Elite marathoners competing in Bank of America Chicago Marathon predict fast, record-setting pace

The world's elite marathoners who are competing in Sunday's 44th Bank of America Chicago Marathon predict a fast — possibly record-setting — pace.

"It is probably the most competitive field we have seen in a long time," said American Record Holder Keira D'Amato. "Forty-three degrees Marathon Day, that's like magic temperature."

"I'd love to try to break the American debut record of 2:07:50," said 25-year-old Conner Mantz of Utah.  "I'm trying to go sub-2:07:50. If that happens, I'll be pretty happy about the race."

The weather, plus the Chicago crowd which is famous for its energy, may have these elite runners going at record-setting pace.

"You almost want to go at a pace you've never trained for, so you have to have a lot of emotional control," said Nicolas Montanez, who finished 7th Last year.  "I will say: the fans of Chicago are just unreal."


The elites' advice for amateur runners: don't let the chilly weather fool you into not staying hydrated, and shoot for even splits to avoid the rookie mistake of losing steam at mile twenty.  

"The marathon is two races," said Montanez.  "It's: how comfortably can you get to 20 miles? And how comfortably fast can you run that last 10 kilometers? Really be patient out there."  

D'Amato added, "really make sure you nail the finish line pose!"

Race Director Carey Pinkowski said the 44th running of the marathon is going to be one of the fastest and most competitive in history, with nine men who are capable of running under 2:06 and seven women who can run sub-2:25. 

With Sunday's forecast, Pinkowski said he would not be surprised if a record is set.