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Americans Rupp and Thweatt set to lead thousands through the streets of Chicago

10/5/2018
 

CHICAGO -- Chicago Marathon defending men’s champion, Galen Rupp, and the ninth-fastest American marathon woman of all time, Laura Thweatt, are looking to make a splash on the World Marathon Majors circuit Sunday at the Chicago Marathon. Rupp and Thweatt highlight the elite fields that will lead more than 44,000 runners through the streets of Chicago.


Galen Rupp (Portland, Oregon), who earned Olympic bronze in the marathon in 2016, will toe the line for his first marathon since running the second-fastest time by an American in history earlier this year. Back in May, Rupp ran the Prague Marathon in 2:06:07, shaving more than three minutes off his personal best.


In Chicago, he will battle a strong men’s elite field that includes his former training partner and four-time Olympic gold medalist from Great Britain, Mo Farah. Farah leads the head-to-head against Rupp 21-1 however, Rupp is the more experienced marathoner and enters with the sixth-fastest PR in the field.


Luke Puskedra (Eugene, Oregon) and Elkanah Kibet (Fayetteville, North Carolina) return to the city of their marathon personal bests, both set in 2015. Puskedra clocked 2:10:24 for a fifth-place finish in 2015 and 2:17:53 to place 20th in 2017. Chicago will be an opportunity for him to clinch the “A” qualifying standard for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon in Atlanta, Georgia. Puskedra placed fourth at the 2016 Trials in 2:14:12. Meanwhile, Kibet’s personal best of 2:11.31 was good for seventh place at Chicago in 2015. This year, he finished eighth in 2:23:37 at the cold and rainy Boston Marathon and ran a solid 29:05:5 for third place in the men’s 10,000m at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships.


On the women’s side, Laura Thweatt (Durango, Colorado) enters as the ninth-fastest American woman in history after her personal best clocking of 2:25.38 at the London Marathon in April 2017. After that stellar performance in London, she sat out the remainder of the 2017 season due to injury. With the withdrawal of Americans Jordan Hasay and Amy Cragg, Thweatt holds the sixth-fastest personal best in the field.


Joining the elite women’s field is Rio Olympic triathlon gold medalist turned marathoner, Gwen Jorgensen (Waukesha, Wisconsin). In her first marathon, Jorgenson clocked 2:41:01 at the 2016 New York City Marathon just nine weeks after her gold medal performance in Rio. Since then, she has given birth to her first child, finished seventh in 32:24.1 at the USATF Outdoor Championships in the women’s 10,000m and placed fourth in her half marathon debut with a time of 1:10.58 at the USATF Half Marathon Championships.


In the women’s wheelchair division, seven-time Paralympic gold medalist Tatyana McFadden (Champaign, Illinois) returns to defend her 2017 Chicago Marathon Wheelchair title which she won with a course record of 1:39:15. McFadden has dominated the circuit, becoming the only athlete to win four World Marathon Majors (London, Boston, Chicago and New York) in one year and she has done it four times (2013, ‘14, ‘15 and ‘16).


The Chicago Marathon will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Gold and the Olympic Channel beginning at 8 a.m. ET.


Fans can follow along with #USATF on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.




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