The Bank of America Chicago Marathon – IAAF Gold Label Road Race – on 10 October 2010 has announced a preliminary roster of elite athletes that includes several of the United States' top female marathon performers.
Headlining the U.S. contingent are Olympians Magdalena Lewy-Boulet (Oakland, CA) and Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, CO). Challenging them for top American honours will be IAAF World Championship team members Desiree Davila (Rochester Hills, MI) and Tera Moody (Colorado Springs, CO), along with Melissa White (Rochester Hills, MI).
Lewy-Boulet is currently the top-ranked female marathon runner in the country for 2010 based on her 2:26:22 performance at the Fortis Rotterdam Marathon in April. Lewy-Boulet is a native of Poland who became a U.S. citizen in 2001. After narrowly missing the 2004 Olympic marathon team, she placed second at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon and competed in the Beijing Olympic Games. The 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be Lewy-Boulet's first marathon since her breakthrough performance in Rotterdam.
"It's a dream come true to compete in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and to visit Chicago for the first time," said Lewy-Boulet. "There will be no better way to experience the city than from the streets of this historic marathon course. I'm excited to compete against a strong field, and my goal is to run even faster than I did in Rotterdam on American soil."
De Reuck is a four-time Olympian best known for her career longevity, which dates back to a top 10 finish in the1992 Olympic Marathon in Barcelona. The 46-year-old has a marathon best of 2:26:35 from the 1996 Berlin Marathon, and has competed in the Chicago Marathon on six occasions, finishing as high as second in 1998 and most recently placing sixth in 2008. Her time of 2:28:40 at the 2005 Chicago Marathon is the American Masters record. De Reuck, a native of South Africa who became a U.S. citizen in 2000, won the Copenhagen Marathon this past May with a time of 2:30:51. She is currently the second-ranked female marathon runner in the country in 2010 behind Lewy-Boulet.
"I chose to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to get on a fast and familiar course," said De Reuck. "I'm looking forward to a good race and a fast field, and am hoping to run a little quicker than I did in Copenhagen."
Davila's last marathon outing was a stellar 11th place finish at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin in a personal best 2:27:53. She will be looking to improve upon her fifth place showing at the 2008 Chicago Marathon. Her appearance this year will be aided by improved track speed, which garnered her a 10th place finish in the 3,000-meter run at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships in March.
Also adding to the mix of American women are Moody and White, two runners with a history of top performances in Chicago. Moody is a Chicago native who has four Chicago Marathon finishes to her credit, including a ninth place showing in 2009 in a personal best 2:32:59. In that same event, Moody was edged at the line by White, who placed eighth in a personal best 2:32:55.
Members of the American field will be vying to stand atop the podium at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for the first time since Deena Kastor's triumph over Olympic marathon gold medalist Constantina Dita in 2005.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a history of producing elite American performances, including Joan Benoit Samuelson's then-American record and third all-time ranked U.S. performance of 2:21:21 in 1985, and Kastor's fourth all-time ranked U.S. performance of 2:21:25 in 2005. Inspired by those efforts, several athletes will arrive in Chicago this fall in pursuit of personal bests as well as the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying standards. In recognition of those pursuits, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is offering the following American Development time bonuses: $2,500 for sub 2:39:00 performances (women's U.S. Olympic Trials "A" standard) and $1,000 for sub 2:46:00 performances (women's U.S. Olympic Trials "B" standard). Similarly for American men, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is offering $2,500 for sub 2:19:00 performances (men's U.S. Olympic Trials standard) and $1,000 for sub 2:21:00 performances.