BRING IT ON

Chepngetich and Tura to defend Chicago Marathon titles

Kenya’s Celestine Chepchirchir and Vivian Kiplagat plus Ethiopia’s Haven Hailu Desse are among some of this year’s elite women expected this year

In Summary

•Kenya’s 2019 world marathon champion Chepngetich started on a world record pace in last year’s race and although she slowed over the second half of the course, she had enough to take the crown in 2:22:31.

•Her PB of 2:17:08 set in Dubai in 2019 makes her the fourth-fastest ever women’s marathon runner but she was unable to finish when racing in last month’s World Championships marathon in Oregon.

Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich reacts after winning the Elite Women's 2021 Chicago Marathon last year
Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich reacts after winning the Elite Women's 2021 Chicago Marathon last year
Image: FILE

Defending champions Ruth Chepng'etich and Seifu Tura lead this year’s Chicago Marathon field and will be joined by some of the world’s best athletes who will be vying to dethrone them at the World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race on 9 October.

Kenya’s 2019 world marathon champion Chepngetich started on a world record pace in last year’s race and although she slowed over the second half of the course, she had enough to take the crown in 2:22:31.

Her PB of 2:17:08 set in Dubai in 2019 makes her the fourth-fastest ever women’s marathon runner but she was unable to finish when racing in last month’s World Championships marathon in Oregon.

Unlike the fast pace set by his fellow champion last year, Ethiopia’s Tura waited until 38km to pull ahead and win the biggest race of his career so far. With a 2:04:29 personal best, Tura clocked 2:06:12 to win in 2021 and was sixth in the World Championships marathon in Oregon.

Kenya’s Celestine Chepchirchir and Vivian Kiplagat plus Ethiopia’s Haven Hailu Desse are among some of this year’s elite women hoping to prevent a repeat victory from Chepng’etich.

Chepchirchir, a winner of the 2019 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, enters this year’s race fresh off a personal best of 2:20:10 set at the Seoul International Marathon.

Kiplagat, winner of this year’s Milan Marathon in a 2:20:18 PB, attempted to stay on Chepngetich’s heels during last year’s Chicago Marathon before fading to fifth place.

Desse, meanwhile, made her marathon debut in 2020 and set a personal best of 2:20:19 in 2021 to finish third in Amsterdam, before claiming her first marathon victory in Rotterdam in April.

Emily Sisson, Laura Thweatt, Sarah Sellers and Sara Vaughn lead a strong delegation of US women. Sisson, a six-time national champion and the US half marathon record-holder with 1:07:11, could now have her sights on the US marathon record of 2:19:12 as she races to break the tape in Chicago.

In the men’s competition, Tura will clash with his compatriots Herpasa Negasa, Dawit Wolde and Asrar Abderehman, plus Uganda’s Stephen Kissa and Kenya’s Benson Kipruto.

Negasa had a breakthrough in 2019 when he shaved almost six minutes from his PB in Dubai to run 2:03:40. He heads to Chicago after a second-place performance in Seoul, clocking 2:04:49.

Wolde boasts a marathon personal best of 2:04:27, set in 2021 to finish third in Rotterdam, while Abderehman made headlines in February when he broke the course record at the Zurich Seville Marathon, taking three minutes off his PB to run 2:04:43. 

Kissa, a Tokyo Olympian in the 10,000m, brings years of track speed to the road, running 2:04:48 for his debut marathon in Hamburg in April.

Kipruto’s 2:05:13 personal best may not be the fastest in the field, but he has performed well at the marathon distance, winning the Boston and Prague Marathons in 2021 and finishing third in Boston this April. He also finished seventh in London in 2020 and won the Toronto Marathon in 2018.

USA’s Conner Mantz— who is coached by 1994 Chicago Marathon runner-up Ed Eyestone —and Australia’s Patrick Tiernan make their marathon debuts. They will be joined by 2021 sixth-place finisher Colin Mickow, Japan’s Hiroto Fujimagari, Kenya’s John Korir and USA’s Frank Lara on the start line.

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