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Chicago Marathon

Along with Berlin, Boston, London and New York, the Chicago Marathon is a Gold IAAF event as well as one of the World Marathon Majors.

The Chicago Marathon takes place in October, and the weather at that time of year can be unpredictable although with a course that is flat in most parts good times are expected for the runners. Chicago is called The Windy City and sometimes the event is held in wind and rain. The average high temperature for Chicago during October is 17 degrees Celsius.

Every couple of kilometres during the run is a drink station with water and energy drinks. Halfway through the race there are several areas with fresh bananas. There is very little elevation change during the race, with some of the course going a bit uphill in the final kilometres.

The race starts near the famous Buckingham Fountain, and also finishes there after a counter clockwise run around central Chicago. Lake Michigan, and a possible breeze, is to the right of the runners. The race starts with runners heading north, along Columbus Drive, and continues close to the shoreline until Addison Street. The runners then head south until just past the 20km mark when the course goes west. This is a long and straight run along Adams Street. Eventually the runners start heading south and east, until they get to Michigan Avenue and head north to finish the race.

Khalid Khannouchi, in 1999, set a world record when he ran the Chicago Marathon in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 42 seconds. Paula Radcliffe set a women's world record in 2002, winning the race in 2 hours, 17 minutes and 18 seconds. The women's event has been won multiple times by Lidiya Grigoryeva, Berhane Adere, Catherine Ndereba and several other runners. Khannouchi has won the men's race four times, while Evans Rutto and Samuel Wanjiru have won the race several times.

With Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier and Millennium Park among the many tourist attractions in Chicago there are many things to do when visiting the city. Sports fans have a plethora of option as the city is home to the Bulls of the NBA, Blackhawks of the NHL, Bears or the NFL and the famous Cubs and White Sox that play baseball.

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