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Home of the world record run by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei in 2019 (2:14:04), the Chicago Marathon happening Sunday, October 10 features a strong elite field.

US runners, Galen Rupp and Sara Hall claim to be in great condition and are ready to run upfront on the flat and fast course. It’s the 43rd running of the windy city event and of course, there is a strong international field toeing the line.

Ethiopians Getaneh Molla and Seifu Tura are looking for the win. Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich will have something to say about that. Americans Keira D’Amato, Emma Bates, and Lindsay Flanagan should finish in the top-20.

The women’s race

Hall will be one of the primary athletes of focus. After running in her husband Ryan Hall’s shadow for several years, she has come out on her own and has established herself as one of America’s all-time greats. Her 2020 season was outstanding with a 68:58 Houston Half Marathon performance in January and her marathon in Chandler, AZ in December at 2:20:32, she has a legitimate chance to challenge for the win. In 2019, she ran the Berlin Marathon in the time of 2:22:16, which was an indication of things to come.

During the Oct. 4 running of the 2020 London Marathon Hall finished second to Kosgei in the time of 2:22:01 in inclement weather. Chepngetich though, was only four seconds back in that race. Can the 38-year-old Hall roll out another top-American performance? The correct answer is likely yes.

The men’s race

Illinois native Chris Derrick is looking for a good showing. In 2017, he ran the Chicago Marathon in the time of 2:12:50, which is his personal best. You can bet he will be looking to improve upon that time. With the advent of super shoes and with a 10,000m best of 27:31:38 and a half-marathon best of 1:01:12, he will surely be looking for something around 2:08:00.

There are at least seven sub-2:06 men in the field vying for the win. Rupp, who is a two-time Olympic medallist. The 35-year-old has run as fast as 2:06:07 in 2018. If he is in as good form as he appears, Rupp could go sub-2:05, however, wind and pacing will mean everything. Chicago has that windy reputation about it.

Molla, the 2019 Dubai Marathon winner will race for the win. He has run as fast as 2:03:34. The 2019 Dubai performance is an outlier for the Ethiopian. He is fast through the distances, but the points performance value applied to his marathon best ranks much higher than his other bests. Perhaps he is built for the marathon distance.

The 2018 Valencia Marathon runner-up with a personal best of 2:04:43, Hassan El Abbassi from Bahrain will mix it upfront.

The following four athletes boast 2:05 personal bests: Shifera Tamru (ETH), Joel Kimurer (KEN), Eric Kiptanui (KEN), and Laban Korir (KEN) – it’s a deep field.