Ruth Chepngetich will defend her title in the Windy City on October 8 against a field that includes London Marathon winner Sifan Hassan and US record-holder Emily Sisson

Ruth Chepngetich won a remarkable Chicago Marathon womens race last year when she flew off at 2:08 pace during the early stages before slowing to clock a swift 2:14:18 to miss Brigid Kosgeis the world record by just 14 seconds.

On October 8 the Kenyan returns to defend her title with unfinished business of breaking Kosgeis mark. But she will face tough opposition from Sifan Hassan, the Dutch athlete who will be racing her second marathon following her dramatic debut victory in London in April.

Added to this, US record-holder Emily Sisson is set to race as organisers announced some early big-name signings on Wednesday (June 21).

Chepngetich of Kenya will attempt to capture her third consecutive Bank of America Chicago Marathon victory and said: I am planning to defend my title and improve my time. Theres no better race in the world than the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Ruth Chepngetich (Getty)

In London in April, Hassan stopped twice in the early stages to stretch but then closed a near-half-minute gap on the leaders to win and in a Dutch record of 2:18:33. Since then she has successfully returned to track racing and her big goal of the summer is the World Championships in Budapest in August on the track before returning to the roads six weeks later.

At the moment, my focus is on the World Championships in Budapest, so my marathon preparation will be very short, but as most people know, I like to be challenged, said Hassan. I will see how my body responds and how my mind handles it. The good thing is that I have the experience from London so Im looking forward to Chicago, to see what the marathon can teach me this time.

Sifan Hassan (LM Events)

Sissons US record is 2:18:29 and she said: Chicago is where I set the American marathon record last year. I am really looking forward to coming back for another great race in October!

Chicago has seen some great womens races over the years such as Paula Radcliffe beating Catherine Ndereba in 2002 in a world record at the time. In 1985 Joan Benoit Samuelson beat Ingrid Krirstianson, while in 2017 Tirunesh Dibaba beat rising star Kosgei.

Legendary matchups have long made for thrilling finishes in Chicago. In 1985, a grueling duel between Olympic champion Joan Benoit Samuelson and then world record holder Ingrid Kristiansen saw Benoit Samuelson outlast her Norwegian competitor and set an American record.

Emily Sisson (Getty)

Epic battles between the fastest women in the world are a hallmark of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, said race director Carey Pinkowski. As we celebrate four and a half decades of racing this fall, we look forward to seeing Ruth, Sifan and Emily set the tone and provide inspiration for the next 45 years.

There are expected to be 45,000 runners in total for what will be the 45th edition of the race on October 8.