October 7, 2017
CHICAGO – The 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will take place here tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. local time and all American eyes will be on Galen Rupp, as the two-time Olympic medallist looks to become the first American-born winner of Chicago in 35 years. American fans looking at Rupp early in the race should also take a close look at Kenyan Emmanuel Bett.
Race organizers announced yesterday that the 32-year-old Bett, who owns personal bests of 13:08 for 5000, 26:51 for 10,000, 60:08 for the half marathon, and 2:16:10 in the marathon (one career marathon), was a last-minute addition to the field. Since then, the buzz in the press/agent/coaching crowd in Chicago has been speculation that Bett — who shares the same agent as Galen Rupp, Ricky Simms — might be in Chicago to help set the pace for Rupp, or at a minimum make sure the pace isn’t really slow like it’s been in Chicago the last two years (2:09:25 was the winning time in 2015, 2:11:23 last year) as Rupp said yesterday he’d like to run 2:06-2:07 tomorrow.
A source told us that Bett had told people in Kenya he was going to rabbit but that he’s been telling people in Chicago that he’s here to race.
We asked Ricky Simms, the agent to Rupp and Bett, for comment via email but haven’t heard back.
If Bett does end up pushing the pace at any point in the race, it will certainly lead to a slew of interesting post-race discussions as Chicago got rid of official pacemakers in 2015.
Talk about this article on our fan forum. MB: Might Galen Rupp have his own rabbit in Chicago?