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Chicago running community unfettered in wake of Boston

Rahm Emanuel speaking at the 2013 Chicago Marathon Press Event

Runners and supporters of the 36th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon will prove that the human spirit can conquer, the city of Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday morning.

A record number of runners, 45,000, are expected to take to Chicago’s streets Sunday as the race, now one of the top marathons held worldwide, will have a field of elite racers vying for a total purse of $550,000, not including time bonuses.

In the aftermath of the bombings earlier in 2013 at the Boston Marathon, Emanuel said everything was being done to make this year’s event safe for participants and supporters.

“The world will watch the endurance of the human spirit to persevere and consistently as a group, while individuals run. As a group, an entire city, an entire country and an entire world is coming together to say that we will not be deterred,” Emanuel said. “This a great event. Let’s go and enjoy it as one city, one set of runners, one country, one world, enjoy watching the human spirit conquer.”

Race Director Carey Pinkowski said the heartbreaking events of Boston made an impression, on him and on the marathon’s organizers, proving to him, “how strong, how united the running community is and together we move forward.”

In addition to the record number of runners, a record number of racers from around the country and world are coming to participate in 2013, said Bank of America, Illinois President Tim Maloney. This year there are 10,264 runners coming to Chicago to race, he said.

Runners leave a deep footprint on the city

The race has a significant positive financial impact for the city of Chicago, Maloney said. The 2012 race brought more than $243 million in total business activity to the city, an 11 percent increase from the marathon’s 2011 economic impact of $219.7 million.

“So from cab drivers to bellmen, from shop owners to waitresses, this event helps them provide for their families and their selves,” Maloney said.
While the race provides a significant economic boon to the city, it has also made a significant difference for charities.

Since 2002, participants in the marathon have raised more than $100 million for local, national and international causes, Maloney said.
“Last year alone, 10,000 runners raised over than $15 million for 140 different charities,” he said.

Chicago Marathon 2013 Fast Facts:

Registered Participants: 45,000
Countries Represented: 129
U.S. States Represented: 50
Charity Teams: 140
Charity Dollars Raised in 2012: $15.3 (event record)
1st Place Purse Prize (men and women): $100,000
Time Bonuses: (Course Record 2:04:38): $75,000
Largest Number of Age Group Participants – Women: 25-29 with 4,455
Largest Number of Age Group Participants – Men: 40-44 with 4,155
Total Number of Women Participants: 20,215
Average Woman’s Age: 35.5
Total Number of Men Participants: 24,785
Average Man’s Age: 39.2
Country (outside the U.S.) with Largest Number of Participants in 2013: Mexico (2,375)

If you’re running this year let us know how your training has gone in the comments and your goal for race day!