6th October 2018
FARAH AND WEIR AMONG THOSE TAKING ON CHICAGO MARATHON
Sir Mo Farah (coach: Gary Lough; club: Newham & Essex Beagles) and David Weir (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) are among the leader British contenders at Sunday’s Chicago marathon.
The 35-year-old, set his personal best 2:06:21 as he finished third and claimed the British title at the London Marathon in April. He will bid to become the first Briton since Paul Evans in 1996 to win the Chicago Marathon as he returns to the roads this weekend.
Farah will be up against former training partner and defending champion Galen Rupp, who became the first American since 2002 to take victory in Chicago when he cut the tape first last year. Rupp has only beaten Farah once in 22 meetings between the two.
Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew is the fastest man on paper and the second fastest in the world in 2018, having clocked a 2:04:00 personal best in Dubai in January, with countryman Birhanu Legese just behind with a 2:04:15 best in 2018.
The course record stands at 2:03:45, a time set by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto in 2013.
In the elite women’s race, Aly Dixon (self; Sunderland Strollers) will be racing for the first time as a 40-year-old, looking to improve on her season’s best 2:38:19, recorded at the Commonwealth Games back in April.
Dixon’s best over 26.2 miles stands at 2:29:06 clocked in the capital last year. The course record in Chicago remains at 2:17:18, set by Paula Radcliffe in 2002.
There will be a new champion in Chicago with the absence of Tirunesh Dibaba, but fellow Ethiopians Roza Dereje and Birhane Dibaba will lead the charge for the title, with bests of 2:19:17 and 2:19:51 respectively.
David Weir (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) will seek to claim his second major elite wheelchair marathon title of the year as he makes his Chicago Marathon debut on Saturday.
The Londoner claimed victory in the British capital back in April in 1:31:15, pipping Marcel Hug (SUI) and Daniel Romanchuk (USA) to the line. The duo, will once again join him on the start line, with the Swiss aiming for a third straight title in the elite men’s wheelchair division.
Kurt Fearnley (AUS), the most decorated Chicago wheelchair athlete with five titles, was the last man to accomplish that feat in 2009 and has not finished outside of the top two in any of his nine course appearances.
Fellow British representation comes from Gold Coast silver medallist JohnBoy Smith (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy), who makes his Chicago bow, and Simon Lawson (Ian Thompson, Carlisle Tri), who claimed bronze at the Commonwealth Games and 11th place in Chicago last year.