Sambu to Make His 26.2-Mile Debut at the Bank of America
Sambu Holds the Record for the Worlds Fastest
CHICAGO - The Bank of
America Chicago Marathon today announced that the worlds
fastest 8K road runner and back-to-back Bank of America
Shamrock Shuffle champion, Stephen Sambu (Tucson,
Ariz.), will make his highly anticipated marathon debut
in Chicago on October 9.
Sambu follows in the footsteps of some of racing's
biggest legends who made their running debuts in
Chicago. Fearless and aggressive from the start, runner
Steve Jones burst onto the marathon scene in 1984 to set
a world record in his debut with a time of 2:08:05.
Former world record-holder Khalid Khannouchi toed the
line for the first time in 1997, running 2:07:10 to set
a course, debut and North American record. Ondoro Orso
followed in 1998 to crack Khannouchis time with a finish
of 2:06:54 to set a new course, debut, North American
and Kenyan national record. In 2005, Evans Rutto
elevated the running game with a new debut record of
2:05:50, and Ethiopian Ejegayehu Dibaba ran the
second-fastest debut for women in 2011 at 2:22:09.
"The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a long
tradition of featuring the worlds best athletes making
their marathon debuts right here," said Bank of
America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey
Pinkowski. "To have Stephen Sambu, a person with
deep integrity on top of being a talented athlete, add
his name to that legacy is truly exciting. Hes one of
the most highly rated athletes on the road today who
isnt afraid to go to the well and put in the work. He
loves the energy of racing in our city."
Sambu, a native of Kenya living and training in Arizona,
stands out as one of the best competitors on the road
racing circuit today. He entered the record books in
2014 when he posted a time of 22:01 in the 8K en route
to a 10K victory at the Boston Athletic Association 10K.
He made his debut in the Windy City at the 2015 Bank of
America Shamrock Shuffle, running uncontested with the
fastest time in more than a decade and the 12th-fastest
time in the events history. He returned in 2016 on the
heels of capturing a victory at the New York City Half
Marathon to run the fourth-fastest time in that events
history with a time of 22:46, beating his nearest
challenger by 66 seconds.
"I'm excited to make my first marathon appearance
in Chicago because of the strong history of runners
making their debut here," says Sambu. "I'm
training very hard and can't wait to race in front of
the fans. I love the flat streets of the city, and I
look forward to coming back."
Prior to his professional running career, Sambu spent
some time in Illinois at Rend Lake Junior College, where
he captured 10 individual national championships,
including two National Junior College Athletic
Association (NJCAA) national cross country titles. He
finished his career at the University of Arizona, where
he emerged as a seven-time National Collegiate Athletic
Association (NCAA) All-American. He was the 2011 PAC 10
10,000m champion and the 2012 PAC 12 10,000m champion.
Sambu holds personal records of 13:13 in the 5,000m,
26:54 in the 10,000m, and 1:00:41 in the half marathon.
His 10K best on the road, 27:25, is the 18th fastest
time in history.
About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 39th year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
welcomes thousands of runners from more than 100
countries and all 50 states, including a world-class
elite field, top regional and Masters runners, race
veterans, debut marathoners and charity runners. The
race's iconic course takes runners through 29 vibrant
neighborhoods on an architectural and cultural tour of
Chicago. In 2015, an estimated 1.7 million spectators
lined the streets cheering on 37,459 runners from the
start line to the final stretch down Columbus Drive. As
a result of the race's national and international draw,
the Chicago Marathon assists in raising millions of
dollars for a variety of charitable causes while
generating $254 million in annual economic impact to its
host city. The 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a
member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will start
and finish in Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on
Sunday, October 9. In advance of the race, a two-day
Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will be held at
McCormick Place Convention Center on Friday, October 7,
and Saturday, October 8. For more information about the
event and how to get involved, go to chicagomarathon.com.
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