The annual Chicago Marathon steps off Sunday morning with record 37,500 runners participating. A three-time men's winner in Chicago will not be in the pack, but race officials say there are a couple of Kenyans who should provide and exciting race.
In recent years in Chicago, seeing Khalid Khannouchi win the Chicago Marathon had become almost as common a sight as it used to be to see Michael Jordan holding up a Chicago Bulls basketball championship trophy. But Khannouchi dropped out of the World Championships this year with an injury and will not run Sunday.
Men's favorite Paul Tergat of Kenya says he would have liked to race Khannouchi. "The only thing I can say is I am disappointed he was not able to be in this competition," he said. "I have been in a lot of championships and big competitions and I love when there is a very strong field and big names."
Tergat ran his first marathon this past April in London. Officials here say he could set a world record if all goes well. Catherine Ndereba of Kenya is favored to win her second straight women's title here, and hopes to challenge the women's record set last week in Berlin.