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Chicago Marathon 2019. Why is this race called legendary?
The annual Chicago Marathon kicks off today. This is one of the most prestigious starts in the world. It is part of the World Marathon Majors series alongside the Boston, London, Berlin, New York and Tokyo marathons. The race in the American city of Chicago has been regularly held in October since 1977. The Americans chose the date for a reason: the competition takes place on the first or second Sunday before Columbus Day, an important holiday for the United States. The marathon is becoming more popular every year. We tell about little-known facts, features of the track and participants of the Chicago Marathon in our material.
From the Olympic Games of the 86th to the first Chicago Marathon
The history of the marathon can be roughly divided into two parts: races old and new era. It all started with the first modern Olympic Games in 1896: after they were held, the popularity of marathon starts spawned a whole galaxy of similar events in different parts of the world. The marathon format increasingly began to appear in US cities, including New York and St. Louis.
The first marathon was held in Boston in 1897. Then Chicago continued the tradition and created its own race - the start was given on September 23, 1905. It was organized by the Illinois Athletic Club and sponsored by the local Chicago Daily News. From that time, marathons were held every year until 1920 and attracted a huge number of spectators and participants.
New Era Races
After a long break, when there were no marathons at all, Chicago decided to revive the tradition ... The first race was held in 1977 under the original name of the Major Daily Marathon - it numbered 4,200 people. The modern version was organized by Ed Kelly, the head of parks in Chicago, who insisted on removing the restrictions on the marathon track and not running exclusively along Lake Michigan.
Since then the marathon has been held every year except 1987 th, when the participants ran only half the distance. The Chicago Run is one of the most popular asphalt starts among competitors, thanks to its convenient and direct route, which contributes to the best achievement of personal and world records.
There is another reason why the Chicago Marathon has gained popularity and elitism status, - established relationships with sponsors. They provide prize money to winners and new holders of world and personal records. The organizers estimated the first place at $ 100,000, the second - at $ 75,000 and at 50,000 - the third place. Together, all this makes the marathon attractive for both amateur and professional athletes.
For participation in the marathon, athletes are awarded points. 1st place - 25 points, 2nd place - 15 points, 3rd place - 10 points, 4th place - 5 points, 5th place - 1 point. The winner of the entire series will be awarded a cash prize of $ 500,000.
Mo Farah won the Chicago Marathon with a European record
Since 2008, the Bank has become the owner of the Chicago race America, therefore the full official name of the marathon from that time is the Chicago Marathon of the Bank of America.By the way, the race is held under the auspices of the IAAF - the International Athletics Federation - and has a gold status.
Who can become a participant in the Chicago Marathon?
It is not so easy to become a participant in the race. Those who wish have the opportunity to register only after they have passed the pre-qualification by time, or through a lottery selection of random participants. Strict criteria apply to all potential runners. and a professional, and someone who may have never run in their life before.
The number of marathon participants is limited to 45 thousand. The number of finishers is determined by a strict time limit - the course must be completed in a maximum of 6.5 hours.
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Features of the marathon track
The Chicago track is a closed road circle that starts and ends at Grant Park. The path runs through 29 district districts of the city. In general, the distance in Chicago is usually divided into three parts: North, West and South. All of these sections are home to the city's three main stadiums: Wrigley Field in the north, United Center in the west, and Guaranty Rate Field in the south. The fourth largest stadium in the city, Soldier Field, is located near the start and finish zone.
Electronic time counters are located at the marks of every five kilometers of the marathon and half of the way.
The marathon is considered one of the most economically profitable for the country and the city. In 2016 alone, more than 170 charitable organizations were attracted to participate, which together with the participants raised almost $ 17 million in voluntary donations. The money is collected exclusively for scientific and medical research.
In addition, the Chicago Marathon attracts every yearmore and more tourists. Almost half of the participants every year admit that this is their first visit to the city, and the marathon was the main reason for coming. And this is a plus of almost $ 300 million in the budget of Chicago, which can be compared with two thousand jobs that bring money to the city's economy.
You may not have known this before
World running records were beaten four times in the Chicago marathon. Top races so far belong to Dennis Quimetto Men (2:03:45) and Paul Radcliffe Women (2:17:18).
Unfortunately, the Chicago competition also holds a kind of record for deaths in a marathon. A total of six deaths were recorded during the races. The earliest dates back to 1998, the latest is from 2011. The most common cause of accidents was heart problems in the participants.
Every year, as many as 12 thousand volunteers take part in the marathon, who help the participants throughout the race.