Para-athletes won’t just be competing for the top prize in this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon, they’ll also be competing for a slot on Team USA at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
That’s because 2019 Chicago race will host the 2020 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials Marathon, organizers announced Monday.
“We are thrilled to be hosting the U.S. Paralympic Team Trials again,” Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “So many of our best U.S. athletes are coached by Adam Bleakney at the University of Illinois, so hosting the trials in Chicago is like a hometown race for our future Paralympians. It’s going to be a competitive race up front with everyone focused on 2020.”
Among those competing in the race are defending champions Manuela Schar and Daniel Romanchuk, along with eight-time Chicago Marathon champion Tatyana McFadden and five-time Paralympian Ernst Van Dyk.
Global sensations Amanda McGrory, Madison de Rozario, Susannah Scaroni and relative newcomer Eliza Ault-Connell will also be rounding out the elite women’s field. On the men’s side will be a strong contigent of competitors, including Josh George, Aaron Pike, Hiroki Nishida and Johnboy Smith.
“The athletes in this year’s field are phenomenal, and it is always an honor to welcome our defending champions back to the start line,” Pinkowski said. “Manuela and Daniel continue to raise the bar of para-athletics, and they are leading a new generation of runners to train harder and dream bigger. It’s an exciting time for the sport.”
The race will take place on Oct. 13, 2019.