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Chicago Marathon Characters

By Todd McClamroch in News on Oct 23, 2006 1:00PM

10_22_06_ditka.jpgIt takes a certain type of person to have the dedication to train and compete in a marathon. It never ceases to amaze Chicagoist how many people not only prepare themselves to compete but also come to entertain. During the 2006 running of the Chicago Marathon we saw many a familiar face. We saw Fred and Wilma Flintstone, a Knight (hard to discern if he was saying "Ni" as he ran past), crazy chicken head man, patriots, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, superheroes, she-devils, several Elvi, and even Da Coach. Chicagoist has decided in a game featuring Ditka versus the Marathon, the winner would definitely be Ditka.

Of all the characters and personalities at the race on Sunday the one that caught our attention most was 46-year-old Chicagoan Emmanuel "Manny" Perryman. Manny, an employee of the CTA, ran this year's race in three hours and five minutes. Despite finishing in the top 1,400 of 40,000, he had energy to spare. We found Manny entertaining the crowd and his family, performing a post-race dance celebration. Check out Manny's dance on YouTube (Video 1 and Video 2).

10_22_06_manny_dance.jpgIn talking with Manny, he mentioned that he has been running for 30 years. In that time, he has now completed six marathons with his personal best being two hours and fifty minutes. Manny commented that it was great having the whole town out there supporting him and all the other runners. He continued, "I love being out here, it's a blessing. I can't complain about anything. I just thank God for the strength and energy to be out here."

In addition, Chicagoist heard of at least one successful marriage proposal between two runners; we assume they knew each other before the race. If they can get through 26.2 miles on a cold windy day, marriage should be a walk in the park.

Chicagoist would like to congratulate all those that competed in the 2006 Chicago Marathon. You put on a heck of a show for us spectators! You can check yourselves out from the start on YouTube and our Chicagoist Photos on Flickr.