Galen Rupp and Sara Hall will be headlining the men’s and women’s fields at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon when the event returns this year on October 10. This will be Rupp’s fourth appearance in Chicago, where he will be toeing the line only two months after he competes in the Olympic marathon in August. Hall is entering the race with her eye on Deena Kastor’s American record of 2:19:36, set in 2006 in London.
“We are thrilled to welcome Galen and Sara, two of the most talented runners in U.S. history, to our start line this fall,” said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “This is a celebratory moment not only for U.S. running, but for the global running community. The resilience and determination that Galen and Sara have shown throughout their careers is the same kind of resilience and determination that lives within every runner showing up in Grant Park this fall.”
Hall’s record attempt
38-year-old Hall had to drop out of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2020, but came back in October to finish second in the London Marathon. The following December she ran 2:20:32 to win the Marathon Project in Arizona, the second-fastest time ever run by an American woman (the fastest, of course, being Kastor). In a news release, Hall said she thought the most exciting place to chase the American record would be to do it at home in the U.S. “And Chicago is such an epic race. I’m really excited to have my best marathon yet on U.S. soil,” she added.
Rupp going for gold
While he is not chasing the American record, Rupp has been equally vocal about his intentions in October. The winner of the U.S. Olympic marathon trials, this will be his fourth appearance in Chicago. His first was in 2017, when he won the race in his debut marathon, and he was the first American to win in 15 years. He finished a disappointing fifth in 2018, and in 2019 had to drop out because of injury. This year, he’s looking for redemption.
“I want to come back and win,” Rupp said in a release. “2019 left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t finish that race, so I cannot wait to get back out there and come back stronger than ever. It has been a wild ride since then. I’m healthy, I’m happy and it’s going to be tremendous to come back.”
After the 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19, this year’s race will be expecting a smaller field size of about 35,000 participants. With Hall and Rupp headlining the event, the race is shaping up to be exciting, despite the smaller numbers.