Top Americans to Watch in Chicago

This article is sponsored by SOS Hydration

By: Kyle Markley

Marathon season is back in a big way this year! This Sunday October 10th the streets of Chicago will be filled with runners completing the 26.2 miles around the Windy City. This year’s field is stacked with elite returners and first timers to the distance. Here are a few Americans to keep your eye on come Sunday!

Galen Rupp

Arguably the greatest American distance runner of all time returns to Chicago looking to repeat his victory from 2017. Rupp is coming off an 8th place finish at the distance in Tokyo just 2 months ago. Combine his PR of 2:06:07 with his experience of the course and training under coach Mike Smith and you have yourself a legit threat to take down this field.

Sara Hall

The second fastest American woman of all time in the marathon is coming into this race with the second fastest seed time. Only Ruth Chepngetich’s 2:17:08 is faster than Hall’s 2:20:32. Hall will look to continue her success from her 2020 season when she finished 2nd at the London Marathon and won the Marathon Project, only missing Deena Kaster’s American record by 56 seconds. With her momentum and some good weather, the American record could be broken this Sunday.

Emma Bates

The returning 4th place finisher from 2019 will be looking to improve her place & PR this year. Her PR of 2:25:27 was from the last time she raced the streets of Chicago. Since then, Bates has finished 7th at the Olympic Trials in the marathon and 4th at the marathon project in 2020. Additionally, Bates joined Team Boss and looks to bring the energy that group has to the marathon. Keep your eyes out for my sleeper pick on the women’s side representing Asics.

Ian Butler

 The 2:09:45 marathon man is coming into the Windy City ready to show the world he belongs on the big stage. Butler, who is sponsored by Adidas, ran his marathon PR at the Marathon Project last December. He is currently coached by Steve Jones and trains with the Boulder Harriers. If you want to learn more about the phenom then look no further than his workout video on the Sweat Elite YouTube channel.

The Hansons Brooks Distance Project

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the nation’s elite distance squads, the Hansons Brooks Distance Project. Altogether the team has eight runners, seven of which are running their first marathon. On the men’s side watch out for Ben Kendell, Ian LaMere, Zach Panning, and Abdisamed “Hassan” Abdi who raced in the Marathon Olympic Trials but did not finish. On the women’s side the four runners are: Anne-Marie Blaney, Megan O’Neil, Olivia Pratt, & Michele Lee. Keep your eyes out for the yellow and red of the Hansons runners because this team will be part of the future of American Marathoners.

Altogether this year’s Chicago Marathon looks to be the strongest field to date. Drop in the comments who your most excited to see compete!