The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for bringing top runners to its elite field. Khalid Khannounchi, Robert Cheriyot, Dathan Ritzenhein, Ryan Hall, Wesley Korir. And the 36th running, to be held on Sunday, Oct. 13, just got a little more exciting. The race recently announced that two-time U.S. Olympian Matt Tegenkamp would be making his marathon-distance debut at this year's event. Tegenkamp will join fellow American Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein for a potential one-two American punch.
Tegenkamp hails from Lee's Summit, Mo., and has made his name on the track. The 31 year old is one of the most decorated track athletes in the last decade, competing in two Olympic Games (2008 and 2012) and three IAAF World Track & Field Championships (2007, 2009 and 2011). He has excelled at the 5,000- and 10,000-meter distances.
"I am very excited that all the stars aligned this year to make the Bank of America Chicago Marathon my debut at the distance," said Tegenkamp. "There are a lot of great fall marathon options, but for my first I wanted to stay true to my Midwest roots-born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, college at University of Wisconsin, married in Madison, and now the Chicago Marathon. I know that Chicago will provide a great course, electric fans, and amazing competition, which will provide the perfect stage for me to take on one of the toughest events in sports."
Tegenkamp is a 2005 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and currently resides in Portland, Ore. In Oregon, he runs professionally for Nike and is coached by Jerry Schumacher. He holds the American record in the two-mile with a time of 8:07.07. He placed fourth, missing third by .03 seconds, in the 5,000-meters at the 2007 IAAF World Championships, and he placed 13th at the distance in the 2008 Olympic final. Tegenkamp ran a personal best 12:58.56 in 2009 and became one of only six Americans in history to break the 13-minute barrier in the 5,000-meters. In 2011, he changed his focus to the 10,000-meters and placed 10th at the 2011 IAAF World Championships. In the 2012 Olympic final, he placed 19th.
"I've long admired Matt's ability to deliver year after year and championship after championship on the track. I'm excited that he'll bring that big game mentality and professionalism to his marathon debut at the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon," said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski.
Perhaps it's its flat and fast course, the Chicago Marathon has a history of fast debut marathon performances. It has three debut world bests: Khalid Khannouchi's 2:07:10 in 1997, Ondoro Osoro's 2:06:54 in 1998, and Evans Rutto's 2:05:50 in 2003. Alan Culpepper ran 2:09:41 on the course in 2002, which tied Alberto Salazar for the fastest ever debut by an American. The fastest world debut marathon stands at 2:03:06 by Moses Mosop at Boston in 2011, and the fastest American debut marathon stands at 2:08:24 by Ryan Hall at London in 2008.