THE LASALLE BANK CHICAGO MARATHON ANNOUNCES MEN’S ELITE FIELD

THE LASALLE BANK CHICAGO MARATHON ANNOUNCES MEN’S ELITE FIELD

Provided by Chicago Marathon

THE LASALLE BANK CHICAGO MARATHON ANNOUNCES MEN’S ELITE FIELD
FOR 30TH ANNIVERSARY RACE
Former Champions Rutto and Limo Top List


September 12, 2007, CHICAGO – The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon today announced the first installment of its elite field of runners that will contend for the championship on Sunday, Oct. 7. Among the men’s roster are former Chicago champions Evans Rutto (KEN; 2003 and 2004) and Felix Limo (KEN; 2005). Set to challenge the former victors are Korean Bong-ju Lee, Moroccan Jaouad Gharib and Kenyan Daniel Njenga Muturi who has finished in
the top three in Chicago the last five years.

“The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon’s tradition of attracting the greatest athletes in the sport continues in 2007,” remarked Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “The men’s field is anchored by athletes who have had great success in Chicago, including former champions Felix Limo and Evans Rutto and top finishers Ben Maiyo and Daniel Njenga. The athletic abilities of Bong-ju Lee and Jaouad Gharib add to that excitement and further indicate that the eventual champion times will have to be fast. Collectively, this field means exciting things for our 30th year and perhaps our best race yet.”

Limo is an established champion with four victories under his belt, including three World Marathon Major races. After two consecutive wins in The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon and the 2006 Flora London Marathon, he withdrew from the 2006 Chicago race with a lingering back injury. After taking third in London this spring, Limo has his sights set on Chicago and the opportunity to reclaim his crown.

Rutto made history in his first Chicago appearance in 2003, also his debut at the marathon distance. By breaking the tape in 2:05:50, The 2003 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon champion also set a new world record for a debut performance that remains today. The win marked his first of three consecutive major victories with a championship in the 2004 Flora London Marathon and a repeat in Chicago that fall.

In only his second marathon appearance, Gharib shocked the world by smashing a 20-year-old IAAF World Championships record at the 2003 marathon (2:08:31). He returned to the championships in 2005 to reiterate his status, becoming only the second man in history to win two consecutive IAAF World Championships Marathons. With four sub-2:08 performances to his credit, Gharib will be a solid contender in Chicago.

Lee arrives in Chicago fresh off winning the Seoul International Marathon championship in March, his seventh career victory. Highlighting his career is his 1996 Atlanta Olympic silver medal performance and wins at the Boston, Asian Games and Fukuoka marathons. An established winner, Lee is likely to challenge the leaders in his Chicago debut.

Daniel Njenga Muturi is well-known in Chicago as a top three finisher over the past five years, including his personal best in 2002 (2:06:16). Hungry to break the tape on Columbus Drive, Njenga Muturi followed last year’s runner-up Chicago finish with a win in the Tokyo Marathon, the second of his career.

Ben Maiyo and Jimmy Muindi are also no strangers to the Windy City. Maiyo finished second in 2005 behind Limo with his personal record (2:07:09) and Muindi will make his fifth Chicago appearance to follow-up his third-place finish in 2006.

The complete list of male athletes set to compete as of today is as
follows:

Name Country Personal Record
Bong-ju Lee KOR 2:07:20
Jaouad Gharib MAR 2:07:02
Tariku Jufar ETH 2:12:49
James Koskei KEN 2:14:02
Felix Limo KEN 2:06:14
Benjamin Maiyo KEN 2:07:09
Jimmy Muindi KEN 2:07:50
Daniel Njenga Muturi KEN 2:06:16
Evans Rutto KEN 2:05:50
Daniel Yego KEN 2:08:16

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon has produced some of the greatest performances in marathon history with its fast, flat course and reputation for recruiting the world’s top talent. Over its 29-year history, The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon has hosted four world records, six American records and numerous other national records. In 2006 alone, four women posted new records for their countries (Australia, Russia, Ethiopia and
Mexico).

For more information on athletes and the race, visit chicagomarathon.com. About The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Sunday, October 7, 2007 as 45,000 participants advance to the start line, embarking on the culmination of 45,000 personal journeys. Along with the massive field of recreational runners, the 26.2-mile course will welcome a full field of world renowned professional athletes drawn to the flat, fast, urban setting and the potential to break world and national records. The
professionals will compete for prize money and points in the World Marathon Majors series which will crown its first male and female champions with $500,000 each at the close of 2007. Since the inception of its charity program in 2002, The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon has generated more than $27.5 million for a variety of charitable causes including $9.5 million in the 2006 event alone. Registration for the race opened on January 1, 2007
and closed when it reached capacity on April 18. www.chicagomarathon.com

Comments