Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ 26.2 miles of grimaces and smiles to the finish ]]> Lead story image

Like extras in a zombie movie, thousands of bent over, hobbling runners — some dragging one leg or the other — shuffled through Grant Park Sunday after finishing the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Grimaces and smiles alternated across the faces of 37,455 finishers — a new record. And the number of starters, 38,535 also was a record. ]]> Fri, 09 Nov 2012 06:16:23 -0600 <![CDATA[ Women’s champ Baysa wins by just 1 second ]]> Lead story image

It was a different picture than expected. But the women’s race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon ended Sunday with a near photo finish. Ethiopian Atsede Baysa gave Ethiopia a sweep of the top spots by holding off Kenyan Rita Jeptoo by a stride to win by one second in 2 hours, 22 minutes, 3 seconds. Russian Liliya Shobukhova, who was bidding to become the first to win Chicago four straight times finished fourth (2:22:59). “Yes, I knew [Jeptoo] was behind me,’’ said Baysa, who finished in her second fastest marathon. In 2010, her other appearance in Chicago, she … ]]> Fri, 09 Nov 2012 06:19:11 -0600 <![CDATA[ Ethiopian Kebede sets course record to win Chicago Marathon ]]> Lead story image

Tsegaye Kebede had enough left to finish “a great day’’ in a sprint Sunday. It was a perfect way to symbolize the way the 25-year-old Ethiopian pushed the pace in the final 10 miles to win the Bank of American Chicago Marathon in a course record of 2 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds. “My dream is always to run 2:04,’’ he said. “I am very happy. This is a great day.’’ Even with the closing push, he had enough left to wave his black beanie with a flourish on Columbus as he became the first Ethiopian to win the men’s … ]]> Fri, 09 Nov 2012 06:18:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago Marathon, 2012: ‘People have discovered running’ ]]> Lead story image

Back in 1977, when Chicago’s 26.2-mile race was known as the Mayor Daley Marathon, a few of its original runners said they didn’t quite know what they were doing. But since then, runners are taking things far more seriously, and the race has taken off in popularity. ]]> Thu, 08 Nov 2012 11:58:45 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago marathon notebook: Elite men expecting spirited battle ]]> Lead story image

There certainly are story lines among the elite men competing Sunday in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. In 2010, Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia and the late Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya put on a furious battle that many consider to be among the greatest marathon showdowns. ‘‘We were pushing to be the next world record,’’ said Kebede, who finished second. ‘‘We fight and fight.’’ The 35th Chicago Marathon looks to have the potential to be that kind of competitive battle again. ‘‘Everybody is strong,’’ said Kebede, whose personal-best time is 2 hours, 5 minutes, 18 seconds in 2009 in Fukuoka, … ]]> Thu, 08 Nov 2012 12:01:22 -0600 <![CDATA[ Local runner Jeff Jonaitis happy to lend a hand in marathon ]]> Lead story image

Instead of coaching his high-school runners on Sunday during the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Jeff Jonaitis will be doing his part to help the elite women as a pacemaker. “It is an honor to be able pace a group of women who are probably some of the fastest ever — it is definitely an honor,’’ Jonaitis said Thursday evening as he readied his young children for bed. But also a deserved honor. Think old school. Jeremy Borling, director of communications for the marathon, invited Jonaitis to be a pacer. Both ran for schools in the same district: Borling at … ]]> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 06:09:59 -0600 <![CDATA[ Faith, charity drive Kenya’s Wesley Korir in Chicago Marathon ]]> Lead story image

It is more than charitable to say Wesley Korir of Kenya is the favorite son of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, which will take place Sunday. The story of Korir’s connection to the Chicago Marathon is almost mythical. In 2008, he wasn’t allowed to run with the elite fi eld because he hadn’t posted fast enough times before. All he did was run the fourth-fastest time. And ex ecutive race director C arey Pinkow-ski paid him fourth-place money. Korir’s racing career was under way, his plans to go into premed were put on hold and the rest is history. … ]]> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 01:53:23 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago Marathon prides itself on being a female-friendly race ]]>

Joan, Catherine, Paula, Deena, Liliya. The first names of the Chicago Marathon are women. They are the top-end reason the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday is tops in the world for women 20-29 years old, according to Running USA’s 2011 report. “Chicago has been a great on the elite side and those women have been phenomenal ambassadors for women’s running,’’ executive race director Carey Pinkowski said. But there are many grass-roots reasons for Chicago’s marathon being one for women, 45.1 percent worth of field of 45,000 on Sunday. Of those women, 42.2 are between 25 and 34. It’s … ]]> Mon, 05 Nov 2012 11:47:19 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago Marathon: Women’s record fourth-coming? ]]> Lead story image

