Running legends and past champions will return to Chicago this October as ambassadors for the 40th anniversary of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, organizers announced Tuesday.
Among the iconic runners coming to the Windy City for the event are Steve Jones, Khalid Khannouchi, Catherine Ndereba, Paula Radcliffe and Deena Kastor.
Jones, Khannouchi, Ndereba and Radcliffe have all set world records on the Chicago Marathon course and Kastor, a multi-time American record-holder and Olympic bronze medalist, is the last American woman to have captured the Chicago crown, according to officials.
The five champions will be available to meet with runners and the community at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo, the Advocate Health International Chicago 5K, and during other moments throughout race week.
“To have Steve, Khalid, Catherine, Paula and Deena returning to Chicago adds an extra layer of excitement and historic significance to race week as we look forward to celebrating 40 years of one of the greatest marathons in the world,” Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “All of their victories shine in our record books, and on top of being great champions, they have been dedicated ambassadors to the running community. We are honored to welcome them back to Chicago.”
The 2017 Chicago Marathon steps off Oct. 8. Runners can still join the anniversary race by signing up to run and fundraise on behalf of a charity. This year's event is expected to be one of the largest finisher fields in Chicago Marathon history.