Ruth Chepngetich narrowly misses the world record at the Chicago Marathon


At the Chicago marathon on Sunday Emily Sison returns almost three years after disappointment in the Olympic trials. Conner Manz makes one of the most anticipated US men’s debuts in the 26.2 mile race.

It’s not the norm, but an American will be a lead runner in a major marathon in both the men’s and women’s elite races. Peacock will air live coverage at 8 p.m. ET.

Sisson, 30, is starting her first mass marathon since retiring from the Olympic trials on February 29, 2020. Her legs were “destroyed” on the hilly course in Atlanta where she started as the arguable favorite. Later in 2020, she ran the virtual New York City Marathon, but that was solo (rather than in New York City). Her 2:38:00 is not recorded in her official scores in her World Athletics bio.

Since then, Sisson has won the Olympic 10,000m trials on the track and was the best American in Tokyo in 10th place. She returned to the streets, winning national titles in the 15K and half marathon, breaking the American record in the latter.

Sisson broke into the elite group of US women marathoners in 2019 when she ran the second fastest debut marathon in American history, a time of 2:23:08 on a windy day in London where the early pace was slow.

At the time, it was the 12th best US performance of all time. In the last two years Keira D’Amato37 and Sarah Hall, 39, ran seven faster marathons together. At Chicago, a flat course that set a world record three years ago, Sisson can answer them and perhaps approach D’Amato’s American record of 2:19:12.

“I’m hoping for under 2:20,” Coach Ray Treason said, according to “With the [super] Shoes and the training behind her, I would think [worth] at least three minutes.”

Sisson is less likely to be in contention for victory on Sunday given the Kenyan’s presence Ruth Chepngetich, the 2019 world champion and defending champion in the Windy City. The 28-year-old mother is the fifth fastest woman in history with a personal best of 2:17:08. And Ethiopian Rüti Agaa podium finisher in Berlin, New York City and Tokyo with a personal best of 2:18:34, despite having a marathon finish (a seventh place) since the pandemic.

Like Sisson, Mantz has shown strong road racing form of late. The American men’s marathon debut record of 2:07:56 (Leonard Korir) is in play. If he can break that, Mantz will be among the top five fastest US marathoners in history.

Rarely has a US long-distance runner been as successful as Mantz at such a young age (25) as a marathon runner. At BYU, he won 2020 and 2021 NCAA cross-country titles and placed fifth in the Olympic Trials 10,000m, then turned pro and won the US half-marathon championships last December.

“If everything goes as planned, I think under 2:08 is realistic,” Mantz said in a video interview with Citius Mag last month a big stretch goal.”

The men’s field doesn’t have the unique star power of Chepngetich, but does have a large group of East Africans with personal bests at 2:05. The most notable: Defending champions Seifu Tura of Ethiopia and winner of the 2021 Boston Marathon Benson Kipruto from Kenya.

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