Every once in a while a funnier side of the ultra-focused Liliya Shobukhova peeks through. Asked in an email interview, done as she finished her training at altitude for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, if she had a favorite part of the course, she cracked, “Definitely yes, a few last meters of the Chicago course and a finishing tape in front of.’’ Nobody in the world has seen that stretch of Columbus Drive as well as the Russian marathoner. On Sunday, she will be running toward history on many levels, not least of which is to become … ]]> Sat, 03 Nov 2012 06:21:19 -0600 <![CDATA[ TMV making an unmistakable splash as Chicago Marathon’s top charity ]]> Lead story image

Running the streets of Chicago to raise money to build clean-water projects in Africa is a disconnect of thousands of miles on one level, yet Team World Vision married the concepts so well that it quickly has become the pre-eminent charity in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. TWV expects to send 1,700 marathoners, nearly 80 percent first-timers, to the line when the marathon starts in Grant Park on Oct. 7. That’s nearly double the next-closest charity, the American Cancer Society. ‘‘We owe everything to Bank of American Chicago Marathon,’’ said Rusty Funk, the Chicago-area director for TWV. ‘‘They treat … ]]> Thu, 01 Nov 2012 06:38:51 -0600 <![CDATA[ Carbo-loading a tried-and-true strategy for marathoners ]]> Lead story image

After 22 years of managing Tuscany Restaurant on Taylor Street in Little Italy, Alex Prekurat knows what to expect the Saturday before the Chicago Marathon. ‘‘That’s what we call our marathon day,’’ he said. Prekurat expects more of the same before the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7. ‘‘Everything comes in between 4 and 7:30 [p.m.],’’ he said. ‘‘Everybody thinks they are going to finish in the top 10 and have to be back in bed by 8 p.m.’’ Tuscany will offer pasta specials and expects to go through lots of bread. Prekurat said most tables in that … ]]> Fri, 28 Sep 2012 18:15:29 -0600 <![CDATA[ Elite marathoner Wesley Korir fondly recalls the call ]]> Lead story image

Wesley Korir was in a van on his way back to Louisville when the phone call came in October of 2008. ‘‘Best call I ever got,’’ Korir said Monday evening before he spoke to a freshman class at the downtown DePaul campus. That call led to the entwining of Korir’s rise in marathon running and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Now Carey Pinkowski can joke about the events leading to his call. ‘‘Five years ago I won’t let him run with the elite runners, and now I am picking him up at the airport,’’ the executive race director said. … ]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2012 06:20:34 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago Marathon will honor Lance Armstrong’s drug ban ]]> Lead story image

Asked about Lance Armstrong being barred from running the Bank of America Chicago ­Marathon, Hal Higdon fired back. “I think it is ridiculous,’’ said Higdon, the venerable Renaissance man of running. “We would probably let Wayne Gacy run, but not Lance Armstrong.’’ Friday in a story, Mark Fabiani, Armstrong’s spokesman, said they received word Thursday that Armstrong would not be allowed to run. According to, Armstrong had planned to run as a member of the team sponsored by his Livestrong Foundation. In August, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency ruled that Armstrong was guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs, stripped him … ]]> Tue, 09 Oct 2012 15:06:06 -0600 <![CDATA[ Marathon registration beats record — closed in 6 days ]]> Lead story image

It’s turning out to be a record-breaking year for the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon — and the race is still months away. Registration for this year’s race closed in just six days, after the maximum participants signed up, race officials said Monday. ]]> Thu, 08 Mar 2012 08:14:44 -0600 <![CDATA[ Marathon sign-up: Now, rather than later ]]> Lead story image

A heads up to runners (and couch potatoes): Feb. 1 was the first day you can sign up for the 35th Bank of America Chicago Marathon. And though the Oct. 7 race is more than eight months away — and deciding to go for a 26.2-mile jog may be daunting — don’t dawdle; last year the marathon filled to its capacity of 45,000 in record time — just 31 days. And it’s a record that may be broken — especially with the momentum of thousands of cooped-up runners who hit the streets in Chicago Tuesday as the mercury freakishly flirted … ]]> Fri, 02 Mar 2012 08:14:47 -0600 <![CDATA[ Woman gives birth after running Chicago Marathon ]]> Lead story image

A pregnant suburban Chicago woman felt contractions a few minutes after finishing the Chicago Marathon and gave birth hours later to a baby daughter. ]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2011 12:11:33 -0600