Two-time Chicago Marathon winner adds speed to women's half-marathon field.

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The inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon just got a little faster.

Actually, quite a bit faster as Berhane Adere of Ethiopia was announced as an entrant in the women’s 13.1-mile half-marathon Saturday.

Adere has won the Chicago Marathon twice as well as the prestigious Dubai Marathon. She is a former world champion in the 10,000 meters, and her personal-best time in the half-marathon is 1 hour, 8 minutes, 17 seconds.

Paul Tergat, a former world-record holder and two-time Olympic silver medalist, was already announced as part of the men’s field in the half-marathon. He ran a half-marathon in 59:17 in 1998, one of the 20 fastest times recorded at that distance.

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Adere and Tergat are two very prominent international runners among the field of 25,000 runners taking part in the event, about 17,500 of whom will run the half-marathon. Some of the world-class distance runners are competing in the half-marathon and not the full marathon because of where this event falls in their training schedule.

Saturday’s 26.2-mile marathon will begin in Tukwila and finish at Qwest Field.

There’s a chance that the full marathon will be won in state-record time. But the addition of Adere makes a record in both half-marathons likely.

Americans Mark Batres and Andy Martin lead the marathon field, but they will be pushed by three Kenyans — David Kiprop Yego, Jynocel Basweti and Zach Nymbaso.

Another American, Leah Thorvilson of Little Rock, Ark., has won two marathons this year and is considered the women’s favorite.

Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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