The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Announces Women's Elite Field

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Announces Women's Elite Field

Provided by Chicago Marathon


September 17, 2007, CHICAGO – The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon today announced its elite field of female runners that will contend for the championship on Sunday, Oct. 7. Leading the field is Australian record holder Benita Johnson who returns to the course where she set the 2:22:36 mark in 2006.

“Benita is relatively new to the marathon distance, but has quickly established a reputation for herself by tackling three of the top competitions in the world in Chicago, New York and London,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “Several women are going to challenge her however as we have four making their marathon debut and veterans like Nuta Olaru and Alevtina Ivanova with their eyes on the championship. This race
is impossible to call as everything becomes a factor. It all depends on how things develop on race day.”

Johnson, 28, delivered her best marathon performance in less-than-ideal weather conditions in The 2006 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, placing third and setting a new national record for Australia (2:22:36). After establishing a solid track resume, Johnson debuted at the marathon distance at the 2004 ING New York City Marathon, finishing in 14th place. At the 2005 Flora London Marathon, she shaved 12 minutes off her time to finish in
2:26:32. If the weather cooperates in Chicago next month, Johnson could improve her time yet again.

Nuta Olaru (ROU), 37, is a veteran of the marathon distance with 13 World Marathon Major race appearances under her belt. Her 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon performance will be her fifth in the Windy City, having set her personal record on the course in 2004 (2:24:33).

Alevtina Ivanova (RUS), 32, will arrive at the start line fresh off setting a new personal record (2:27:48) in taking first place at the Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon in April. No stranger to the podium, Ivanova has placed in the top 3 in six of her 10 marathon appearances.

The complete list of female athletes set to compete as of today is as

Name Country Personal Record
Kathy Butler GBR 2:28:29
Teyba Erkesso ETH Debut
Alevtina Ivanova RUS 2:27:48
Benita Johnson AUS 2:22:36
Nuta Olaru ROM 2:24:33
Kate O’Neill USA Debut
Adriana Pirtea ROU Debut
Dulce Maria Rodríguez MEX 2:28:54
Jess Ruthe NZL Debut
Linda Somers Smith USA 2:30:06
Liz Yelling GBR 2:30:44

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

For more information on athletes and the race, visit