17 SEP 2007 General News Chicago, USA

Johnson heads Chicago’s 30th anniversary field

Benita Johnson on the way to 10,000m victory at the 2006 Australian Championships (Getty Images)Benita Johnson on the way to 10,000m victory at the 2006 Australian Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright

  The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon on  Sunday 7 October, the 30th edition of the race, has announced its women’s elite field with Australian record holder Benita Johnson returning to the course where she set the 2:22:36 mark in 2006.

Johnson, 28, delivered her best marathon performance in less-than-ideal weather conditions in the 2006 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, placing third and setting a new national record (2:22:36). After establishing a solid track resume, Johnson debuted at the marathon distance at the 2004 New York Marathon, finishing in 14th place. At the 2005 London race, she shaved 12 minutes off her time to finish in 2:26:32.  If the  weather  cooperates in Chicago next month, Johnson could improve her time yet again.

Nuta Olaru of Romania, 37, is a veteran of the marathon distance with 13 World Marathon Major race appearances under her belt. Her 2007 Chicago performance will be her fifth in the Windy City, having set her personal record on the course in 2004 (2:24:33).

Alevtina Ivanova (RUS), 32, will arrive at the start line fresh from setting a new personal record (2:27:48) when winning at the Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon in April. No stranger to the podium, Ivanova has placed in the top 3 in six of her 10 marathon appearances.

Marianne Caponi for the IAAF

Women’s Elite Entry
Kathy Butler GBR 2:28:29
Teyba Erkesso ETH Debut
Alevtina Ivanova RUS 2:27:48
Benita Johnson AUS 2:22:36
Nuta Olaru ROM 2:24:33
Kate O’Neill USA Debut
Adriana Pirtea ROM Debut
Dulce Maria Rodríguez MEX 2:28:54
Jess Ruthe  NZL Debut
Linda Somers Smith USA  2:30:06
Liz Yelling GBR 2:30:44

For more information on athletes and the race, visit chicagomarathon.com