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They came for the Chicago Marathon — with Boston on their minds

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Updated: October 13, 2013 8:41PM



The 36th annual Chicago Marathon is off and running.

The 26.2-mile marathon, which stepped off at 7:30 a.m., starts at Monroe and Columbus and winds through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus. This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silent to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.Under tighter security, the 36th annual Chicago Marathon stepped off at 7:30 a.m. — seemingly without a hitch.

The 26.2-mile marathon course starts at Monroe and Columbus and winds through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus.

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silent to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

That attack prompted officials to tighten security at Chicago’s event — particularly at the start and finish lines.

Will Rose, of Fox River Grove, is running his first marathon and said he felt safe as he prepared to run on Sunday.

“It seems like they’ve updated [security], I feel pretty good.”

Craig Maseco, 28 of Chicago and running his 7th marathon here, added: “We’re all right. I realize streets are clear so that’s good, I like that.”

Standing near the start line, Dan Klein 33, of suburban Long Grove, said the added security may be “overkill” but it’s the new reality.

“I’m not nervous. It’s nice to see the dogs and police and security checks,” he said. “I think it’s good, it’s probably a bit (of) overkill, but it’s the era we live in.”

His wife is disappointed she can’t be at the finish. In past years she could be there.

“We’ll have to meet outside way after he finishes,” Holly Klein told the Sun-Times.

Dan Klein added: “I’d rather this than lax security.”

“I was right at the finish line in the past, where the bombs would have gone off,” his wife says.

Steps from Michigan and Jackson, a giant Emergency Alert System banner read “EAS: Alert Level Low.”

Beyond the security, many runners said they were happy to be greeted by blue skies, and cool temperatures.

The start-time temperature was 53 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. Forecasters expect the temperature to rise to only 56 degrees by 10 a.m., on our way to a high of 63 degrees later Sunday afternoon.Under tighter security, the 36th annual Chicago Marathon stepped off at 7:30 a.m. — seemingly without a hitch.

The 26.2-mile marathon course starts at Monroe and Columbus and winds through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus.

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silent to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

That attack prompted officials to tighten security at Chicago’s event — particularly at the start and finish lines.

Bomb-sniffing dogs, patrolling officers and random bag checks are at the surface of the marathon, but the covert security measures playing out beneath the waterline are equally important, law enforcement officials have said.

High-tech and hush-hush federal equipment are being put to use after a Department of Homeland Security decision to elevate the importance of the event in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Will Rose, of Fox River Grove, is running his first marathon and said he felt safe as he prepared to run on Sunday.

“It seems like they’ve updated [security], I feel pretty good.”

Craig Maseco, 28 of Chicago and running his 7th marathon here, added: “We’re all right. I realize streets are clear so that’s good, I like that.”

Standing near the start line, Dan Klein 33, of suburban Long Grove, said the added security may be “overkill” but it’s the new reality.

“I’m not nervous. It’s nice to see the dogs and police and security checks,” he said. “I think it’s good, it’s probably a bit (of) overkill, but it’s the era we live in.”

His wife is disappointed she can’t be at the finish. In past years she could be there. This year, the finish line is only open to spectators with tickets.

“We’ll have to meet outside way after he finishes,” Holly Klein told the Sun-Times.

Dan Klein added: “I’d rather this than lax security.”

“I was right at the finish line in the past, where the bombs would have gone off,” his wife says.

Steps from Michigan and Jackson, a giant Emergency Alert System banner read “EAS: Alert Level Low.”

Beyond the security, many runners said they were happy to be greeted by blue skies, and cool temperatures.

The start-time temperature was 53 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. Forecasters expect the temperature to rise to only 56 degrees by 10 a.m., on our way to a high of 63 degrees later Sunday afternoon.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek, APUnder tighter security, the 36th annual Chicago Marathon stepped off at 7:30 a.m. — seemingly without a hitch.

The 26.2-mile marathon course starts at Monroe and Columbus and winds through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus.

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and organizers said 40,143 crossed the starting line, up 2,000 from last year. Race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silence to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

That attack prompted officials to tighten security at Chicago’s event — particularly at the start and finish lines.

Entrances to Grant Park were reduced from seven to four and marathoners aren’t allowed to wear backpacks — only specially issued clear plastic bags. Bomb-sniffing dogs, patrolling officers and random bag checks are at the surface of the marathon, but the covert security measures playing out beneath the waterline are equally important, law enforcement officials have said.

