The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will happen on October 8, 2023. Kelvin KItum and Sifan Hassan will be two of the big names in the Windy City. On Sunday, RunBlogRun will be covering the event live from the Chicago Marathon media center at the Chicago Hilton! 

This is Justin Lagat’s preview of the Chicago Marathon 2023! 

After losing the women’s marathon record, can Kiptum uplift the spirits of the Chicago Marathon organizers?

The athletics world is still marveling at the women’s marathon record set last month in Berlin by Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa after breaking the previous record set by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei at the 2019 Chicago Marathon by more than two minutes. The record now stands at 2:11.53, and it just happened more than 2 years later at the Berlin course.

Since October 2001, when Kenya’s Catherine Ndereba ran the then fastest women’s marathon time of 2:18:47 at the Chicago Marathon, it had become a favorite course for women to run fast times as Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe would come and run 2:17:18 one year later. Until about two weeks ago, the Chicago Marathon held the World record for the women’s marathon.

Sifan Hassan takes the 2023 TCS London Marathon
London, England, United Kingdom
April 23, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

Why does Berlin see so many Men’s WRs? There is always a tough field and great pacemakers at the Chicago Marathon. We are not sure what the reason is why men’s records have often been set in Berlin while women’s have often been set in Chicago. All the past eight men’s Marathon world records that are ratified by World Athletics have happened at the Berlin Marathon.

Kelvin Kitum, TCS London Marathon
London, England, United Kingdom
April 23, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

However, eyes will be on Kenya’s new marathon sensation, Kelvin Kiptum, as he features in the men’s elite field this weekend in Chicago. The question is: Can he be the man to cheer up the Chicago Marathon organizers with the men’s world record after they lost the women’s to Berlin?

Kiptum ran 2:01:53 at the Valencia Marathon last year, then he came and ran 2:01:25 earlier this year at the London Marathon, breaking the course record that was set by Eliud Kipchoge in 2019 by over one minute. If the world record were based on the average finish times, Kiptum would have it by now.

Nonetheless, he could have it at the Chicago Marathon this weekend if the weather conditions are good and he feels healthy in the race.

Despite not having run many races, Kiptum’s consistency is evident in other distances, including in the half marathon distance that he ran 59:53 in 2019, 58:42 in 2020, and 59:02 in 2021.