Rita Jeptoo will defend her title at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday 12 October, organisers for the IAAF Gold Label Road Race announced on Wednesday (25).
Kenya's Jeptoo ran her first career sub-2:20 marathon in Chicago last year with a time of 2:19:57, the fastest women's marathon time of 2013.
Continuing strong, she opened her 2014 marathon campaign in Boston back in April with 2:18:57, smashing the course record by almost two minutes and setting a personal best. Jeptoo arrives in Chicago with the potential to rewrite the record books by becoming just the third woman in history to run three sub-2:20 marathons.
The running world has not witnessed this feat in more than a decade since former Chicago champions and world record-holders Catherine Ndereba, of Kenya, and Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe traded course and world records in London and Chicago. Jeptoo's Chicago history includes her 2012 stride-for-stride sprint finish down Columbus Avenue, only succumbing to Ethiopia’s Atsede Baysa by a step, and running 2:22:04 to Baysa's 2:22:03.