Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Chicago Marathon
Chicago Marathon

Chicago Marathon

Inaugurated in September 1977, the Chicago Marathon grew from modest beginnings into an athletic event of international stature. The first running of the race drew 5,000 competitors, though it was covered only locally and drew regionally for participants. The 2001 race attracted participants from 74 countries, with 28,830 finishers. Live television coverage and $300,000 in prizes have added to the race's reputation. So has expansive corporate sponsorship from LaSalle Bank.

Beginning and finishing in Grant Park, the fast, flat course traverses many city neighborhoods and has drawn elite runners from around the world. In 1999 Khalid Khannouchi set a world record for men, and in 2001 Catherine Ndereba set a world record for women.