Olympians, NYC Champions Among Added Athletes to 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

September 20, 2017 at 10:00 AM Eastern

Today, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced changes to the elite field for the Oct. 8, 2017 race.


Men’s field

Stanley Biwott (KEN) will make his Bank of America Chicago Marathon debut as the seventh-fastest man in history over the marathon distance (2:03:51) and the 11th-fastest in history over the half marathon on a record-eligible course (58:56). Biwott made his mark in the Abbott World Marathon Majors with a victory at the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon, and with a standout performance at the 2016 London Marathon, finishing second to Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) in a career best, 2:03:51 (Biwott and Kipchoge share the 30K world record, 1:27:13, set during the London Marathon). Biwott has finished in the top five of 10 marathons.

Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) gained international attention at the 2016 Rio Olympics when he finished the marathon with a silver medal. However, he initially made a name for himself in 2010 when, just two months after his 20th birthday, he became the youngest athlete to break 2:06 in the marathon with a 2:05:23 performance in Rotterdam. He has run well in Chicago, finishing third in 2010 and coming back in 2012 to chase Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) to the line for second place and a new personal best, 2:04:52. His 2017 campaign started with a second-place finish at the Houston half marathon and wins at the New York City Half Marathon and the Bogota Half Marathon.

Bernard Kipyego (KEN) returns to Chicago after finishing third in 2011 and sixth in 2012. He started his international career 14 years ago as a junior competitor, and he has represented Kenya on the track (5,000m and 10,000m), in cross-country and on the roads. He won a silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships where he clocked a swift 59:59, and he has consistently run under 60 minutes in the half marathon six times and under 2:07 in the marathon five times. He set his current personal best, 2:06:19, in Amsterdam in 2015. He is a two-time winner of the Amsterdam Marathon (2014, 2015).

Ezekiel Chebii (KEN) opened his marathon career in 2014 by winning the Madrid Marathon while setting a course and all-comers record (2:09:15). He returned to Madrid in 2015 to pick up another win, and he hit his stride in the marathon in 2016 when he ran 2:06:07 in Amsterdam to finish fifth. He became the 16th-fastest man in history over the half marathon distance in 2012 (59:10). Chebii started his 2017 season at the Otsu Lake Biwa Marathon with a win.

Yuki Takamiya (JPN) and Jordan Chipangama (ZAM) have withdrawn from the race.


Women’s field

Brigid Kosgei (KEN) is relatively new to the Abbott World Marathon Majors, and she has only been competing in marathons for the past two years. Within that timeframe, she has won three marathons, and she set her personal best, 2:24:45, at the 2016 Lisbon Marathon for a runner-up finish. She started 2017 with a new personal best in the half marathon, 1:07:35, an eighth-place finish in Boston, and a win at the Bogota Half Marathon.

Maegan Krifchin (USA) is an exciting runner who went into her marathon debut in 2015 completely under the radar and ran away with a 2:33:30 PR – the ninth-fastest time posted by an American woman that year. She followed her debut with another big performance at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. In spite of high heat and humidity, Krifchin finished seventh, running a disciplined race with nearly identical half splits to come home in 2:33:34 (the 13th-fastest American time in 2016). Heading into the trials, she won the 2015 Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in a personal best, 1:09:51.


Men’s field updates

Men's field
Name Personal Best
Stanley Biwott (KEN) 2:03:51 (London, 2016)
Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) 2:04:52 (Chicago, 2012)
Ezekiel Chebii (KEN) 2:06:07 (Amsterdam, 2016)
Bernard Kipyego (KEN) 2:06:19 (Amsterdam, 2015)
Yuki Takamiya (JPN) Withdrawn
Jordan Chipangama (ZAM) Withdrawn


Women’s field updates

Women's field
Name Personal Best
Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 2:24:54 (Lisbon, 2016)
Maegan Krifchin (USA) 2:33:30 (Hamburg, 2015)



About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

In its 40th year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon welcomes thousands of runners 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 runners. The race’s iconic course takes runners through 29 vibrant neighborhoods on an architectural and cultural tour of Chicago. Annually, an estimated 1.7 million spectators line the streets cheering on more than 40,000 runners from the start line to the final stretch down Columbus Drive. As a result of the race’s national and international draw, the Chicago Marathon assists in raising millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes while generating $277 million in annual economic impact to its host city. The 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will start and finish in Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 8. In advance of the race, a two-day Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place Convention Center on Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7. For more information about the event and how to get involved, go to chicagomarathon.com.


Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.



Reporters May Contact:
Alex Sawyer, Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Phone: 1.312.992.6618

Diane Wagner, Bank of America
Phone: 1.312.992.2370