Forty five thousand registrants from 50 states and 115 countries, 12,000 plus volunteers, 1,400 medical personnel, 400 marshals, 400 massage therapists, 500 credentialed media workers, 1.7 million spectators (give or take a few thousands) along 29 neighborhoods, 7,777 international runners, 10,000 runners for 190 charities, over 50 elite runners and 100 pacers and 125,000 expo attendees. These and ... close to 130,000 gallons of water and Gatorade Endurance formula, 70,000 bananas, and 45,000 granola bars distributed over 20 aid stations, 1,500 port-a-potties, 45,000 finisher medals, 1.3 million water cups, 1.1 million Gatorade cups, and $500,000 total purse ($100,000 each for the men's and women's open winners) ... hell yeah, Chicago is ready for you. Even the weather is cooperating, If temperatures remain cool tomorrow, expect world records to be broken and established at one of the world's majors: The Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
It's international, 115 countries with our neighbors, Mexico and Canada sending a little bit over 3,000 runners. It's local - 11,786 participants are from Chicago and the burbs, 649 of them from Naperville. It's Midwestern - runners originating from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana number about 5,304. It's bi-coastal, runners from California and New York add up to just over 3,000.
There are a lot of stories to tell: 24 elite wheelchair racers are in the roster - a majority of them (18!) coming from Champaign and neighboring Savoy, IL; there's a boom in women runners - 45.54% of the registrants are female; women's champion for the past three years, Liliya Shobukhova is gunning for a fourth consecutive win; and Boston Marathon winner, Wesley Korir is looking for a win for the first time after four tries. Maybe the 5th is a charm for him.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon starts at Grant Park on Sunday, October 7: wheelchair start: 7:20 AM; runners - 7:30 - 9:00 AM. The race finishes also at Grant Park at about 2 hours plus or minus a few minutes after the starting gun, until about 8 hours later. It will be televised on NBC 5 and streamed live on nbcchicago.com from 7 to 11 AM.
Welcome runners and good luck!
For more information, please go to http://www.chicagomarathon.com .