Lewy Boulet, De Reuck, Davila set to race in The Windy City on October 10.
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Organizers of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced last week that their preliminary roster of professional athletes for the October 10 race included five USA women.
“We’re honored to welcome this group of American women to Chicago,” said executive race director Carey Pinkowski through a news release. “The Bank of America Chicago Marathon continues to support American distance running, and we have witnessed several historic American performances over the years. We look forward to adding to that legacy again this year.”
The fastest of the group is 36 year-old Olympian Magdalena Lewy Boulet of Oakland, Calif. The Polish-born athlete, who became and American citizen in 2001, became the fourt-fastest American woman of all time when she clocked a personal best 2:26:22 at Rotterdam last April. This will be her first appearance at Pinkowski’s race.
“It’s a dream come true to compete in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and to visit Chicago for the first time,” Lewy Boulet said in a prepared statement. “There will be no better way to experience the city than from the streets of this historic marathon course. I’m excited to compete against a strong field, and my goal is to run even faster than I did in Rotterdam on American soil.”
Ten years Lewy Boulet’s senior, but still running extremely well, is Boulder, Colorado’s Colleen De Reuck, whom Pinkowski has also signed for the race. A four-time Olympian (three-times for her native South Africa), De Reuck won last month’s Copenhagen Marathon in a course record 2:30:51. She has competed at Chicago six previous times (her best performance was second in 1998 in 2:27:04).
“I chose to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to get on a fast and familiar course,” De Reuck told race organizers. “I’m looking forward to a good race and a fast field, and am hoping to run a little quicker than I did in Copenhagen.”
Up-and-coming Desi Davila is also in the field. The 27 year-old from Rochester Hills, Mich., who is coached by brothers Kevin and Keith Hanson, may be Pinkowski’s best catch amongst this group. Running most of the race alone, Davila set a personal best 2:27:53 at the IAAF World Championships Marathon last August, placing 11th and nearly catching Olympian Kara Goucher who finished just five seconds ahead of her. Davila enjoyed a successful indoor season this year, dropping her personal best for 3000m to 8:51.08 and finishing tenth at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Rounding out this quintet are Colorado Springs’ Tera Moody (2:32:59), and Davila’s Hansons teammate Melissa White (2:32:55) who is also from Rochester Hills, Mich.
“Magdalena and Desiree have had recent breakthrough performances on the world stage, and Colleen’s career is unrivaled in success and experience,” Pinkowski concluded. “The mixture of youth and experience is going to set the stage for some great performances from our American women contingent this fall.”
The last American woman to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon was Deena Kastor, who clocked 2:21:25 in 2005 to beat eventualy Olympic gold medallist, Constantina Dita.