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Reigning WMM Champ Irina Mikitenko Added to Chicago Roster

Reigning World Marathon Majors Champion Irina Mikitenko Joins
2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Field

 

Addition of Several World Class Athletes Completes Elite Field for Oct. 11 Race

 

CHICAGO, IL (September 15, 2009) — The
Bank of America Chicago Marathon today announced its final roster of
elite athletes headlined by reigning World Marathon Majors women’s
champion Irina Mikitenko (GER). The female competition also welcomes
Japan’s Mizuho Nasukawa, Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova and Romania’s
Adriana Pirtea. The men’s field deepened with the additions of
Morocco’s Abderrahim Goumri and Kenya’s Vincent Kipruto.

 


Mikitenko arrives to Chicago having won
the last three races in which she has competed – all World Marathon
Majors (London 2008, 2009 and Berlin 2008). Her dominance at the finish
line earned her the 2007-08 World Marathon Majors championship and has
her poised atop the current leaderboard. Her 2:19:19 personal best, set
in Berlin last fall, is the fastest time among any of the females
competing in Chicago this fall. Mikitenko’s top competition is likely
to come from 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor (USA), who
joined the field in June with her sights on lowering the American
record she set in 2006 (2:19:36).

 

“I
am greatly looking forward to racing in the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon as it is one of the world’s fastest courses, but my decision
to run there is also part of a larger professional goal,”said Mikitenko
from Germany. “My hope is to win each of the five World Marathon Majors
and a victory in Chicago would be the next big step toward that
achievement.”

 

“Irina
has been the most consistent marathon champion over the last
two-and-a-half years with back-to-back victories in London and a 2008
Berlin win,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “It has been
amazing to watch her grow in athleticism, strength and tactical
approach to become the leading female in marathoning today. The
combination of women we’ve brought together will make for an exciting
race.”

 


The women’s field is not a
two-woman race, however. Shobukhova is a rising star in the sport
having posted a 2:24:24 in her debut performance, one that earned her
third place among a strong 2009 London Marathon field. Pirtea is a
contender as well with a solid Chicago history to her credit. Returning
for her third consecutive year in Chicago, Pirtea is hungry to capture
the victory that narrowly eluded her in 2007 when she took second
behind two-time champion Berhane Adere (ETH).  Not to be forgotten,
returning champion Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS) committed earlier this
summer to make an attempt at retaining her 2008 crown and at becoming
only the eighth woman in Chicago Marathon history to win the race more
than once.

 


Kipruto, a 21-year-old from
Kenya adds intrigue to the men’s field having captured the world’s
attention with a new course record (2:05:47) in his 2009 Paris Marathon
victory, only his second marathon appearance. Goumri will look to
continue the Moroccan tradition in Chicago, mirroring the talents and
top finishes of Abdelkader el Mouaziz, Khalid Khannouchi and Jaouad
Gharib. As one of three men in the field with a sub-2:06 personal
record (2:05:30), Goumri will challenge Kipruto and 2008 Olympic gold
medalist Sammy Wanjiru, 22, who announced his intentions this summer to
post a new personal record improving on the 2:05:10 he set in London
this year.

 

Former Chicago champion Patrick Ivuti (2007) recently withdrew from competition due to minor injury.

 

The
Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a history of producing some of the
world’s fastest times including four previous world records and more
than 15 national records. With its flat, sleek course design,
exceptional operational scheme and tradition of enthusiastic sports
fans, the race is a lightning rod for the world’s greatest athletes.
With the addition of today’s athletes the current field boasts two
Olympic Marathon medals, three Chicago Marathon championships, 10 World
Marathon Major race victories and one World Marathon Majors
championship.

 

A complete roster of elite athletes for the October 11 Bank of America Chicago Marathon follows:

 

WOMEN
Name                                        Country                  Personal Best

Teyba Erkesso                           Ethiopia                 2:24:18

Lidiya Grigoryeva                        Russia                   2:25:10

Carol Jefferson                           United States          Debut

Deena Kastor                             United States          2:19:36

Irina Mikitenko                           Germany                 2:19:19

Tera Moody                               United States           2:33:54

Mizuho Nasukawa                      Japan                     2:25:38

Adriana Pirtea                            Romania                 2:28:52

Liliya Shobukhova                      Russia                    2:24:24

Melissa White                           United States           2:37:53

 

MEN
Name                                       Country                   Personal Best

Boaz Cheboiywo                       Kenya                     2:21:40
Evans Cheruiyot                        Kenya                     2:06:25

Abderrahim Goumri                   Morocco                  2:05:30
Procopio Franco Hernandez       Mexico                    2:11:42

Vincent Kipruto                         Kenya                     2:05:47
Wesley Korir                             Kenya                    2:08:24

Benjamin Maiyo                         Kenya                    2:07:09

Charles Munyeki                        Kenya                    Debut
Seth Pilkington                          United States          Debut

Patrick Rizzo                            United States           2:17:05
Bret Schoolmeester                   United States           Debut

Tadese Tola                              Ethiopia                   Debut
Sammy Wanjiru                        Kenya                      2:05:10

About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 32nd
year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of
America Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 runners including a
world class elite field and 1.5 million spectators. As a result of its
national and international draw, the iconic race assists in raising $10
million for a variety of charitable causes while generating an
estimated $143 million economic impact to its host city. To extend that
impact, the 2009 race has invited all participants and fans to get
involved through a first-ever online fundraising campaign going on now
through Oct. 9. By customizing a shoeprint at www.chicagomarathon.com/footprint,
visitors select one of 22 charities to receive a dollar donation from
Bank of America. The charity with the most submissions will also be
granted an additional $10,000 donation in an announcement at the 27th Mile Post-Race Party on race day.

The
2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will start and finish in
Chicago’s Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. In
advance of the race, a two-day Health & Fitness Expo will be held
at McCormick Place on Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10. More
information on the race  and how to get involved is available at the
event Web site, chicagomarathon.com.

www.chicagomarathon.com

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