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LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 7, 2005 3:05PM

This Sunday, the city's streets will again be flooded with thousands of runners taking part in the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. The 26.2 mile course:
starts in Grant Park, just north of Buckingham Fountain. Runners first travel north through River North, Old Town, Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville. Next, they head south through some of Chicago’s most historic and diverse neighborhoods, including Greektown, Little Italy, Pilsen, Chinatown, Bridgeport and the South Loop. Finally, runners turn northward again, heading back downtown along South Michigan Avenue with a spectacular finish back in Grant Park, just south of Buckingham Fountain.

In addition to being one of the fastest marathon courses on account of Chicago'sflat terrain, it's also among racers' favorites because of the beautiful scenery around the city as well as the 1.2 million spectators cheering them on. Chicagoist spent last year's race day traversing the city in support of out-of-town friends and was amazed by the crowds we saw whether along the river near the Loop, on the West Side or in the South Loop. Our friends commented on how much of a boost all the cheering fans gave them. So shout out those words of encouragement! And by name if they have it on their shirts.

2005_10_sports_runaway_bride_marathon.jpgOne runner who probably won't have her name on her shirt will be Jennifer Wilbanks, who's better known as the "Runaway Bride." The Georgia woman "is a very respectable marathoner and known in running circles throughout the South." according to a race official. Think they can get her to pick up trash along the route as part of her community service?

Last year's race experienced picture perfect weather and this year's forcast looks pretty nice, too. Tom Skilling's calling for 65 and partly cloudy. So there's no excuse to get out and cheer on the runners -- unless you yourself are running. If that's the case, Chicagoist wishes you Good Luck!