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Chicago Marathon Preview

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 9, 2009 3:20PM

WEB-Chicago-Marathon-Logo-R.jpg For an estimated 45,000 runners, months of training will culminate with the 32nd running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, which will begin at 7:30am in Grant Park Sunday morning. The 26.2 mile race snakes through 29 of our city's neighborhoods, from the Loop north to Wrigleyville; looping back south and west through University Village, Little Italy, Chinatown and Bridgeport; before hitting the finish line back in Grant Park. The urban course creates an amazing tour of Chicago for the runners, while also being spectator friendly: over 1.5 million people are expected to stand on the sidelines cheering on friends, family or strangers. The marathon website offers spectator info. While the past two years have seen high temps create problems for runners, this year's race forecast calls for cool and rainy, with a high of about 50 degrees.

While runners of all skill levels participate in the Chicago marathon, the race also draws many of the world's elite runners. Among the top men in the field are 2008 Olympic Marathon gold medalist Sammy Wanjiru from Kenya, his countrymate Vincent Kipruto and Moroccan Abderrahim Goumri, who finished second in the New York Marathon the last two years. However, defending Chicago Marathon winner Evans Cheruiyot will not be running because of an injury. In the women's field, among the favorites to take home top prize are American marathon record holder Deena Kastor, reigning World Marathon Majors champion Irina Mikitenko, two-time Chicago Marathon Champion Berhane Adere (2006, 2007) and defending champion Lidiya Girgoryeva.

Of course, for Chicagoist the most important runner in the race is our very own Lizz Kannenberg! Good luck!