FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2005 REIGNING CHAMPION FELIX LIMO WITHDRAWS
FROM 2006 LASALLE BANK CHICAGO MARATHON
CHICAGO (October 11, 2006) - The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
champion Felix Limo (KEN) has withdrawn from this year's race. Citing lower
back pain, the winner of the 2006 Flora London Marathon and current
co-leader on the World Marathon Majors leader board, informed race
officials today that he will be unable to compete on October 22.
"While this is a disappointment for us and for Felix that he will be unable
to defend his crown, we undoubtedly support what was obviously a difficult
decision for him," remarked Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "Felix
is a great champion and I am confident that he will recover and be back
stronger than ever. He is always welcome here and we will make every effort
to bring him back to Chicago in 2007."
Limo earned The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon title in 2:07:02 and was
considered an early favorite in this year's Race. Earlier this year he won
a second consecutive title and 25 World Marathon Majors points in London
with a 2:06:39 finish.
"I am very sorry to have to withdraw from this race," Limo stated from
Kenya. "I was hoping to run a fast time and win in Chicago and it is a
disappointment to me that I must make this decision. I am beginning to feel
less pain in my back, but do not feel confident I can run a good race right
now and I am committed to putting together my best performances for myself,
for the organizers and for the fans of the sport."
Among Limo's challengers who remain in the field are Kenyans Robert K.
Cheruiyot, Benjamin Maiyo and Daniel Njenga. Cheruiyot is fresh off his
2006 Boston Marathon championship where he became the World Marathon Majors
joint points leader with Limo, Maiyo was runner-up to Limo last fall in
Chicago and this spring to Cheruiyot in Boston and Njenga has placed
second, third, second and third in his four Chicago appearances. All are
contenders for the Chicago crown.
The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon will begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22
in Chicago's Grant Park. The field of elite athletes will compete for a
portion of the $650,000 prize purse alongside 40,000 registered runners.
For more information on the Race and its athletes, visit