Olympian and former Chicago winner Galen Rupp and America's second-fastest female marathon runner ever, Sara Hall, will headline this year's Bank of America Chicago Marathon lineup as they both look to make history in the race, organizers announced Tuesday.
Rupp, who in 2017 became the first American to win the Chicago Marathon since Khalid Khannouchi, and went on to win the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, will return to the Windy City race just after competing at Tokyo Olympics this summer, his fourth Olympic appearance. If Rupp claims another victory in Chicago, he will be only the seventh man in Bank of America Chicago Marathon history to do so, according to race organizers.
“My goal is winning,” Rupp said in a statement. “I want to come back and win. 2019 left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t finish that race so I cannot wait to get back out there and come back stronger than ever. It has been a wild ride since then. I’m healthy, I’m happy, and it’s going to be tremendous to come back."
Hall made headlines for her achievements following a disappointing finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2020. She went on to become the runner-up in the London Marathon last October, the first American to finish in the top three in 14 years, then competed in the Marathon Project just weeks later, where she neared a record time set by American Deena Kastor in 2006. Now, her goal is to become the American marathon record holder.
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“I am excited to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon again,” Hall said in a statement. “It has been too long since I’ve been back, and when I thought about where I wanted to chase the American Record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the U.S., and Chicago is such an epic race. I’m really excited to have my best marathon yet on U.S. soil.”
She even has the support of Kastor, who said it's "exciting to see Sara go after the American record again."
“Her incredible fitness and joy of running makes this an opportunity worth fighting for," Kastor said in a statement. "Chicago is certainly a great choice to be your best, so spectators can expect to witness some exciting performances on race day.”
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Chicago's 2021 race will mark the iconic event's return after turning virtual during the coronavirus pandemic last year.
“We are thrilled to welcome Galen and Sara, two of the most talented runners in U.S. history, to our start line this fall,” Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “This is a celebratory moment not only for U.S. running, but for the global running community. The resilience and determination that Galen and Sara have shown throughout their careers is the same kind of resilience and determination that lives within every runner showing up in Grant Park this fall.”
The race is set to take place on Oct. 10.