High-tech and hush-hush federal equipment are being put to use after a Department of Homeland Security decision to elevate the importance of the event in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Before crossing the start line, Magdalene Warner, 25, a Chicago native who now calls Ft. Campbell, Ky. home, said she hadn’t thought about security until the day before the marathon, her first ever.

“It didn’t cross my mind until yesterday when someone said something about it,” Warner said. “I didn’t think about it. She asked me, ‘Are you worried?’ I was like, I’ll finish. And she said, ‘no, about security.’ So honestly, I’m really not nervous about it. I was here for the Blackhawks rally and I thought they did a really good job with that, and it was the same amount of people.”

Will Rose, of Fox River Grove, is running his first marathon and said he felt safe as he prepared to run on Sunday.

“It seems like they’ve updated [security], I feel pretty good.”

Craig Maseco, 28 of Chicago and running his 7th marathon here, added: “We’re all right. I realize streets are clear so that’s good, I like that.”

Standing near the start line, Dan Klein 33, of suburban Long Grove, said the added security may be “overkill” but it’s the new reality.

“I’m not nervous. It’s nice to see the dogs and police and security checks,” he said. “I think it’s good, it’s probably a bit (of) overkill, but it’s the era we live in.”

His wife is disappointed she can’t be at the finish. In past years she could be there. This year, the finish line is only open to spectators with tickets.

“We’ll have to meet outside way after he finishes,” Holly Klein told the Sun-Times.

Dan Klein added: “I’d rather this than lax security.”

Entrances to Grant Park have been reduced to four from seven, and each will be staffed by a security team. Runners now must show up in person and present identification to pick up their race bibs at the fitness expo at McCormick Place; they no longer can enlist a friend to complete the task. And runners won’t be allowed into Grant Park with backpacks. They must use specially issued clear plastic bags.

“I was right at the finish line in the past, where the bombs would have gone off,” his wife says.

Steps from Michigan and Jackson, a giant Emergency Alert System banner read “EAS: Alert Level Low.”

Beyond the security, many runners said they were happy to be greeted by blue skies, and cool temperatures.

The start-time temperature was 53 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. Forecasters expect the temperature to rise to only 56 degrees by 10 a.m., on our way to a high of 63 degrees later Sunday afternoon.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek, APUnder tighter security, the 36th annual Chicago Marathon launched Sunday morning with the winning runners crossing the finish line in just over two hours.

Kenyans Dennis Kimetto and Emannuel Mutai pushed each other to smash the course record with Kimetto winning in 2:03:45, short of the world record.

Rita Jeptoo separated from fellow Kenyan Jemima Jelagat Sumgong in the final miles Sunday of the 36th Bank of America Chicago Marathon, winning the women’s side in 2:19:57 in her personal best.

American Tatyana McFadden won the third consecutive side of the women’s wheelchair race in 1:42:35, by three seconds. She also became the first to win Boston, London and Chicago marathons consecutively. She goes in Nov. 3 in New York.

The 26.2-mile marathon course started at 7:30 a.m. at Monroe and Columbus, winding through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus.

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and organizers said 40,143 crossed the starting line, up 2,000 from last year. Race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

In a nearly photo-finish wheelchair race, South African Ernst Van Dyk won in 1:30:37, by one second over two others.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silence to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

That attack prompted officials to tighten security at Chicago’s event — particularly at the start and finish lines.

Entrances to Grant Park were reduced from seven to four and marathoners aren’t allowed to wear backpacks — only specially issued clear plastic bags. Bomb-sniffing dogs, patrolling officers and random bag checks are at the surface of the marathon, but the covert security measures playing out beneath the waterline are equally important, law enforcement officials have said.

High-tech and hush-hush federal equipment are being put to use after a Department of Homeland Security decision to elevate the importance of the event in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Bruce Long, 64, of Aurora, was standing along the marathon route and said he hasn’t seen a ton of security but “it’s the security I don’t see that is more important than the security I do see.”

His daughter, Erin Long is running her first marathon and started training before the Boston bombings. She is nervous about security and “very aware” of what measures are being taken, Bruce Long said.

Before crossing the start line, Magdalene Warner, 25, a Chicago native who now calls Ft. Campbell, Ky. home, said she hadn’t thought about security until the day before the marathon, her first ever.

“It didn’t cross my mind until yesterday when someone said something about it,” Warner said. “I didn’t think about it. She asked me, ‘Are you worried?’ I was like, I’ll finish. And she said, ‘no, about security.’ So honestly, I’m really not nervous about it. I was here for the Blackhawks rally and I thought they did a really good job with that, and it was the same amount of people.”

