bank of america chicago marathon

Why this year's Bank of America Chicago Marathon could be particularly special

The event will see a major milestone reached, what could be its largest field of finishers ever and the potential for history to be made

NOTE: A live stream of the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will appear in the player above beginning at 7 a.m. Tune in live for complete race coverage and a finish line camera showing runners as they cross the finish line.

The 2023 Bank of American Chicago Marathon is going to be particularly special - for many reasons.

The event will see a major milestone reached, what could be its largest field of finishers ever and the potential for history to be made.

Here's a look at some of the big things to know about this year's race:

The Largest Ever

The 2023 Chicago Marathon could be the race's largest ever, with more than 47,000 participants expected to run.

Organizers said it could be "the largest finisher field to date," as the previous record was set in 2019, with 45,932 finishers crossing the finish line.

The Millionth Finisher

Another major milestone will be reached come Oct. 8.

According to organizers, the Chicago Marathon will see its millionth finisher in this year's race.

Since the event began in 1977, more than 960,000 participants have crossed the finish line.

"On Sunday, October 8, we will welcome the millionth finisher across the line in Grant Park," a letter to participants from Carey Pinkowski, executive race director read. "While being the millionth finisher is a unique honor, it took 999,999 finishes to reach that milestone: finishes made up of world records, American records and personal records, of smiles, tears and disbelief, of pride, pain and awe."

"Whether you’ve contributed to that number by running a past Chicago Marathon or will contribute to that number this fall, you are a significant part of the race’s story," the letter continued.

Record potential

Earlier this year, the marathon's 2023 elite field was announced, a lineup of athletes organizers are calling "one of the deepest, most-decorated assemblies of athletes in race history."

This year's race will see all four of its defending champions return to city streets on Oct. 8, with a number of records at risk.

“Chicago has been home to world-records, historic debuts and has served as an introduction to runners who became legends of the sport,” Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “As we prepare to celebrate a landmark year in the race’s history, we anticipate historic performances that we will talk about for years to come.”

Among the notable names are 2022 men's champion Benson Kipruto, women's champ Ruth Chepngetich, men's wheelchair winner Marcel Hug and women's wheelchair winner Susannah Scaroni.

Kipruto broke away in the 25th mile last year to win with the fourth fastest time ever in Chicago. If he wins again, he will be the first back-to-back men’s open field champion since Sammy Wanjiru in 2010.

But he'll be lining up against the second-fastest man in history.

Fellow Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum, who won the 2023 London Marathon in what was only his second-ever marathon race and nearly broke a world record, will make his U.S. marathon debut in Chicago. In addition, Olympic medalist Bashir Abdi, 2021 Chicago winner Seifu Tura, Olympic hopeful and American leader Connor Mantz and 2017 champion and the only American to win the race in the last 20 years, Galen Rupp.

In the men's wheelchair race, Hug will return to defend his title and course record, but he'll be battling three-time Chicago champion Daniel Romanchuk, along with other elite racers Aaron Pike, Sho Watanbe, five-time Chicago winner Ernst Van Dyk and Jetze Plat, who will make his Chicago debut.

Organizers had previously announced an exciting women's field that will see legendary matchups and the potential for history to be made.

Chepngetich and American record holder Emily Sisson will both make their returns to the Chicago event. Meanwhile, 2023 London Marathon champion Sifan Hassan, one of the most accomplished distance running stars, will make her American debut.

Chepngetich of Kenya ran the second-fastest time ever in the Chicago race last year, narrowly missing a world record as she fell just 14 seconds behind Brigid Kosgei's 2019 finish. This year, she'll be seeking her third consecutive win, and a another chance at a women's world record.

“I am planning to defend my title and improve my time,” Chepngetich said in a statement. “There's no better race in the world than the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.”

But Hassan could throw a curveball into the race, as the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion from the Netherlands joins the mix. Hassan made her marathon debut in London last April and won with a national record, despite stopping twice to stretch.

Sisson, 2022's runner-up who demolished the American record by 43 seconds, is also expected to be a force in the race and hopes to run even faster this year.

“Chicago is where I set the American marathon record last year,” Sisson said in a statement. “I am really looking forward to coming back for another great race in October."

Joining the previously-announced women's field are 2021 London winner Joyciline Jepkosgei and one of the most decorated athletes of all-time, Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, both of whom are making their Chicago debuts.

In the women's wheelchair race, Scaroni will face two of the greatest competitors of all-time: nine-time Chicago champ Tatyana McFadden and two-time Chicago champion Manuela Schär, who withdrew from last year's race and will be going for her third win.

Contact Us