Marathon Legends Samuelson, Kastore to Compete in Chicago

Running Legends Joan Benoit Samuelson and Deena Kastor
Return to Chicago with Sights Set on New Challenges

2015 Race Will Mark 30 Years Since Samuelson’s Historic American Record
and 10 Years Since Kastor’s First Major Marathon Win

(Meb, Joan, Frank Shorter and Deena at the 2012 US Olympic Trials Marathon festivities  – photo by FitzFoto/NER)
CHICAGO – The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that
legendary American runners Joan Benoit Samuelson and Deena Kastor will
compete in the 38th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, on
Sunday, October 11. Both athletes return to Chicago to commemorate the
anniversaries of their victories, while also setting their sights on new
challenges and fast times.

“Joan Benoit Samuelson and Deena Kastor are two iconic American
marathoners,” said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Executive Race Director. “These two athletes have inspired, and continue
to inspire, generations of runners. We are proud to welcome them back
to Chicago and can’t wait to see what they will do on October 11.”

When Benoit Samuelson toed the start line of the 1985 Chicago Marathon,
she faced one of the most competitive women’s fields in event history,
including world record holder Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway and Olympic
bronze medalist and defending Chicago Marathon champion Rosa Mota of
Portugal. Benoit Samuelson out ran the competition with a winning time
of 2:21:21 to establish a new course and American record. Benoit
Samuelson’s American record stood until 2003, when it was broken by
Deena Kastor.

“My goal has always been to run as fast as I can for as long as I can,”
said Benoit Samuelson. “I continue to challenge myself with new goals
and look within myself for the story I want to tell at the race. When I
crossed the finish line in 1985, I never thought I would be competing in
the same marathon 30 years later. My challenge for this year’s Bank of
America Chicago Marathon is to run within 30 minutes of my fastest
marathon and 1985 Chicago Marathon finishing time.”

Benoit Samuelson launched to the forefront of American running when she
captured the gold medal at the inaugural women’s Olympic Marathon at the
1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. This spring, she ran 2:54:03 at the
Boston Marathon.

American distance star Deena Kastor is no stranger to racing on the
streets of Chicago. Kastor made her Bank of America Chicago Marathon
debut in 2005 with a thrilling victory against returning champion
Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania. The two athletes battled to the
finish, with Kastor claiming the top spot in 2:21:25. The win was
Kastor’s first major marathon win, and is the fifth fastest time ever
run by an American woman. The following spring, Kastor established a new
American record at the London Marathon with a time of 2:19:36. Kastor
is the only American woman to run under 2:20.

“Racing in Chicago has always been special,” said Kastor. “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.”
Kastor will challenge herself once again this year at the Bank of
America Chicago Marathon. She returns with a goal of breaking the
women’s American Masters record.

This summer, Benoit Samuelson and Kastor will take part in the “Legends
on the Lakefront” series. The series will bring legendary runners to
Chicago’s lakefront path to speak about their experience running on the
world’s stage, share running tips, and discuss marathon training with
Bank of America Chicago Marathon participants and Chicago area runners.

About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 38th year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon welcomes
thousands of runners from more than 100 countries and all 50 states,
including a world-class elite field, top regional and masters runners,
race veterans, debut marathoners and charity runners. The race’s iconic
course takes runners through 29 vibrant neighborhoods on an
architectural and cultural tour of Chicago. In 2014, an estimated 1.7
million spectators lined the streets cheering on a record 40,659 runners
from the start line to the final stretch down Columbus Drive. As a
result of the race’s national and international draw, the Chicago
Marathon assists in raising millions of dollars for a variety of
charitable causes while generating $253 million in annual economic
impact to its host city. The 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a
member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will start and finish in
Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 11. In advance of
the race, a two-day Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will be held at
McCormick Place Convention Center on Friday, October 9, and Saturday,
October 10. For more information about the event and how to get
involved, go to

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.

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