World Record Holders, Defending Champs Among International Elite Runners in 40th Anniversary Bank of America Chicago Marathon

NOTE: NBC 5 will offer complete live coverage of the 2017 race beginning at 7 a.m. CT online and on TV. The race can be streamed live from around world on the NBC Chicago app, which will also offer a live stream of the finish line from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here for more. 

Several international running stars will take part in this year's 40th anniversary Bank of America Chicago Marathon, including defending champions Abel Kirui and Florence Kiplagat, organizers announced Wednesday.

The strongest challengers taking on Kirui and Kiplagat, both of Kenya, will be current marathon and course record holder Dennis Kimetto, current half marathon world record holder Zersenay Tadese, and three-time Olympic gold medalist and the third-fastest woman in history of 42K Tirunesh Dibaba

“We wanted to put together a field this year that combined some of the best international and American athletes competing on the global stage today,” Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “We have our defending champions back, the marathon and half marathon world record holders and a woman who has stood on top of more podiums than anyone else in the field. I expect to see some great performances that will continue the longstanding tradition of elite racing in Chicago.”

Also joining the men's elite field are Shamrock Shuffle champion Stephen Sambu, Kohei Mastsumura, Yuki Takamiya, Chihiro Miyawaki, Ryoichi Matsuo and Jordan Chipangama. 

And also racing in the women's field are last year's third-place finisher Valentine Kipketer, Lisa Weightman, Karolina Nadolska, Madai Perez, Jessica Draskau Petersson and Rocio Cantara Rojas

The 2017 Chicago Marathon steps off Oct. 8. This year's event is expected to be one of the largest finisher fields in Chicago Marathon history.

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