Will Rose, of Fox River Grove, is running his first marathon and said he felt safe as he prepared to run on Sunday.

“It seems like they’ve updated [security], I feel pretty good.”

Craig Maseco, 28 of Chicago and running his 7th marathon here, added: “We’re all right. I realize streets are clear so that’s good, I like that.”

Standing near the start line, Dan Klein 33, of suburban Long Grove, said the added security may be “overkill” but it’s the new reality.

“I’m not nervous. It’s nice to see the dogs and police and security checks,” he said. “I think it’s good, it’s probably a bit (of) overkill, but it’s the era we live in.”

His wife is disappointed she can’t be at the finish. In past years she could be there. This year, the finish line is only open to spectators with tickets.

“We’ll have to meet outside way after he finishes,” Holly Klein told the Sun-Times.

Dan Klein added: “I’d rather this than lax security.”

Entrances to Grant Park have been reduced to four from seven, and each will be staffed by a security team. Runners now must show up in person and present identification to pick up their race bibs at the fitness expo at McCormick Place; they no longer can enlist a friend to complete the task. And runners won’t be allowed into Grant Park with backpacks. They must use specially issued clear plastic bags.

“I was right at the finish line in the past, where the bombs would have gone off,” his wife says.

Steps from Michigan and Jackson, a giant Emergency Alert System banner read “EAS: Alert Level Low.”

Beyond the security, many runners said they were happy to be greeted by blue skies, and cool temperatures.

The start-time temperature was 53 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. Forecasters expect the temperature to rise to only 56 degrees by 10 a.m., on our way to a high of 63 degrees later Sunday afternoon.

Contributing: LeeAnn Shelton, Mitch Dudek, APUnder tighter security, the 36th annual Chicago Marathon launched Sunday morning under clear skies, and temperatures hovering just above 50 degrees.

Kenyans Dennis Kimetto and Emannuel Mutai pushed each other to smash the course record with Kimetto winning in 2:03:45, short of the world record.

The 26.2-mile marathon course started at 7:30 a.m. at Monroe and Columbus, winding through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus.

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and organizers said 40,143 crossed the starting line, up 2,000 from last year. Race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

American Tatyana McFadden won the third consecutive side of the women’s wheelchair race in 1:42:35, by three seconds. She also became the first to win Boston, London and Chicago marathons consecutively. She goes in Nov. 3 in New York.

In a nearly photo-finish wheelchair race, South African Ernst Van Dyk won in 1:30:37, by one second over two others.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silence to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

That attack prompted officials to tighten security at Chicago’s event — particularly at the start and finish lines.

Entrances to Grant Park were reduced from seven to four and marathoners aren’t allowed to wear backpacks — only specially issued clear plastic bags. Bomb-sniffing dogs, patrolling officers and random bag checks are at the surface of the marathon, but the covert security measures playing out beneath the waterline are equally important, law enforcement officials have said.

High-tech and hush-hush federal equipment are being put to use after a Department of Homeland Security decision to elevate the importance of the event in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Before crossing the start line, Magdalene Warner, 25, a Chicago native who now calls Ft. Campbell, Ky. home, said she hadn’t thought about security until the day before the marathon, her first ever.

“It didn’t cross my mind until yesterday when someone said something about it,” Warner said. “I didn’t think about it. She asked me, ‘Are you worried?’ I was like, I’ll finish. And she said, ‘no, about security.’ So honestly, I’m really not nervous about it. I was here for the Blackhawks rally and I thought they did a really good job with that, and it was the same amount of people.”

Will Rose, of Fox River Grove, is running his first marathon and said he felt safe as he prepared to run on Sunday.

“It seems like they’ve updated [security], I feel pretty good.”

Craig Maseco, 28 of Chicago and running his 7th marathon here, added: “We’re all right. I realize streets are clear so that’s good, I like that.”

Standing near the start line, Dan Klein 33, of suburban Long Grove, said the added security may be “overkill” but it’s the new reality.

“I’m not nervous. It’s nice to see the dogs and police and security checks,” he said. “I think it’s good, it’s probably a bit (of) overkill, but it’s the era we live in.”

His wife is disappointed she can’t be at the finish. In past years she could be there. This year, the finish line is only open to spectators with tickets.

“We’ll have to meet outside way after he finishes,” Holly Klein told the Sun-Times.

Dan Klein added: “I’d rather this than lax security.”

