- Galen Rupp will make his return to the marathon in Chicago on October 13. He will take on Britain’s Mo Farah, who won the race in 2018.
- Jordan Hasay has also announced that she is entering the race and that she is aiming for the American marathon record, held by Deena Kastor.
- Also competing in the women’s race are Olympian Amy Cragg, Stephanie Bruce, and Emma Bates; on the men’s side, Dathan Ritzenhein, Chris Derrick, and Diego Estrada are racing against Rupp and Farah.
On October 13, a talented field of American and international distance runners will line up at the Chicago Marathon for a chance to notch top times—and possibly the Olympic Marathon standard—before the 2020 Olympic year begins.
In the women’s race, American Jordan Hasay is the one to watch, considering the last time she ran Chicago in 2017, she finished third overall in 2:20:47, which made her the second-fastest U.S. marathoner of all time behind Deena Kastor. Earlier this year, Hasay placed third in Boston, and said after the race that she would aim for the American record of 2:19:36 this year in Chicago.
Hasay will have a fierce group of women pushing her to that goal. In a press release provided to Runner’s World by the Chicago Marathon on Thursday, the stacked women’s field includes Olympian Amy Cragg, who boasts a marathon best of 2:21:42; newly minted marathoner Emma Bates, who won the 2018 California International Marathon in 2:28:19; reigning U.S. Half Marathon champion Stephanie Bruce; Lindsay Flanagan; and Taylor Ward, who finished as the second American in Chicago last year. Sarah Sellers, the surprise runner-up finisher at Boston in 2018, will also be racing.
With a blazing Chicago course at their disposal, pros who have not clocked an Olympic qualifying marathon run by the fall—with either a fast time (an “A” standard of 2:11:30 for men or 2:29:30 for women) or a top-10 finish at a World Marathon Major—may have a good shot in the Windy City.
Headlining this year for men is U.S. distance runner Galen Rupp, whose race marks his return to competition after missing the past year following foot surgery. Rupp will be lining up with 2018 Chicago Marathon winner Mo Farah of Great Britain, as well as fellow Americans Noah Droddy, three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, Chris Derrick, Diego Estrada, Scott Smith, Parker Stinson, and Brogan Austin, who had a breakthrough performance when he won the California International Marathon last December. Justin Gallegos, a Nike-sponsored runner who has cerebral palsy, is also making his marathon debut in Chicago this year.
Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist, was fifth at Chicago last year in 2:06:21. Two weeks after the race, Rupp underwent surgery to correct a Haglund’s deformity, a bony protrusion on his left heel, which caused fraying in his Achilles tendon.
[Blast through a series of HIIT sessions to boost running strength and prevent injury with the IronStrength Workout.]
“Everything’s going really well. I’m still just kind of inching my way up and doing a little bit more, building my mileage up, but everything’s as good as to be expected,” Rupp, 33, told Runner’s World last month. “I’m excited to be healthy and back running again and to be here. It was a good break, I think; I definitely needed a little bit of time off.”
As long as he is healthy, Rupp is considered a lock to make a fourth U.S. Olympic team at the Olympic Marathon Trials next February. In his marathon career so far, Rupp has won three times (at the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2016, Chicago in 2017, and the Prague Marathon in 2018). He finished second at Boston in 2017, and won the Olympic bronze medal in Rio in 2016.
His personal record, 2:06:07 from Prague, made him the second-fastest U.S. marathoner of all time. Khalid Khannouchi set the American record of 2:05:38 in 2002.
He’s not the only big name returning to Chicago. Mo Farah of Great Britain, the race’s defending champion and a four-time Olympic gold medalist, returns this year as well. He and Rupp were teammates with the Oregon Project under Salazar from 2011 to 2017.
Farah, now 36, made a decisive move over the race’s final stretch to win last year in 2:05:11. Most recently, he finished fifth at the London Marathon in 2:05:39.
Defending wheelchair competition champions Daniel Romanchuk and Manuela Schär of Switzerland will also be back in Chicago in October.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article said Taylor Ward was the top American woman at the 2018 Chicago Marathon. She was the second American, behind Sarah Crouch.
Sarah Lorge Butler is a writer and editor living in Eugene, Oregon, and her stories about the sport, its trends, and fascinating individuals have appeared in Runner’s World since 2005.