CHICAGO (CBS) — Liliya Shobukhova of Russia will be running in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, and is hoping to chalk up an unprecedented consecutive Marathon victory.
Shobukhova was not able to compete in the Olympic Games Marathon in London on Aug. 5, because she was sidelined by stomach cramps. She had been a pre-race medal gold favorite.
But in Chicago, Shobukhova is undefeated among women runners in three Marathon appearances, and she is now going for a fourth.
“It was heartbreaking to withdraw from the Olympic Marathon after I had trained so hard and my preparation had gone so well,” Shobukhova said in a news release. “But I am still very fit and in good health, and I am going to focus all my energy on a great performance at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. There is no place that I feel more comfortable than when I am competing in Chicago. I love the course and appreciate the support from the fans. I am especially motivated to win for the fourth time in a row, which has never been done before in Chicago.”
Shobukhova ran the third-fastest time in history, at 2:18:20, to win the race last year. She will be up against a sub-2:20 competitor – Lucy Kabuu of Kenya, who came in at 2:19:34 – as well as Ejegayehu Dibaba of Ehtiopia, who came in at 2:22:09 last year.
The three runners could put Paula Radcliffe’s record of 2:17:18, set 10 years ago, in jeopardy, according to Marathon officials.