Morgan||USA||2:14:22||16th in Chicago last year; 13th in Boston in April|
|Luke Humphrey||USA||2:14:39||13th in Houston in January (2:16:34)|
|Christo Landry||USA||2:14:44||Won Peachtree 10k, then 2nd at US 20k Champs on 9/1; 5th at Twin Cities Marathon last fall|
|Gabe Proctor||USA||2:16:17||6th in debut in Los Angeles in March|
|Bayron Piedra||Ecuador||Debut||Has bests of 13:23/27:32 on the track|
|Matt Llano||USA||Debut||61:47 half at Houston in January spurred move to the marathon|
|Jake Riley||USA||Debut||62:56 at NYC Half in March|