Four of the world’s fastest marathon runners are scheduled to compete in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon next month.
Kenya’s Moses Mosop, Dennis Kimetto and Emmanuel Mutai, and Ethiopia’s Ayele Abshero all rank among the top 11 marathon performers in history and will be running for the $100,000 prize when the race steps off Oct. 13.
Mosop, a repeat runner in the event, is the top competitor as the second-fastest marathoner of all time with a personal best of two hours, three minutes and six seconds, and is followed by Kimetto (No. 6, 2:04:16), Abshero (No. 7, 2:04:23) and Mutai (No. 11, 2:04:40).
America's fastest marathon time was recorded last year on the Chicago course. Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede crossed the line at two hours, four minutes and 38 seconds, breaking the previous record of 2:05.39 set in 2011 by Mosop.
Kebede also was the first Ethiopian man to win the Chicago Marathon, breaking Kenya's nine-year winning streak.
Ethiopia's Atsede Baysa won the women's race with a photo finish after a dramatic sprint to the finish line racing against Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo. Baysa crossed the finish line with a time of two hours, 22 minutes and three seconds.
That beats her personal best by a second. Her next fastest time was 2:22:04 set at the Paris Marathon in 2010.
Baysa is also scheduled to face off against Jeptoo in this year’s marathon race.
“It will be hard to top last year when the top three men all broke the previous course record and the women’s race was decided by a single second, but this is the field that can do it,” Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “These athletes are among the most exciting in the sport, not only with their fast times, but with their proven ability to win on the biggest stages in the world. We have two returning champions in Moses from 2011 and Atsede with her memorable victory last year. They are the ones to beat, but they’ll have their work cut out for them against deep competition.”