Entrances to Grant Park have been reduced to four from seven, and each will be staffed by a security team. Runners now must show up in person and present identification to pick up their race bibs at the fitness expo at McCormick Place; they no longer can enlist a friend to complete the task. And runners won’t be allowed into Grant Park with backpacks. They must use specially issued clear plastic bags.

“I was right at the finish line in the past, where the bombs would have gone off,” his wife says.

Steps from Michigan and Jackson, a giant Emergency Alert System banner read “EAS: Alert Level Low.”

Beyond the security, many runners said they were happy to be greeted by blue skies, and cool temperatures.

The start-time temperature was 53 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. Forecasters expect the temperature to rise to only 56 degrees by 10 a.m., on our way to a high of 63 degrees later Sunday afternoon.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek, APThe 36th annual Chicago Marathon is off and running.

The 26.2-mile marathon, which stepped off at 7:30 a.m., starts at Monroe and Columbus and winds through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus. This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silent to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.Under tighter security, the 36th annual Chicago Marathon stepped off at 7:30 a.m. — seemingly without a hitch.

The 26.2-mile marathon course starts at Monroe and Columbus and winds through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus.

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silent to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

That attack prompted officials to tighten security at Chicago’s event — particularly at the start and finish lines.

Will Rose, of Fox River Grove, is running his first marathon and said he felt safe as he prepared to run on Sunday.

“It seems like they’ve updated [security], I feel pretty good.”

Craig Maseco, 28 of Chicago and running his 7th marathon here, added: “We’re all right. I realize streets are clear so that’s good, I like that.”

Standing near the start line, Dan Klein 33, of suburban Long Grove, said the added security may be “overkill” but it’s the new reality.

“I’m not nervous. It’s nice to see the dogs and police and security checks,” he said. “I think it’s good, it’s probably a bit (of) overkill, but it’s the era we live in.”

His wife is disappointed she can’t be at the finish. In past years she could be there.

“We’ll have to meet outside way after he finishes,” Holly Klein told the Sun-Times.

Dan Klein added: “I’d rather this than lax security.”

“I was right at the finish line in the past, where the bombs would have gone off,” his wife says.

Steps from Michigan and Jackson, a giant Emergency Alert System banner read “EAS: Alert Level Low.”

Beyond the security, many runners said they were happy to be greeted by blue skies, and cool temperatures.

The start-time temperature was 53 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. Forecasters expect the temperature to rise to only 56 degrees by 10 a.m., on our way to a high of 63 degrees later Sunday afternoon.Under tighter security, the 36th annual Chicago Marathon stepped off at 7:30 a.m. — seemingly without a hitch.

The 26.2-mile marathon course starts at Monroe and Columbus and winds through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus.

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silent to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

That attack prompted officials to tighten security at Chicago’s event — particularly at the start and finish lines.

Bomb-sniffing dogs, patrolling officers and random bag checks are at the surface of the marathon, but the covert security measures playing out beneath the waterline are equally important, law enforcement officials have said.

High-tech and hush-hush federal equipment are being put to use after a Department of Homeland Security decision to elevate the importance of the event in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Will Rose, of Fox River Grove, is running his first marathon and said he felt safe as he prepared to run on Sunday.

“It seems like they’ve updated [security], I feel pretty good.”

Craig Maseco, 28 of Chicago and running his 7th marathon here, added: “We’re all right. I realize streets are clear so that’s good, I like that.”

Standing near the start line, Dan Klein 33, of suburban Long Grove, said the added security may be “overkill” but it’s the new reality.

“I’m not nervous. It’s nice to see the dogs and police and security checks,” he said. “I think it’s good, it’s probably a bit (of) overkill, but it’s the era we live in.”

His wife is disappointed she can’t be at the finish. In past years she could be there. This year, the finish line is only open to spectators with tickets.

“We’ll have to meet outside way after he finishes,” Holly Klein told the Sun-Times.

Dan Klein added: “I’d rather this than lax security.”

“I was right at the finish line in the past, where the bombs would have gone off,” his wife says.

Steps from Michigan and Jackson, a giant Emergency Alert System banner read “EAS: Alert Level Low.”

Beyond the security, many runners said they were happy to be greeted by blue skies, and cool temperatures.

The start-time temperature was 53 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. Forecasters expect the temperature to rise to only 56 degrees by 10 a.m., on our way to a high of 63 degrees later Sunday afternoon.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek, APUnder tighter security, the 36th annual Chicago Marathon stepped off at 7:30 a.m. — seemingly without a hitch.

The 26.2-mile marathon course starts at Monroe and Columbus and winds through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus.

