PAUL TERGAT TO RUN LASALLE BANK CHICAGO MARATHON
World's Second Fastest Marathoner Joins Chicago's Historic Field
Chicago, Illinois - August 13, 2002 - Paul Tergat - one of the greatest
distance runners of all-time - has committed to The 25th Anniversary
LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski
announced today. Earlier this year Tergat became the world's second fastest
marathoner with a 2:05:48 performance in London after an epic duel against
World Record holder Khalid Khannouchi and Haile Gebrselassie. Tergat joins
an unprecedented field in Chicago that now includes a match-up of the two
fastest male and the two fastest female marathon runners of all-time.
"Paul's addition to this field makes it the strongest in the 25 year
history of The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon," said Pinkowski. "To have
both world record holders Khalid Khannouchi and Catherine Ndereba is an
accomplishment, but to also have their closest competitors, Paul Tergat and
Paula Radcliffe in the same race is epic. To have these magnificent
athletes meet in the prime of their careers on Chicago's fast course may
result in the greatest head to head competitions in marathon history. I
can't wait for October 13!"
The 2002 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon is the first time that both the
men's and women's World Record holders have appeared in the same race since
the 1984 Olympics. And for the first time in the history of marathon
running the world will witness the two fastest males and two fastest
females competing against each other.
Tergat, 32-years old from Baringo, Kenya, is now mastering the marathon
distance after having one of the most successful and decorated track
careers in history. He is a former World Record holder in the 10,000 meter
(26:27.85) and two-time silver medallist in the Olympic 10,000 meter (1996
& 2000). Tergat won five consecutive World Cross Country Championships from
1995 to 1999. He holds two world half-marathon championship titles (1998,
1999) and a World Record in the distance (59:06). Last year Tergat finished
second (2:08:56) in is first appearance in The LaSalle Bank Chicago
Marathon. His second place finish of 2:05:48 at the London Marathon this
spring was the third fastest of all-time and a Kenyan national record.
The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon has always lived up to its reputation as
one of the world's fastest courses. Besides Catherine Ndereba's World
Record set in 2001, Joan Benoit Samuelson set the woman's American record
of 2:21:21 in Chicago in 1985. In its 24-year history Chicago also has
owned two men's World Records (1984 Steve Jones - 2:08:05, 1999 Khalid
Khannouchi - 2:05:42).
Elite athletes will compete this fall for an event record purse of
$500,000. The male and female winners each will earn $100,000, the largest
ever payout for first place in a marathon. The 2002 LaSalle Bank Chicago
Marathon begins Sunday, October 13 at 7:30 a.m., starting and finishing in
Chicago's Grant Park. The race will be televised live on NBC5 and broadcast
on Chicago's ESPN Radio AM1000 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The 2002 race
is expected to draw up to the registration cap of 37,500 participants.