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Two IDP Runners Head to the Windy City! *(Time change)

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

Emma and Sam place 3rd with the IDP team at XC Club Nationals, 2018. ( photo: Michael Scott

*Start time for the elite marathoners is now at 7:20 a.m. CST.

Emma Bates and Samantha Diaz will take to the streets of Chicago for the 42nd annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 13th. The weather is expected to be dry and in the upper 30's at the start, with low 50's as a high.

Sam takes the win at the Napa Valley Half Marathon, March, 2019 ( photo: Michael Scott)

This race will be a marathon debut for Sam, with the goal of finishing under the Olympic Trials qualifying standard of 2:45:00. She took the win at the Napa Valley Half Marathon in March of 2019, and recently placed third at the Payette Lakes 30K. When asked about her debut marathon, Sam stated, " Building up to Chicago has been unlike anything I've ever trained for. Week by week my thoughts to myself have gone from, 'There's no way', to 'I KNOW I can'. Thinking back over the many training blocks I've had over the years, very few, if any, have been this smooth, and I know I've never felt this strong, healthy, and happy and ready to rock! Fear of the distance has faded and been replaced with bubbling excitement. Excitement for the privilege to toe the line with so many other dreamers. Excitement for the opportunity to compete and put all this work to the test. Thanks, Coach K, for giving me all the tools needed for success! Now it's just time to show up and do the damn thing!" Coach Kameron had this to say about Sam, "I'm excited to see Sam cruise the streets of Chicago in her marathon debut. She has put in a lot of quality miles. I know she will surprise herself. Qualifying for the Olympic Trials is definitely in the cards for her."

Emma is first to cross the finish line in the USATF 25K Championships, May 11, 2019.

Emma is racing the 26.2 mile distance for only the second time in her career. She won her debut marathon at CIM last December in 2:28:19, earning her first National Championship title and qualifying for the Olympic Trials. She won her second championship of 2019 at the USATF 25K National Championship this past May, after placing 3rd at the US Half Marathon Championships six days earlier. Emma stated about her upcoming race, " My buildup for Chicago has gone exceptionally well. Coach Kameron and I learned a lot about what my strengths and weaknesses are when training for my first marathon. I think that knowledge will serve us well during the race on Sunday." Coach Kameron is looking forward to seeing where Emma's training takes her this weekend; "I'm eager to see how things unfold for Emma in Chicago. Her training has been flawless in her preparation for her second marathon. It will be a great experience for her leading into the Olympic Trials."

In the prerace press conference Emma was asked what made her choose to run a full marathon leading up to the Olympic trials. This was her reply: " To learn more about myself and what I need. Running my first marathon I only did, I think, three miles with the women, and the rest of the way I was all by myself, so I need to be in a race that I have women right next to me and women in front of me to learn how to keep my composure...In the later stages of the race when your legs feel like tartaric acid cells (?), I want to know that I can still compete and still be able to fight off the fatigue. And what better race than the Chicago Marathon? ...It's incredible to be here and so surreal. And to know that I'm vying for a spot on the Olympic team is something that's very special. So I'm very, very happy to be here."

Emma also spoke from her heart about the Idaho Distance Project, what the support of her fellow runners means to her and the joy it brings. "This whole year has been such a great opportunity to push myself more and more, and have those people next to me, and having them push themselves as well, has given me such a greater appreciation for this sport and has made the difference in just how fast I've been going in every single workout in this cycle. A PB is definitely in the cards, and I think a big one."

Runnerspace asked Emma what her goals were for the Chicago Marathon. She said her goals were many tiered: (a) Top 5 - If the weather isn't ideal she doesn't want to focus on time but on placing as well as she can. (b) If the weather is ideal, timewise 2:24:00 is something that she feels is in the realm of her abilities right now. (c) She feels Top 3 would obviously be an amazing day. "I'm not going to count myself out for any position. I just want to go out there and perform my best, because anything can happen in the race. That's why we keep showing up to these things. Anything can happen!"

Emma earns her first national title, USATF Women's Marathon Champion, in her marathon debut at CIM, December, 2018.

The gun goes of at 7:20 a.m. Central Standard Time, with runners both starting and finishing in Grant Park. You can view a live webcast of the iconic race free of charge at nbcchicago.com Chicago News Channel 5, and at telemundochicago.com. They will begin their broadcasts at 7:00 a.m. CST.

See live race day results @chicagomarathon.com. The mobile-friendly race website allows you to view the race leaderboard and to follow friends and family by getting real-time updates and splits every 5K.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a member of the Abbot World Marathon Majors, hosts thousands of runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The race is annually a huge economic boost for the city, as well as assists in raising millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes.

(photos: Emma Bates, Michael Scott)

Good luck to Emma and Sam! You finally get to showcase all of your hard work and dedication. We hope your experiences in Chicago are phenomenal!


And we hope you don't throw up!


©2019 by Idaho Distance Project