The World's Top 10 Marathons

3= Chicago Marathon


Posted: 8 July 2000

3= Chicago Marathon

It may not have the crowds of New York City or the history of Boston, but in nearly all other respects Chicago now holds the edge as America’s best and biggest marathon. From its nadir in 1987 when the event was cancelled, Chicago has re-established its world-class credentials with a supremely fast course, excellent race management and a concern for the ordinary runner that other events would do well to mirror. The international running community has yet to really discover its charms, but the event has still more than doubled its entry in the last five years

The course: Chicago has a one-loop course that is flat, wide and fast. It starts and finishes in the vast expanse of Grant Park on the shores of Lake Michigan, and showcases many of Chicago’s attractions – from the city-centre skyscrapers to the diverse ethnic neighbourhoods that most tourists never see.
Highs: The start along Columbus Avenue’s long, straight 10-lane highway.
Lows: Indifferent crowd support on large sections of the course.
Watch out for: The free post-race party at the Navy Pier.
Contact: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, PO Box 2784, Chicago, Illinois 60690-2784, USA; tel 001 312 904 9800; e-mail marathon.office@abnamro.com
UK contact: Sports Tours; 0161 7038161
Size: 30,000+
Month: October

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