Chepng’etich targets Chicago Marathon second win

Friday, October 7th, 2022 09:00 | By
Ruth Chepngetich (right) in the lead during a past Athletics Kenya championship at Nyayo Stadium. PD DAVID NDOLO
Ruth Chepngetich (right) in the lead during a past Athletics Kenya championship at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO/David Ndolo

Last year’s Chicago Marathon women’s category Ruth Chepngetich returns to the field on Sunday, aiming for a second consecutive win in the race. She will be joined by a strong American contingent, equally intent on impressing on home soil.

The 2019 World Champion has a personal best of 2:17:08 set in 2019 at the Dubai Marathon. She also came third in the 2020 London Marathon and is the third-fastest woman of all time over the half marathon distance (1:04:02).

Her closest competitor, compatriot Celestine Chepchirchir, has the fastest time over three full minutes slower than Chepngetich, however her progress this year has seen her lower her own PB by over three minutes. In April’s Seoul Marathon, Chepchirchir ran home in an impressive 2:20:10, and will have her eyes on going under the 2:20 mark in Chicago.

The third in a trio of Kenyans with the fastest times in the women’s race has also shown strong form this year. Vivian Kiplagat posted a personal best just eight seconds slower than Chepchirchir’s when she registered a time of 2:20:18 in Milan last April.

The men’s field also contains a returning champion, with Seifu Tura headlining a top four made up of only Ethiopian runners. Tura has a personal best time of 2:04:29 putting him 39th on the all-time list. In last year’s race in Chicago, the 25-year-old passed the finish line in 2:06:12.

The fastest in the men’s field on paper is Herpasa Negasa, whose all-time best time of 2:03:40 set in Dubai in 2019, makes him the 18th fastest man ever over the marathon distance. Dawit Wolde (2:04:27) and Asrar Abderehman (2:04:43) are two other Ethiopians capable of challenging for victory.

The Chicago Marathon has been a regular annual fixture since its inception in 1977 and has become one of the most popular marathons in the world.

Its fast, flat course offers the opportunity for runners to push the boundaries and five world records have been set on the course, with the last coming in 2019 when Brigid Kosgei set the fastest ever women’s time for the 42.2km distance (26.2 miles) of 2:14:04 - a record that stands to this day.

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