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Chicago Marathon Preview

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 8, 2010 7:00PM

2009_10_12_marathon01.jpg The city has been plastered with "10-10-10" signs and banners for weeks now, promoting the Bank of America Chicago Marathon that takes place this Sunday, October 10, 2010. Beginning and ending in Grant Park, 45,000 runners have registered to run the 26.2 mile race that winds its way through 29 of Chicago's neighborhoods (course map PDF).

As part of the "10-10-10" campaign, the marathon has been promoting ten runners as "10 athletes. 10 stories. 10 motivations to run." The runners profiled share their different motivations for running the race, ranging from raising money for various charities to proving to themselves they've fought and won against disease.

While we have incredible admiration for those running, we'd pass out before the first mile marker. You might be in the same boat, but that doesn't mean you can't participate in the race festivities. Chicago's marathon is also a great spectator event no matter whether you're cheering on somebody you know or not. The marathon website provides a slew of information for spectators, including viewing areas, transit maps and a list of other activities taking place along the course. There are also ways to track runners you know, which is incredibly helpful when trying to figure out where on the course to next cheer them on. The weather will even cooperate this year, at least for spectators. Sunday's forecast calls for a high of 82 and sunshine. Perfect viewing weather, although a but warm for the runners' preferences.

If you do choose to watch the race, be sure to watch for marathon cheats. The Tribune looked into what motivates runners to try to pull a fast one, and how 252 runners were disqualified from last year's marathon. Apparently, Chicago's course layout makes it particularly easy to bypass sections of the course. But the modern timing technology used to track runners mean that almost all cheats get caught nowadays.

(Ed. Note: If you have photos from the Marathon you want to share with us, please make certain to tag them "Chicagoist" or add them to the Chicagoist Photos flickr pool. — CS.)