Ruth Chepngetich is today looking to showcase her road racing prowess as she lines up at the 2022 edition of Chicago Marathon in America after a historic victory last year.
The former world champion is lining up in Chicago, knowing too well that it is one of the fastest courses, after the Berlin Marathon.
She will be facing a strong field of women marathoners comprising two compatriots, Ethiopian Haven Hailu Desse and a sizable number of American athletes among them Emily Sisson, Laura Thweatt and Sarah Sellers.
Remember, Chicago is the same course where her compatriot Brigid Kosgei sensationally shattered the women’s marathon world record in 2019, setting it at 2:14:04.
Known for its flat and fast course, today’s World Marathon Major starts and ends in Grant Park, taking athletes on a tour of Chicago.
Chepngetich is taking to Chicago a personal best of 2:17:08 recorded in 2019 at the Dubai Marathon.
Among the historic landmarks along the route are Michigan Avenue, known more commonly as the Magnificent Mile, Lincoln Park along the Lakeshore, Union Station at halfway and Chinatown.
Chepngetich, who is launching her first race after failing to finish the world marathon in Oregon where she was expected to defend her title in July, takes to Chicago a great measure of confidence.
She says the 2021 win was surprising, and hopes to run a phenomenal race tomorrow.
Chepngetich will be racing alongside compatriots Vivian Kiplagat and Celestine Chepchirchir. The three Kenyan women are the fastest in the field.
She is reminiscent of last year’s race, and she recalled: “I pushed alone from 13km to the finish. The weather was nice but I did not expect to win (the race).”
Chepngetich, who kicked off the 2022 season with a course record at the Nagoya Marathon added: “Last year, I believed in myself. I was confident and I pushed myself. I didn’t look back; instead, I just focused on the finish, because I was feeling strong despite fatigue in my legs.”
Chepchirchir is the reigning La Rochelle Marathon champion and is making her debut in the World Marathon Majors.
Kiplagat on the other hand is a rising marathon star, with the 2022 Milano and last year’s Abu Dhabi marathon titles under her name.