October 10, 2010 by staff
Think of the famous New Yorker magazine cover depicting the view west of Manhattan, shown in great detail, with New Jersey, a little at the bottom and then a big stretch of nothing behind him with a small spot on the horizon marking California.
We tend to think that way about racing, marathons, in particular.
There are New York, of course, because it is so close and so many people in the area of implementation, and Boston, since we are technically part of New England and is the story of 26 miler in the country.
But after that, everything is “other” when we think of marathons around the rest of the country.
It is not that way here in Chicago, where this morning will be the 33 th edition of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon run.
At 45,000 participants, is located near New York in size. And for people in the Midwest, which is as big an entry in a bucket list as New York is working for those of us in the east.
It is also a great attraction for elite athletes due to pancake flat course and generally favorable weather.
In fact, the only domestic race in the recent past has seen the world and American records, and regularly is impressive amounts of Boston and the Olympic trials qualifying performances.
The fast times can be hard to come this year as a starting dose of summer in India has declined over the Windy City. In a race along the Lakeshore Drive yesterday morning, which was a bit hot and humid, but breezy, even at 7 in the morning, half an hour before the start of today.
That is unfortunate, since Chicago has assembled perhaps its deepest field and more competitive in recent years, with defending champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Sammy Wanjiru winners against Boston this year and London marathons.
The women’s field is not as strong. But the focus can be on Joan Samuelson, marking the 25th anniversary of his execution in Chicago that ended in a 2:21:21 victory records that are submitted as the American record of 18.
Samuelson, who made history by winning the first Olympic women’s marathon in 1984, has only publicly expressed a desire to break three hours. But there have been rumors that his main desire is to run 2:46 and qualify for the 2012 Olympic trials at the age of 53.
There is a small contingent of local runners who made the trip up here to run. Hopefully, crawling on the record heat of last summer, I will be very useful as they pass through the pavement toast of Chicago.
Jim Gerweck is Editor-at-Large of Running Times magazine.
Susannah run on 13 annual, 5K, 9 am, Tod’s Point, Greenwich
GREAT TRAIN RACE, 6,816 km., 8:25 am, New Canaan
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