On Sunday, Oct. 13, the 36th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon will commence in the Second City. Chicago has one of the most beautiful downtown areas in the country, and the race begins and ends in the city’s historic Grant Park.
The competition starts at 8:30 a.m. ET and features some of the world’s elite marathon runners. If you’re not in Chicago, or you are in the Windy City and can’t attend, here’s how you can watch the event.
TV: NBC 5 Chicago, 7 a.m.-11 a.m. CT/8 a.m.-noon ET
Live Stream: nbcchicago.com, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. CT/8 a.m.-2 p.m. ET; LetsRun.com, 7 a.m. CT/8 a.m. ET*
*Rebroadcast at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET
The course spans 26.2 miles from the New East side, through Streeterville, the famed Loop and into the gorgeous River North area. Next, runners will hit the Near North and journey through the city’s spectacular Gold Coast. Old Town and Lincoln Park are next with Lake View East and Wrigleyville taking competitors past the 10-mile mark.
Cabrini Green, a second trip to River North and the Loop are a part of the 12th mile. Just after runners hit the halfway mark, they will run through Greektown and the West Loop. The final 10 miles of the race begin with another trek through Greektown, Little Italy and University Village.
This is where contenders and pretenders will be separated. The aspect of the race that runs through the West Loop is huge and one of the biggest segments of the event. If runners can maintain pace there, they will be set up for respectable finishes.
The last four-plus miles begin in Chinatown, runs through Bridgeport, The Gap, South Commons, the Prairie and Central District and finally ends in Grant Park.
One can look at the mileage in a marathon and somewhat grasp the enormity of the task of completing one of these events, but when you know the city where the race is being run, the distance really resonates with you.
As a lifetime Chicagoan, the space, landmarks and famous neighborhoods the race touches serves as a historical journey through my town’s culture—a very tiring one. Take a look at this first-person, accelerated tour through the course.
Kenyan Moses Mosop is considered the front-runner on the men’s side. Mosop won the event in 2011 and placed third at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2012.
He had no experience in marathon running before the 2011 event in Boston, but he managed to finish second in a field that World Marathon Majors regards as one of the greatest fields ever assembled. He will be the man to beat on Sunday
Defending champion Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia will look to defend her title on Sunday. She won the event in 2012 in a photo finish, per Emory Mort of LetsRun.com. Baysa did place fourth in London earlier this year, but she has routinely run well in Chicago as she finished second in 2010 as well.
The veteran of 20 career marathons will be in great position to shine again.
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