Kenyans Kabuu And Kiplagat To Run Chicago Marathon

Can Lucy Kabuu blow away Florence Kiplagat in Chicago this fall? Photo: PhotoRun.net

Two of the fastest marathoners in the world will do battle in the Windy City this October. 

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

Despite running the fourth and tenth-fastest marathons in the world this year, respectively, Kenyans Lucy Kabuu and Florence Kiplagat did not get selected for the Olympic team. Nonetheless, they will get their turn to shine in the fall when both women line up for the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, organizers announced today. The race, part of the World Marathon Majors series, is scheduled for Sunday, October 7.

Kabuu –who was known for most of her career as Lucy Wangui– ran the second-fastest marathon debut ever when she finished second at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon last January in 2:19:34. That time was faster than compatriots Edna Kiplagat (2:19:50) and Priscah Jeptoo (2:20:14) ran at the Virgin London Marathon, but both of those women were selected over Kabuu (Kabuu also ran in London but finished fifth in 2:23:12).

Kiplagat finished fourth at the London Marathon in 2:20:47 which extinguished her hopes for gaining selection for London 2012 in the marathon because all three women who finished ahead of her were Kenyan. However, she rebounded to run a terrific 30:24.85 for 10,000m on the track at the Prefontaine Classic last June, but only finished fourth in the Kenyan Trials in that discipline, again putting her out of contention for the Olympic squad. Kiplagat is the Kenyan 10,000m record holder with a 30:11.53 personal best.

“Lucy and Florence are two of the most exciting athletes in the sport,” said executive race director Carey Pinkowski through a media release. “They are both relatively new to the marathon, which, combined with what they have accomplished on the track and in cross country, promises a very bright future ahead. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a course that will suit them well and I think these two athletes will push each other to even greater heights.”

Pinkowski also said he had signed Kenyan Caroline Rotich to his elite field. Rotich, who attended the same Japanese high school as the late Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru, has a career best time of 2:24:26 set in Boston last April where she finished fourth.

Kenyan women have won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon four times, twice by Joyce Chepchumba (1998 and ’99) and Catherine Ndereba (2000 and ’01). Ndereba’s mark of 2:18:47 in 2001 was a world record.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the second largest marathon in the United States, and it will be held for the 35th time this year. Last year’s race recorded 35,671 finishers

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