Dennis Kimetto, Emmanuel Mutai and Sammy Kitwara battling it out at the 2013 Chicago Marathon

The 40th anniversary of the Chicago Marathon is going to be one heck of a race.

The organizing committee announced on Wednesday that they’d landed world record holder Dennis Kimetto. The Kenyan ran 2:02:57 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon, but has struggled with injuries in recent years. Kimetto has had success in the Windy City, running 2:03:45 in 2013 to win and set the course record.

Kimetto will be facing off against returning champion Abel Kirui, and half-marathon world record holder Zersenay Tadese, who was one of a trio of marathoners taking part in Nike’s Breaking2 project. 

Related: our feature on Nike’s Breaking2 and how the 2:00 barrier could be broken

Chicago had also previously announced that top American marathoners Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay will be on the start line as well, building quite a bit of excitement around distance running in North America this fall.

The women’s international field features one of the most exciting marathoners alive.

Tirunesh Dibaba, the third fastest female marathon runner in history, will make her American debut in Chicago. The Ethiopian track legend will be running just her third marathon. In her debut, she finished in third at the 2014 London Marathon in a jaw dropping 2:20:35. After taking time off to have a child, Dibaba returned to the marathon last spring, again in London, and ran 2:17:56, becoming just the third woman ever to crack 2:18.

Dibaba will be an admirable challenger for Florence Kiplagat, who’s owned Chicago for the last two years. The Kenyan has dipped under 2:20, and has been an aggressive front runner on the flat and fast course in Chicago. Kiplagat is a gamer, having finished in the top 10 in all of her 11 career marathons, and will no doubt match anything Dibaba does in the first half of the race.

Here’s the full list thus far of the 2017 Chicago Marathon’s international field:

Men’s international field

Name
Dennis Kimetto (KEN)
Abel Kirui (KEN)
Kohei Matsumura (JPN)
Zersenay Tadese (ERI)
Yuki Takamiya (JPN)
Jordan Chipangama (ZAM)
Chihiro Miyawaki (JPN)
Ryoichi Matsuo (JPN)
Stephen Sambu (KEN)
Personal Best
2:02:57 (Berlin, 2014)
2:05:04 (Rotterdam, 2009)
2:08:09 (Tokyo, 2014)
2:10:41 (London, 2012)
2:10:57 (Tokyo, 2016)
2:11:35 (Duluth, 2015)
2:11:50 (Tokyo, 2014)
2:12:11 (Nobeoka, 2014)
2:13:35 (Chicago, 2016)

Women’s international field

Name
Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)
Florence Kiplagat (KEN)
Madaí Pérez (MEX)
Valentine Kipketer (KEN)
Lisa Weightman (AUS)
Karolina Nadolska (POL)
Jessica Draskau Petersson (DEN)
Rocio Cantara Rojas (PER)
Personal Best
2:17:56 (London, 2017)
2:19:44 (Berlin, 2011)
2:22:59 (Chicago, 2006)
2:23:02 (Amsterdam, 2013)
2:25:15 (London, 2017)
2:26:31 (Osaka, 2014)
2:30:07 (Chicago, 2015)
2:37:05 (New York, 2015)

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