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Bank of America Chicago Marathon to feature four of world’s fastest runners

Moses Mosop Kenysmiles after completing Chicago Marathon2011. File Photo. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

Moses Mosop of Kenya smiles after completing the Chicago Marathonin 2011. File Photo. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: September 4, 2013 10:38PM

Four of the world’s fastest marathon runners will compete next month in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Kenya’s Moses Mosop, Dennis Kimetto and Emmanuel Mutai, and Ethiopia’s Ayele Abshero all rank among the top 11 marathon performers in history and will be seeking the $100,000 first place purse when the race begins Oct. 13.

Mosop leads the way as the second-fastest marathoner of all time with a personal best 2:03:06, followed by Kimetto (No. 6, 2:04:16), Abshero (No. 7, 2:04:23) and Mutai (No. 11, 2:04:40).

In the women’s race, Ethiopia’s Atsede Baysa and Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo will face one another for the first time since their dramatic sprint finish at the Chicago Marathon last year.

The Chicago Marathon course record of 2:04:38 set last year by Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede.

Mosop was the runaway winner at the 2011 Chicago Marathon, setting a then course record 2:05:37. He missed last year’s race due to his selection to Kenya’s 2012 Olympic team and subsequent injury. He is back to full strength.

On the women’s side, Baysa and Jeptoo will battle once more.

Last year in Chicago they tied for the closest margin of victory in the history of the women’s competition. Both athletes sprinted stride for stride en route to personal best performances, with Baysa finishing first, 2:22:03 to 2:22:04.

“It will be hard to top last year when the top three men all broke the previous course record and the women’s race was decided by a single second, but this is the field that can do it,” Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “We have two returning champions in Moses from 2011 and Atsede with her memorable victory last year. They are the ones to beat, but they’ll have their work cut out for them against deep competition.”

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