Women’s Distance Running Stars set the Stage for Legendary Matchups at the 45th Bank of America Chicago Marathon
CHICAGO, IL – Today the Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced the return of two-time defending champion Ruth Chepngetich and American record holder Emily Sisson. Joining Chepngetich and Sisson is 2023 London Marathon champion Sifan Hassan, one of distance running’s most accomplished stars who will be making her American marathon debut on Sunday, October 8, 2023.
Chepngetich of Kenya will attempt to capture her third consecutive Bank of America Chicago Marathon victory. Last year, after setting a blistering early pace, she narrowly missed breaking the world record, finishing in 2:14:18. It is the second fastest time ever behind fellow-Kenyan Brigid Kosgei who ran 14 seconds faster to win the Chicago Marathon in 2019. The stage is set this year for Chepngetich to challenge the women’s world record and reclaim victory.
“I am planning to defend my title and improve my time,” said Chepngetich. “There's no better race in the world than the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.”
To do so, she will have to defeat two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands. Hassan made her marathon debut in London last April. After stopping to stretch twice, she closed a 25-second gap on the leaders to win and set a new national record of 2:18:33. Hassan said she will return to the track this summer, competing at the World Championships in Budapest less than six weeks before lining up in Chicago.
“At the moment, my focus is on the World Championships in Budapest, so my marathon preparation will be very short, but as most people know, I like to be challenged,” said Hassan. “I will see how my body responds and how my mind handles it. The good thing is that I have the experience from London so I'm looking forward to Chicago, to see what the marathon can teach me this time.”
Unlike Hassan, Sisson will skip the summer track season to focus on getting ready for Chicago. Last year’s runner-up, Sisson finished in 2:18:29, demolishing the American record by 43 seconds. Sisson, who also holds the American record in the half marathon, said the deep field improves her chances of running even faster this year.
“Chicago is where I set the American marathon record last year,” said Sisson. “I am really looking forward to coming back for another great race in October!”
Legendary matchups have long made for thrilling finishes in Chicago. In 1985, a grueling duel between Olympic champion Joan Benoit Samuelson and then world record holder Ingrid Kristiansen saw Benoit Samuelson outlast her Norwegian competitor and set an American record. In 2002, British world champion Paula Radcliffe defeated Kenya’s Catherine “The Great” Ndbera and shattered Ndbera’s world record in the process. And in 2017, three-time Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba took down rising star and future world record holder Brigid Kosgei.
“Epic battles between the fastest women in the world are a hallmark of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “As we celebrate four and a half decades of racing this fall, we look forward to seeing Ruth, Sifan and Emily set the tone and provide inspiration for the next 45 years.”
Chepngetich, Hassan and Sisson will be three of 45,000 participants taking part in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon’s 45th running on Sunday, October 8, 2023.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon welcomes thousands of participants from more than 100 countries and all 50 states, including a world-class elite field, top regional and Masters runners, race veterans, debut marathoners and charity participants. The race’s iconic course takes participants through 29 vibrant neighborhoods on an architectural and cultural tour of Chicago. The 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will start and finish in Grant Park on Sunday, October 8, 2023. In advance of the race, a three-day Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place Convention Center on Thursday, October 5, Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7. For more information about the event and how to get involved, go to chicagomarathon.com.
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Alex Sawyer, Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Diane Wagner, Bank of America