UPDATE, 7 OCTOBER - Race report and analysis:
The 2007 Chicago Marathon has come and gone, and was one of the most remarkable marathons ever run, for both men and women. Click here for our post-race report and analysis!
We have no idea why the organizers have waited until three days before the event to announce this, but both winners from last year will be returning to defend their titles.
In the womens field that makes it effectively a two-horse contest between Benita Johnson and Berhane Adere, although on paper Adere has more experience and a faster PB (2:20:42 vs. 2:22:36).
On the mens side, as if the field were not already deep enough and ultra competitive, Robert Cheruiyot will be on the start line to defend his title. Cheruiyot is smoking hot lately, winning Boston and Chicago in 2006 and repeating his Boston win earlier this year. Can me make it a double-double?
Worth noting is his PB of 2:07:14 which was run at Boston last year. Why is this special? Remember, folks, Boston is not known for being a speedy course. His 2:07 there suggests he is capable of sub-2:06 on a flat course like Chicago, and that, together with his form of late, makes him competitive in the field on Sunday.
On another update note, the forecast here in Chicago for Sunday is for unseasonably warm weather. Temperatures at the start probably will be only in the low 20's Celsius (upper 60's F) and will likely break 30 C (upper 70's F) by midday as clear skies are predicted.
Any chance of a record?
As mentioned in the prior post, a record is unlikely with this group of men (and women). While fast, none is known for blistering speed and for setting records. Rather, these men are more about winning the race. In addition, scientific analysis of temperatures during marathon performances has shown that as the temperature increases, top runners can be expected to run 2-4.5% slower than the course record.
So a new WR or a course record? The smart money says "No." An exciting, competitive, and tactical race? Absolutely. Be sure to tune in on race day!