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On Tuesday, Chicago Marathon officials released the list of pro women who will line up against Sara Hall, who had already announced her intention to go for the 26.2-mile American record on October 10.
Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, 27, headlines the field as the reigning marathon world champion with a personal best of 2:17:08, set at the 2019 Dubai Marathon. She placed third in London last year and in the spring Chepngetich set the half marathon world record for a mixed-gender race in 1:04.02. Most recently she competed at the Tokyo Olympics but did not finish the marathon in Sapporo.
Hall announced in June that she’ll take another stab at the American record currently held by Deena Kastor (2:19:36), set at the 2006 London Marathon. In December, Hall, 38, made her first attempt at the mark at the Marathon Project, an elite-only race near Phoenix that offered pacemakers and a 4.26-mile looped course. She finished in 2:20:32, becoming the second-fastest U.S. woman at the distance. Just 11 weeks prior to that performance, Hall finished second at the London Marathon, a career breakthrough against a competitive international field.
The Americans competing in Chicago this year also include Keira D’Amato, 36, who clocked a 12-minute lifetime best at the Marathon Project, finishing in 2:22:56. Emma Bates, who was the top U.S. woman at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, returns with a personal best of 2:25:27, also set at the Marathon Project. Diane Nukuri (2:27:50) and Lindsay Flanagan (2:28:08) also plan to compete on October 10.
Officials updated the COVID-19 guidelines they will enforce at the race, which is the first edition of the event since the pandemic began in 2020. The marathon has registered 35,000 runners, all of whom will be required to show proof of completed vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result administered within 72 hours of the race. The documentation will be checked before runners enter the expo to pick up their race bibs—they will be unable to enter the expo without it.
Face masks will be mandatory at indoor race venues, including the expo, and encouraged at the start of the race. Officials will also have masks available at the finish line.
“While we expect to see fast times up front, we are focusing on celebrating every athlete in this year’s field—and the personal stories, challenges, and triumphs that they bring with them,” said Carey Pinkowski, Chicago Marathon race director, in a written statement. “This event is special in so many ways because it captures the human spirit—from the first runner across the line to the last.”