At 42 years old, Deena Kastor still has records on her mind.
The American marathon record-holder from Mammoth Lakes, Calif., will attempt to break Colleen De Reuck’s American masters record of 2:28:40 at the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 11. Kastor, the Olympic bronze medalist at the 2004 Athens Games, had an impressive 2014 campaign where she set the Masters world record in the half marathon, running 1:09:36 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, and finished 11th at the New York City Marathon in 2:33:18. In Philadelphia, Kastor broke three other records—15K (49:03), 10 miles (52:41) and 20K (1:05:52)—en route to a third-place overall finish.
“Racing in Chicago has always been special,” said Kastor, who will race the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles in February. “It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since my first marathon win here. I’m proud to return the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this year to celebrate that accomplishment and continue to push myself towards new goals.”
A strong group of American women will follow Kastor to Chicago, including reigning U.S. marathon champion and 2008 Olympian Blake Russell. Sara Hall, will line up for the second marathon of her career in Chicago, and is looking to rebound from a disappointing debut in Los Angeles this past March. ￼Lindsey Scherf, who ran a 2:32:19 personal best at Grandma’s Marathon in June, will also be in the mix, as will Sarah Crouch, who cracked the top 10 at Chicago last year in a personal best of 2:32:44.
Florence Kiplagat of Kenya, the half-marathon world record-holder who ran 2:25:57 at Chicago last year, headlines a strong women’s field, which also includes 2:21 marathoner Mulu Seboka of Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s Amane Gobena, who ran 223 at the Paris Marathon in April, will also be in the mix.
On the men’s side, 2012 Chicago Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia returns to the Windy City in search of a second title. Kebede, who ran his personal best 2:04:38 in winning the 2012 race, will have his hands full with a strong international field that includes three other runners with PBs under 2:05 (Sammy Kitwara, 2:04:28; Dickson Chumba, 2:04:32; Endeshaw Negesse, 2:04:52). Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion who ran his personal best of 2:06:13 at Chicago in 2011, is also in the field.
“I have great memories for Chicago, both the battle the late Wanjiru and I had in Chicago and my victory are memories I will always carry with me,” Kebede said in a release.
Fernando Cabada of Fresno, Calif., who ran 2:11:36 at Berlin last fall, enters the race at the top American entrant. Others include marathon debutante Sean Keveren, of Charlottesville, Va., who ran 1:02:52 at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships in January, and Malcolm Richards, who sports a 2:15:49 personal best from 2013.
“My focus is to run fast and beat some good people,” Cabada said. “I am hoping I can lower my 2:11:36 PB by a minute or two and have been training with this as my goal. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity, to show the running world what I am capable of.”
To check out Chicago’s complete elite lineup, visit chicagomarathon.com.