After spending her career on the track, she experienced a rocky transition to the marathon in 2017, failing to finish both the Tokyo and New York City marathons. She needed to deliver in 2018, and she delivered in convincing fashion. But can she do the same in 2019 in Chicago?
Name: Betsy Saina
Country of origin: Kenya
Saina enjoyed a flash of brilliance in the marathon when she won the 2018 Paris Marathon in 2:22:56. Her win showcased the depth of her talent, and her heart. A few months later, she finished eighth in Frankfurt in 2:24:35. She lined up again this spring in Boston amidst heavier expectations. After staying in the hunt for more than 30K with the pack chasing Worknesh Degefa, she faltered. She ended up finishing 10th in 2:30:32. Earlier in the year, however, she defended her title at the Marugame Half Marathon in a PR, 1:07:49. Her time stands out as the third fastest time in Marugame history.
More about Betsy Saina:
Saina, who trains in both Kenya and the U.S., finished fifth in the 10,000m at the 2016 Rio Olympics, setting a personal best in 30:07.78. She was an 11-time NCAA All-American at Iowa State, collecting three individual NCAA titles along the way (10,000m, indoor 5000m and Cross Country). She took home a bronze medal in the 10,000m at the 2012 African Championships and she finished eighth at the 2015 IAAF World Championships 10,000m. The flat and fast nature of Chicago’s course should play into her track speed, making October 13 a good day for Saina.