The 2012 Chicago Marathon is set to get underway this weekend, as thousands of runners from all over the world converge on the Windy City looking to cash in on all their hard work.
From elite endurance athletes to casual runners, Sunday's field of participants are sure to put on a show.
The 26.2-mile race will begin in Chicago's Grant Park and take the runners on a tour of the city until they return to Columbus Drive to cross the finish line.
Here is everything you need to know before the gun sounds at this year's Chicago Marathon.
When: Sunday, October 7
Start Time: 8:30 a.m. ET
Watch: NBC 5 Chicago
Listen: 670 The Score Sports Radio
The Chicago Marathon was established in the late 1970s and has been run every year since 1977.
Kenya's Moses Mosop (2:05:37) completed the course in the fastest time of any male runner in 2011, setting a new course record, while Russia's Liliya Shobukhova (2:18:20) earned the fastest time among the female participants.
An American participant has not won since 2005, when Deena Kastor finished with the fastest time among females. Khalid Khannouchi was the last American man to win the Chicago Marathon back in 2002.
The Chicago Marathon is held every year and is one of five World Marathon Majors, including the Boston, London, Berlin and New York City Marathons. The best athletes receive points for where they place in each of the major marathons and compete for an overall title.
Kenya is hoping to produce its 10th straight male winner at the Chicago Marathon while Russia's Shobukhova attempts to make it four in a row as women's champ. Mosop is currently tied for second in the World Marathon Majors series standings, while Shobukhova is tied for fourth on the women's side.
After this weekend the athletes will have to gear up for the final major marathon in New York City this November.
Click here to view the entire Chicago Marathon 2012 course.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for 26.2 additional miles.
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