Chicago

Rupp and Hall head for Windy City

American Sara Hall will bid for a top-three spot in the AbbottWMM women’s Series XIII when she takes on the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

The 38-year-old currently sits joint fourth on the leaderboard after her stunning second place at the Virgin Money London Marathon last October, one of the only elite events in to take place 2020.

That performance meant Hall – also a Six Star Finisher – was the first American to finish in London’s top three in 14 years, following the victory of Deena Kastor in 2006 when she set the American record.

It’s that mark of 2:19:36 that Hall will have her sights on when she departs from Grant Park on October 10 for the 26.2-mile journey through Chicago’s neighborhoods.

The Californian lowered her own PB to 2:20:32 just three months after London, and will be looking to carry that type of form into the fall.

“I am excited to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon again,” said Hall. “It has been too long since I’ve been back, and when I thought about where I wanted to chase the American Record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the U.S., and Chicago is such an epic race. I’m really excited to have my best marathon yet on U.S. soil.”

Kastor, who also won in Chicago in 2005, is eager to watch Hall chase history.

“It’s exciting to see Sara go after the American record again,” said Kastor. “Her incredible fitness and joy of running makes this an opportunity worth fighting for. Chicago is certainly a great choice to be your best, so spectators can expect to witness some exciting performances on race day.”

Rupp aims for second title

Hall will be joined by the 2017 Chicago men’s champion Galen Rupp. The four-time Olympian with a bronze medal in the marathon and a silver medal in the 10,000m, will make a quick turn-around to Chicago after going for gold in Tokyo for the United States.

Rupp put on a show during his first appearance in Chicago in 2017 when he became the first American male since Khalid Khannouchi to stand on top of the podium. He returned in 2018, finishing fifth in 2:06:21, before undergoing surgery to correct Haglund’s Deformity.

Back to full fitness, he won the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, and has continued to run well, setting an American record for 10 miles in 2020 (en route to a half marathon victory), and running in the Olympic Trials in the 10,000m.

If Rupp breaks the tape first this fall, he will be only the seventh man in Bank of America Chicago Marathon history to claim victory twice.

“Chicago is a special city and I’m excited to be coming back after so long,” said Rupp. “I have a personal connection to the city, and the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is going to be an awesome celebration.

“My goal is winning,” Rupp continued. “I want to come back and win. 2019 left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t finish that race so I cannot wait to get back out there and come back stronger than ever. It has been a wild ride since then. I’m healthy, I’m happy, and it’s going to be tremendous to come back.”