The two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui and Dickson Chumba of Kenya have been added to the elite men’s list for the Chicago Marathon on Oct 7.
Kirui, who has remained injury free this year, hopes to reclaim the title he last won in 2016 when he succeeded his compatriot and 2015 winner Chumba. Kirui claimed silver in Chicago last year.
“Yes yes yes! I’m back again for the third time running the Chicago Marathon,” an excited Kirui said on Friday from Eldoret. “I have good hope and big faith and [the] biggest heart to win.”
The statement was meant to be a thinly veiled attack on race favourites defending champion Galen Rupp of the USA and Britain’s Mo Farah who had been announced earlier by the organizers as the athletes to watch out for in this year’s race.
Alongside Kirui and Chumba, Kenya will still have another strong contender in 2017 Boston champion Geoffrey Kirui, will be making his debut in the windy race, which has one of the flattest courses.
Dennis Kimetto’s 2:02.57 has stood the test of time since he broke the world record in Berlin in 2014. Of the three Kenyans, Briton and American runners, none holds the fastest time in 2018.
That title goes to Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew, who started 2018 with a bang, breaking the course record in Dubai and posting a fresh personal best of 2:04.00.
Chumba is the fifth fastest runner in the Chicago marathon’s history. He came back to win in 2015 and while he tried to defend his title in 2016, he came up three seconds short, finishing second to Abel Kirui.
Since he embarked on his marathon career in 2010, he has finished 17 marathons and he boasts an impressive record: five wins, five runner-ups and four third place finishes. “I have high hopes of reclaiming my title in Chicago. But as usual, the opposition is at its peak and the best runner will sail through. Past records stand for nothing in Chicago,” said Chumba.
Kirui also stands out as one of the most decorated athletes in the field – he took home a silver medal in the marathon at the 2012 London Olympics and he won both the 2009 and 2011 IAAF World Marathon Championships.