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and organizers said 40,143 crossed the starting line, up 2,000 from last year. Race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. This year some 45,000 marathoners registered and race staff expect to top the record of 37,475 finishers last year. Along the route, some 1.7 million spectators are expected to cheer on the athletes.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and other assembled were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silence to honor those victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

That attack prompted officials to tighten security at Chicago’s event — particularly at the start and finish lines.

Entrances to Grant Park were reduced from seven to four and marathoners aren’t allowed to wear backpacks — only specially issued clear plastic bags. Bomb-sniffing dogs, patrolling officers and random bag checks are at the surface of the marathon, but the covert security measures playing out beneath the waterline are equally important, law enforcement officials have said.

High-tech and hush-hush federal equipment are being put to use after a Department of Homeland Security decision to elevate the importance of the event in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Before crossing the start line, Magdalene Warner, 25, a Chicago native who now calls Ft. Campbell, Ky. home, said she hadn’t thought about security until the day before the marathon, her first ever.

“It didn’t cross my mind until yesterday when someone said something about it,” Warner said. “I didn’t think about it. She asked me, ‘Are you worried?’ I was like, I’ll finish. And she said, ‘no, about security.’ So honestly, I’m really not nervous about it. I was here for the Blackhawks rally and I thought they did a really good job with that, and it was the same amount of people.”

Will Rose, of Fox River Grove, is running his first marathon and said he felt safe as he prepared to run on Sunday.

“It seems like they’ve updated [security], I feel pretty good.”

Craig Maseco, 28 of Chicago and running his 7th marathon here, added: “We’re all right. I realize streets are clear so that’s good, I like that.”

Standing near the start line, Dan Klein 33, of suburban Long Grove, said the added security may be “overkill” but it’s the new reality.

“I’m not nervous. It’s nice to see the dogs and police and security checks,” he said. “I think it’s good, it’s probably a bit (of) overkill, but it’s the era we live in.”

His wife is disappointed she can’t be at the finish. In past years she could be there. This year, the finish line is only open to spectators with tickets.

“We’ll have to meet outside way after he finishes,” Holly Klein told the Sun-Times.

Dan Klein added: “I’d rather this than lax security.”

Entrances to Grant Park have been reduced to four from seven, and each will be staffed by a security team. Runners now must show up in person and present identification to pick up their race bibs at the fitness expo at McCormick Place; they no longer can enlist a friend to complete the task. And runners won’t be allowed into Grant Park with backpacks. They must use specially issued clear plastic bags.

“I was right at the finish line in the past, where the bombs would have gone off,” his wife says.

Steps from Michigan and Jackson, a giant Emergency Alert System banner read “EAS: Alert Level Low.”

Beyond the security, many runners said they were happy to be greeted by blue skies, and cool temperatures.

The start-time temperature was 53 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. Forecasters expect the temperature to rise to only 56 degrees by 10 a.m., on our way to a high of 63 degrees later Sunday afternoon.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek, APThe victims of the Boston Marathon bombing were on the minds of runners and spectators at the 36th annual Chicago Marathon on Sunday, though for many, thoughts of Boston served more to motivate than to scare.

Dramatically increased security and memorial signs, bracelets and shoelaces were all evidence of a changed landscape when the runners lined up at Grant Park’s starting line.

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

Runners streamed down Jackson between the Art Institute and Grant Park as the marathon began, seemingly without a hitch. temperatures hovered in the mid-40s;

This year, someabout 45,000 marathoners registered and organizers said 40,230 crossed the starting line, up 2,000 from last year. Race staff said the 39,115 finished the race Sunday, topping the record of 37,475 last year. Nearly 2 million spectators spectators were expected to cheered on the athletes, according to a city spokeswoman.

The 26.2-mile marathon course started at 7:30 a.m. at Monroe and Columbus, winding through 29 neighborhoods continuing as far north as Addison, as far west as ­Damen and as far south as 35th, finishing in Grant Park at Columbus.

Runners were greeted by blue skies, and cool temperatures. The start-time temperature was 53 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. Marathon medical staff cared for some about 750 runners, and 26 were taken to hospitals, though none was in critical condition.

Before marathoners hit the streets, they and spectators were asked to bow their heads for a moment of silence to honor victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

The winning runners crossed the finish line in just over two hours. Kenyans Dennis Kimetto and Emannuel Mutai pushed each other to smash the course record, and Kimetto won in 2:03:45, short of the world record.

