October 9, 2014
Marathon fever is starting to hit the streets of Chicago.
Thursday was day 1 of the media events at the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and that meant trotting out the head honchos, race director Carey Pinkowski, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Tim Maloney, Bank of America Illinois President .
All three spoke about what a great event the marathon is for the city and we at LetsRun.com couldn’t agree more. 40,000 runners from all over the globe are descending on the city this weekend and the city is embracing them. The mayor pointed out the Art Institute of Chicago extended its Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary exhibition because of the marathon, and thanks to Bank of America, it will offer free entry to marathon participants and one guest.
25 Years for Race Director Carey Pinkowski
This will be the 25th race with Carey Pinkowski as the race director, and he has done a tremendous job putting the Chicago Marathon on the map. In 1987, the Chicago Marathon was cancelled. In 1989, the year before Carey took over the race had 7,269 starters. This year with its cap of 45,000 entrants it should have 39-40,000 starters, and a world class field (men’s preview here, women’s here).
Tim Maloney honored Carey and his 25th race, with a commemorative plaque that featured the three world records set on the streets of Chicago, Khalid Khannouchi’s 2:05:42 in 1999, Catherine Ndereba’s 2:18:47 in 2001, and Paula Radcliffe’s 2:17:18 in 2002 (video of ceremony below). (“Little” LRC has its own connection to history being made in Chicago with co founder Robert Johnson, helping pace Catherine Ndereba to her world record in 2001, and co-founder Weldon Johnson helping pace Paula to her record the next year.)
Tim said of Carey, “He may not be running on the streets but he’s running the show. He’s the one who has shaped this race into all it has become today. Carey we are so grateful for everything you have done, for your leadership, for your commitment.”
The Pros Do Matter
It was great to see Carey honored for all he has done for the Chicago marathon, and also for those doing the honoring to focus on the achievements of the pros who set the world records when they honored Carey.
The Chicago marathon is a world class sporting event thanks to the pro runners, and even the mayor acknowledged that. He pointed out has last year’s winner, Dennis Kimetto, broke the world record in Berlin last month. At LetsRun.com, we’re always a little fearful races might make a move to being fitness/charity only – there seems to be no need to worry about that in the Windy City.
Big Economic Impact for the City
We’re always a bit skeptical of the economic impact claims made by races, but there is no doubt that the race and its participants have a big impact on the city. The race is hoping to surpass its claimed $253 million economic impact from last year. You can click on the photo on the right to see a chart of the economic impact. The mayor also talked about the 1.7 million people who will watch the race on the streets (that number is totally preposterous, to see why click here).
37 Straight Chicago Marathons: “One time I was young and studly and thought I wanted to do a marathon.”
The race also honored the eigbt men who have run all 36 previous Chicago Marathon.
LRC caught up with Henry Kozlowski, 64, who will be running his 37th Chicago Marathon on Sunday. Henry also revealed this will be the 37th marathon of his life. Yes that is right, he’s never run a marathon outside of Chicago. Henry started running Chicago when he was 27. As he said, “One time I was young and studly and thought I wanted to do a marathon.” Henry hit the wall in his first marathon and ran over 5 hours, but improved a lot and once ran as fast as 3:50. This year, he likely will be right around the 5 hour mark. Pretty impressive if he can beat what he did 37 years ago.
Henry also apparently has the training down pat, revealing his longest run for this year’s race is only 9 miles. He said the rule of thumb that he read was that you can got three times the distance you can run comfortably. But don’t think you can run a pr on that type of training. Henry said, “The year I did my best time I did a lot of training.”
Good luck to Henry and everyone else on Sunday and congrats to Carey for his 25th Chicago as race director.
Tomorrow the pros will be featured as the press conferences in Chicago and we’ll be there to give you the inside scoop.
Thursday we also learned some interesting tidbits on the 2:02:57 world record set in Berlin by Dennis Kimetto, from Sean Hartnett, who helped with the timing in Berlin and keeping Dennis on WR pace.
Carey Pinkowski Gets Honored For 25 Chicago’s
Rahm Emanuel Talks About How Great the Chicago Marathon Is