FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Champions Sammy Wanjiru, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot and Tsegaye Kebede
Added to 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Most Competitive Field in Race History Creates Opportunity to Decide the
World Marathon Major Series Title in Chicago
Chicago, IL - The Bank of America Chicago Marathon today announced that
three of the world's top marathon champions will compete head-to-head in
the most competitive field ever assembled in the 33-year history of the
race. Defending Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru of
Kenya, 2010 Virgin London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, and
2010 Boston Marathon champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya will put
their winning records on the line in Chicago on Sunday, October 10.
The participation of these runners in the 2010 Bank of America Chicago
Marathon will be pivotal in deciding the winner of the 2009-2010 World
Marathon Majors (WMM) series. Wanjiru and Kebede are tied atop the current
series standings with 50 points apiece. A victory by one or the other in
Chicago would likely determine the champion of the series, which concludes
with the ING New York City Marathon on November 7.
"Bringing together these three great champions in the prime of their
careers will make the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon one of the most
exciting races in the event's history," said Executive Race Director Carey
Pinkowski. "Wanjiru, Kebede and Cheruiyot are young, accomplished and
fearless, and they'll bring out the best in one another. With Bank of
America's support, I'm proud to say that the current World Marathon Majors
series could be decided right here in Chicago between these great rivals."
Also toeing the start line in Chicago will be Vincent Kipruto from Kenya,
who placed third in last year's race.
Sammy Wanjiru, 23, arrived in Chicago last fall fresh off a victory and
course record (2:05:10) at the 2009 Virgin London Marathon. In his first
race on U.S. soil, the 2008 Olympic Marathon gold medalist thrilled the
Chicago crowds by breaking the finish tape in 2:05:41, one second below the
previous course record, marking the fastest marathon ever run in North
Wanjiru's Chicago victory gave him an insurmountable lead in the 2008-2009
WMM series, for which he was crowned champion last November.
"The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a fantastic course and I am
looking forward to returning there to defend my title," said Wanjiru. "I
know there will be good competition and I will be ready for a fast and
After a runner-up finish to Wanjiru at the 2009 Virgin London Marathon,
Tsegaye Kebede, 23, earned his first World Marathon Major victory at the
same event this past April. Kebede, a proven champion, has notched
victories at the 2008 Paris International Marathon and the 2008 and 2009
Fukuoka International Marathons, where he set a course record and personal
best of 2:05:18 in 2009. He won the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic
Marathon in Beijing, and duplicated that feat at the 2009 IAAF World
Championship Marathon in Berlin. The 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
will mark Kebede's first competition in the U.S.
"After competing in Europe, Asia and my home continent of Africa, I'm
looking forward to competing in America for the first time in my life,"
said Kebede. "Chicago is one of the most prestigious races in the world,
and after winning London this spring, I feel privileged to compete here in
Chicago against some of the best marathoners in the world."
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, 22, (not to be confused with Robert Kipkoech
Cheruiyot, the 2006 Chicago Marathon champion) stunned the running world at
the 2010 Boston Marathon when he slashed 82 seconds off the existing course
record. His time of 2:05:52 is the fourth-fastest ever run on U.S. soil.
The 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be Cheruiyot's first
marathon since his breakthrough performance in the spring.
"Winning Boston in 2:05:52 gave me confidence that I can run very fast in
the marathon," said Cheruiyot. "I am excited to test myself on a flat and
fast course in Chicago. I am extremely motivated to race well and I hope to
improve my time."
Vincent Kipruto, 23, is another young talent who reached the podium at last
year's Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a third place finish. He is
the 2009 Paris International Marathon champion and course record holder
(2:05:47), and placed third at the 2010 Fortis Rotterdam Marathon in a
personal best 2:05:13, the 12th fastest time in history.
These men, along with American Ryan Hall, whose participation was announced
prior to his fourth place finish at the Boston Marathon in April, will vie
for the prestigious Bank of America Chicago Marathon crown on Sunday,
October 10, 2010:
Name Country Personal Best
Sammy Wanjiru Kenya 2:05:10 (London, 2009)
Vincent Kipruto Kenya 2:05:13 (Rotterdam, 2010)
Tsegaye Kebede Ethiopia 2:05:18 (Fukuoka, 2009
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot Kenya 2:05:52 (Boston, 2010)
Ryan Hall United States 2:06:17 (London, 2008)
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 33rd year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of
America Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 runners, including a
world class elite field, and 1.5 million spectators. As a result of its
national and international draw, the iconic race assists in raising $10
million for a variety of charitable causes while generating an estimated
$150 million economic impact to its host city. The 2010 Bank of America
Chicago Marathon will start and finish in Chicago's Grant Park beginning at
7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 10. In advance of the race, a two-day Health &
Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place Convention Center on Friday,
October 8 and Saturday, October 9. More information on the race and how to
get involved is available at the event Web site, chicagomarathon.com