Rita Jeptoo separated from fellow Kenyan Jemima Jelagat Sumgong in the final miles of the 36th Bank of America Chicago Marathon, winning the women’s side in 2:19:57 — her personal best.

American Tatyana McFadden won the third-consecutive women’s wheelchair race in 1:42:35, by three seconds. She also became the first to win Boston, London and Chicago marathons consecutively.

She goes for a fourth win Nov. 3 in New York.

In a nearly photo finish in the men’s wheelchair race, South African Ernst Van Dyk won in 1:30:37 — one second ahead of two others.

Many runners wore blue laces in their shoes as part of the “Laces for Boston” initiative, which raised money for victims of the bombing in that city.

That attack prompted officials to tighten security at Chicago’s event — particularly at the start and finish lines. Steps from Michigan and Jackson, a giant Emergency Alert System banner read “EAS: Alert Level Low.”

Entrances to Grant Park were reduced from seven to four and marathoners weren’t allowed to wear backpacks — only specially issued clear plastic bags. Bomb-sniffing dogs, patrolling officers and random bag checks were evident at the surface of the marathon, but the covert security measures playing out beneath the waterline are ewere equally important, law enforcement officials have said.

High-tech and hush-hush federal equipment are being put towas put to use after a Department of Homeland Security decision to elevate the importance of the event in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

U.S. Marshals with assault rifles were posted along the route, as well as a group of New York-based bomb-sniffing dogs hired through a private contractor. Amtrak Police K-9 units patrolled the route as it passed Union Station. Snow plows were parked to blocking the road at South Columbus Drive next to Millennium Park.

Zachary Dombrowski, 32, said he thought the police did an “immense job,” adding he thought their presence had doubled at every major intersection, and even tripled at the start and finish lines, over compared with last year.

Dombrowski wore the blue laces and a “Boston Strong” bracelet as he ran, but he said fear wasn’t an issue for him on Sunday.

“I’m focused on the race itself,” Dombrowski said. Thinking about Boston “didn’t affect me.”

Standing along the marathon route, Bruce Long, 64, of Aurora, was standing along the marathon route during the race and said he hadn’t seen a ton of security but “it’s the security I don’t see that is more important than the security I do see.”

His daughter, Erin Long, ran her first marathon and started training before the Boston bombings. She was nervous about security and “very aware” of what measures were being taken, Bruce Long said.

Keith Brabeck, 24, ran the Boston Marathon this year, and when he moved from Boston to Chicago, there was no deterring him from attending Sunday’s race to watchas a spectator.

Brabeck note the increased security and he was glad to see it.

“Given the circumstances, I thought it was appropriate,” Brabeck said.

Before crossing the starting line at her first marathon, Magdalene Warner, 25, a Chicago native who lives in Fort Campbell, Ky., said she hadn’t thought about security until the day before the marathon, her first everSaturday.

“It didn’t cross my mind until yesterday when someone said something about it. ,” Warner said. “I didn’t think about it. She asked me, ‘Are you worried?’ ” Warner said. “I was like, I’ll finish. And she said, ‘No, about security.’ So honestly, I’m really not nervous about it. I was here for the Blackhawks rally and I thought they did a really good job with that, and it was the same amount of people.”

Will Rose, of Fox River Grove, said he felt safe as he prepared to run his first marathon on Sunday.

“It seems like they’ve updated [security], I feel pretty good.”

Craig Maseco, 28, of Chicago, was running his seventh marathon here. “We’re all right. I realize streets are clear so that’s good, I like that.”

Standing near the starting line before the race, Dan Klein, 33, of Long Grove, said the added security may be “overkill” but it’swas the new reality.

“I’m not nervous. It’s nice to see the dogs and police and security checks,” he said. “I think it’s good, it’s probably a bit overkill, but it’s the era we live in.”

His wife was disappointed she wouldn’t be able to be at the finish as she was in past years. This year, the finish line was only open to spectators with tickets.

“We’ll have to meet outside way after he finishes,” Holly Klein told the Sun-Times.

Dan Klein added: “I’d rather this than lax security.”

Despite the heavy security, there were moments of levity as spectators lined the route, carrying signs with all manner of encouragement for the runners.

“Run like you’re being chased by clowns,” read one sign attached to a pool noodle.

“Running is a pain in the a - - but it gives you a nice one!!” read another.

“Boston’s strong in Chicago,” said a sign in the first three miles of the race.

“I was right at the finish line in the past, where the bombs would have gone off,” his wife says.

Contributing: LeeAnn Shelton, Mitch Dudek, AP



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