2021 Chicago Marathon Elite Women’s Field Is Released — It Features Just 1 International Woman With A PB Under 2:30

By LetsRun.com
August 17, 2021

Earlier today, the 2021 elite field for the Bank of American Chicago Marathon (October 10) was released. With the Olympics and all six of the Abbott World Marathon Majors taking place in a 13-week period this fall, we expected the majors’ elite fields to not be as strong as usual as there are only so many elites to go around. But it’s staggering how shallow this year’s Chicago elite women’s field is.

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The field features just one international woman who has broken 2:30 in the marathon: reigning world champion Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya (2:17:08 pb), and she just dropped out of the Olympic marathon so we don’t know if she’s fit (she said after the race she was “not in the top of conditions”). American Sara Hall, who ran 2:20:32 last year, is also in the field. And that’s basically it if you are looking for world-class distance runners. Altogether, those are the only two women in the field with a pb under 2:22. There is only one other woman in the field with a pb under 2:25:00 — Keira D’Amato, who ran 2:22:56 last year.

With just three sub-2:25 women in the field, 2021 Chicago is the weakest major field since we started tracking the PBs of the starters at the majors in 2017. For comparison’s sake, this year’s London field has eight sub-2:20 women and 11 sub-2:25 women. This year’s Boston field has 15 sub-2:23 women.

Now, Chicago normally isn’t very deep — in each of the last three editions it has featured just five sub-2:23 women — but this year’s edition is really pushing the envelope. If Chepngetich runs well and if Hall attacks the American record as expected, then Chicago’s lack of depth won’t be a big issue as there will be two nice storylines. But if one or both of the top two draws is off their game or injured, then Chicago is in a very bad spot.

Ruth Chepngetich. Courtesy Doyin Odulana (Seven Media)

Quick Take: There needs to be minimum requirements for a race to be considered a major

We started keeping track of the PBs of the starters at the major marathons because we long feared that one day a major would come up short. That could be the case this year with the Chicago women’s field. With the Abbott World Marathon Majors potentially expanding in number in the future, they need to address the quality of field issue. If the WMMs end up expanding the number of races by too many, they need to consider having elite races for a single gender in a given year. So one year, Chicago would feature an elite men’s race and the next year elite women. This would have been a great year to experiment with that format with all of the majors plus the Olympics taking place in the span of 13 weeks.

Talk about 2021 Chicago on our world famous fan forum / messageboard. MB: Chicago 2021 field is out- Has just 1 sub-2:30 international woman in it

The full elite fields for the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathons appears below. Press release here.


2021 Chicago Marathon – Elite Men’s Field

Getaneh Molla 2:03:34 (Dubai, 2019) ETH
Seifu Tura 2:04:29 (Milan, 2021) ETH
Hassan El Abbassi 2:04:43 (Valencia, 2018) BRN
Shifera Tamru 2:05:18 (Dubai, 2019) ETH
Joel Kimurer 2:05:19 (Milan, 2021) KEN
Eric Kiptanui 2:05:47 (Siena, 2021) KEN
Laban Korir 2:05:54 (Amsterdam, 2016) KEN
Galen Rupp 2:06:07 (Prague, 2018) USA
Fikre Bekele 2:06:27 (Seoul, 2019) ETH
Masato Kikuchi 2:07:20 (Otsu, 2021) JPN
Derlys Ayala 2:10:11 (Valencia, 2020) PAR
Ivan Gonzalez 2:11:07 (Valencia, 2020) COL
Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse 2:11:20 (Chandler AZ, 2020) FRA
Colin Mickow 2:11:22 (Chandler AZ, 2020) USA
Wilkerson Given 2:11:44 (Chicago, 2019) USA
Wily Canchanya 2:12:33 (Prague, 2021) PER
Chris Derrick 2:12:50 (Chicago, 2017) USA
Josh Izewski 2:13:15 (Sacramento, 2018) USA
Mike Sayenko 2:13:34 (Chandler AZ, 2020) USA
Nico Montanez 2:14:07 (Chandler AZ, 2020) USA
John Tello 2:14:19 (Lima, 2021) COL
Sid Vaughn 2:14:28 (Chandler AZ, 2020) USA
Alan Peterson 2:14:45 (Chandler AZ, 2020) USA
Dan Kremske 2:14:53 (Chicago, 2019) USA
Brett Lustgarten 2:17:18 (Sacramento, 2018) USA
Kurt Roeser 2:17:59 (Sacramento, 2018) USA
Oscar Medina 2:18:45 (Chicago, 2019) USA
Reed Fischer 2:24:48 (Atlanta, 2020) USA
Clayton Young 2:29:46 (Atlanta, 2020) USA
Abdisamed Abdi Debut USA
Ben Kendell Debut USA
Ian Lamere Debut USA
Zach Panning Debut USA
Gonzalo Parra Debut MEX

2021 Chicago Marathon – Elite Women’s Elite Field

Ruth Chepngetich 2:17:08 (Dubai, 2019) KEN
Sara Hall 2:20:32 (Chandler AZ, 2020) USA
Keira D’Amato 2:22:56 (Chandler AZ, 2020) USA
Emma Bates 2:25:27 (Chicago, 2019) USA
Diane Nukuri 2:27:50 (London, 2015) USA
Lindsay Flanagan 2:28:08 (Chicago, 2019) USA
Bria Wetsch 2:29:50 (Chandler AZ, 2020) USA
Vianey DeLaRosa 2:30:04 (Valley NE, 2021) MEX
Michelle Lee 2:30:31 (Sacramento, 2018) USA
Alia Gray 2:30:41 (Chandler AZ, 2020) USA
Bridget Lyons Belyeu 2:31:00 (Sacramento, 2018) USA
Daiana Ocampo 2:31:33 (Vienna, 2020) ARG
Rosie Edwards 2:31:56 (London, 2021) GBR
Jane Bareikis 2:33:54 (Duluth, 2021) USA
Chirine Njeim 2:36:40 (Dorena Lake, OR, 2021) LBN
Georgia Porter 2:36:52 (Frankfurt, 2019) USA
Anne-Marie Blaney Debut USA
Megan O’Neil Debut USA
Olivia Pratt Debut USA
Carrie Verdon Debut USA
Jessica Watychowicz Debut USA

2021 London Marathon Elite Fields Are Released And The Field Are Faster Than Ever

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