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The 2019 Chicago Marathon Will Feature a Fast U.S. Women’s Field

Olympian Amy Cragg is planning to line up at the Chicago Marathon after 18 months away from competing at the 26.2-mile distance.

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Officials revealed the 2019 Chicago Marathon women’s U.S. field on Thursday and Amy Cragg, the 2017 world championships bronze medalist, is planning to compete alongside Jordan Hasay, who previously announced her intention to go after the American record of 2:19:36 at the October 13 race.

The last time Cragg, 35, raced 26.2 miles was the 2018 Tokyo Marathon, where she placed third in 2:21:42, making her the fifth-fastest American woman at the distance. She had planned to race in Chicago last year but scratched after an injury hampered her early training. The last time she competed was in April at the Prague Half Marathon, where she finished seventh in 1:13:30.

“Having grown up in Kansas this is as close to home as it gets,” said Cragg, who trains with the Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Oregon, in a written statement. “To race Chicago means I am racing for my roots, my family, and where my love for the sport began.”

Hasay, 27, has also dealt with her share of injury setbacks since she placed third at the 2017 Chicago Marathon in 2:20:57—making her the country’s second-fastest female marathoner in history. She sat out 2018 while coping with fractures in her left heel. Hasay came back into form at the 2019 Boston Marathon, placing third in 2:25:20, though she withdrew in June from the Grandma’s half marathon in Duluth with what her agent called a “small injury.” Hasay ran the New York Mini 10K earlier in June, but had a tough day, placing 20th.

With the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials coming up on February 29, in Atlanta, the U.S. contingent in Chicago is full of top talent clamoring to achieve the new Olympic standards, issued in March. Outside of a top-three finish at the trials, qualifications to compete at the Tokyo Games include either having placed in the top 10 at a World Marathon Major (like Chicago) or clocking a 2:29:30 on an eligible course between January 1, 2019, and June 29, 2020.

Other notable U.S. women who are scheduled to race include:

  • Emma Bates (2:28:19), 2018 U.S. marathon champion with a marathon best of 2:28:19
  • Stephanie Bruce (2:29:20), 2019 U.S. half marathon champion
  • Lindsay Flanagan (2:29:25), ninth at the 2019 Boston Marathon
  • Taylor Ward (2:32:42), 2016 Philadelphia Marathon champion

Bates, 27, who has only raced one marathon so far in her career, said she’s looking to gain needed experience in October, ahead of the 2020 trials.

“Women’s distance running is so strong in this country and I know that it’s going to be tough to make the team in 2020, but I’m going to be ready,” she said, in a written statement, adding, “I am really enjoying my training right now and the past few months have been consistently good.”