Evans Cheruiyot of Kenya celebrates his victory in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Oct. 12, 2008, in Chicago.
Runners from all over the world will compete in the prestigious 2011Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 9. Here is a look at some of the top contenders working towards the first-place win.
Moses Mosop, 26, is from Kenya and is no stranger to the racing world. Mosop competes in both marathons and cross-country events. He was a competitor in the 2007 Olympic games in Athens where he placed seventh. In 2011, Mosop ran his first marathon in Boston, capturing one of the fastest times recorded at 2 hours, 3 minutes, 6 seconds.
Ryan Hall, 28, is an American runner from Big Bear Lake in California. A successful competitor in marathon and cross country, Hall won first place at the 2006 Aaramco Houston Half Marathon, setting an American record at 59 minutes, 43 seconds. He also completed the 2007 US Olympic Trials Marathon, setting a championship record at 2:09:02.
Bazu Worku is a 21-year-old Ethiopian. Worku won the Paris Half Marathon in 2009 (1:01:56), later breaking into full marathons and achieving a second place at the 2009 Paris Marathon. He placed third at the Ottawa Marathon and the Berlin Marathon in 2010.
Evans Cheruiyot is 29 and one of the leading runners from Kenya. Cheruiyot won the Chicago Marathon in 2008 and hopes to reclaim his title in 2011. He ran his first marathon in 2007 in Milan, Italy, where he took home second place. Cheruiyot won the Rotterdam Half Marathon in 2007 in 59 minutes, 48 seconds.
Marilson Dos Santos, 34, is from Brazil. The long-distance runner has won several races, including two New York City Marathons, though he was unable to compete during the Beijing Olympic games in 2008. Santos achieved fourth place in 2011, setting a personal best (2:06:34) at the Virgin London Marathon.
Bernard Kipyego, 25, is among the elite athletes from Kenya. He has been successful at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, won bronze at the 2007 Kenya race and finished first with the Kenyan team in 2007 and 2008 at the Scotland race. Kipyego achieved a personal best at the Rotterdam Marathon, finishing in 2 hours, 7 minutes, 1 second.
Bekana Daba, 23, is from Ethiopia. He won first place win at the 2009 Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon and the Carlsbad 5000. Earlier in 2011, Daba set a record in the Houston Marathon (2:07:04), taking the record away from fellow Ethiopian Teshome Gelana.
Atsushi Sato is a Japanese long-distance runner. Not often seen outside of Asian running circles, the 33-year-old is one of the strongest competitors. He is the Japanese record holder for half marathons at 60 minutes, 25 seconds. In 2008 he raced in the Beijing Olympic Games.
Joshua Chelenga, 38, is a long-distance runner from Kenya. Chelenga ran several marathons since 2000 before winning the Rotterdam Marathon in 2007. Later that year, he won the JoongAng Seoul Marathon. He has competed in the Commonwealth Games and the Boston Marathon.
Wesley Korir, 28, is a marathon runner form Kenya. He won the Las Angeles Marathon back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. He wanted to win in 2011 but fell short, placing fourth in the race. He broke the course record at the L.A. Marathon in 2009. He is a graduate for the University of Louisville.