Chicagoans will see some familiar faces during the marathon event in the Tokyo Olympics.
That’s because several Bank of America Chicago Marathon champions or elite racers will be going for gold in the Games.
Here are some former Chicago Marathon competitors to watch for during the marathon events Aug. 7-8.
Many Chicago Marathon fans will remember Galen Rupp’s 2017 victory.
That’s when Rupp became the first American to win the Chicago Marathon since Khalid Khannouchi. He then went on to win the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
After Tokyo, which marks his fourth Olympic appearance, Rupp will return to the Windy City race this fall. 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.
Fans will certainly not forget the moment Brigid Kosgei won the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in world record fashion.
Kosgei, of Kenya, broke not one but two records with her finish in that year’s marathon race. She finished with an unofficial time of 2:14:04, which put her more than a minute faster than the all-time record of 2:15:25 set by Paula Radcliffe in the 2003 London Marathon. She also broke the course record set by Radcliffe in 2002 in Chicago. Her record-breaking moment even earned praise from former President Barack Obama.
Now, she’ll be running for Kenya in the Tokyo Olympics.
Also in 2019, Lawrence Cherono took the crown in Chicago after entering the race as the reigning Boston Marathon champion.
He will also be racing for Kenya in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
Jake Riley, who finished in ninth place in the 2019 Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:10:36, finished in second place in the U.S. Olympic trials, punching his ticket to Tokyo. He was part of an epic three-way duel for the final two guaranteed spots, finishing in second place while 43-year-old Abdi Abdirahman finished in third.
Abdi Abdirahman finished third in the Olympic trials, securing his ticket to the Tokyo Olympics at 43 years old. But fans will probably recognize him as a Team USA veteran. He’s also competed in Chicago’s Shamrock Shuffle 8K as part of his Olympic training in years past.
Birhane Dibaba is no stranger to Chicago and Tokyo.
Birhane Dibaba took home a pair of third place finishes in Chicago in 2014 and 2015, and she’s part of an exclusive group, having achieved something only 27 women have accomplished in history: a sub-2:20 personal record, which she achieved while racing in the Tokyo Marathon. Dibaba has now won the Tokyo Marathon multiple times.
She’ll be competing for Ethiopia in the Olympics.
Eliud Kipchoge is a former champion not just for the Chicago Marathon but also in the Olympics.
The Kenyan elite took the crown at the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and then went on to become an Olympic gold medalist in the 2016 Rio Games, finishing with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 44 seconds.
He’ll be competing for Kenya in the Tokyo Olympics.
Chicago will always have a highlight in Roza Dereje’s marathon career.
The 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon marked her AbbottWMM debut, and her first race in the U.S. At just 21 years old, Dereje was the youngest female elite athlete in the field at the time.
She’ll be racing for Ethiopia in the Tokyo Games.
Others to watch:
Sisay Lemma, of Ethiopia: has competed in the Chicago Marathon
Fionnuala McCormack: of Ireland, has competed in the Chicago Marathon
Suguru Osako, of Japan: competed in the Chicago Marathon and trained with Galen Rupp