Sunday morning at 8am is typically a very quiet time in downtown Chicago. This morning, Sunday, October 9th, there was great crowds and enthusiasm as Chicagoans and family members came out to cheer on the 40,000 runners participating in the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon.
Maureen and I went to cheer on the participants and to see the great turn-out of people enjoying our beautiful city.
The race began at 7:55 with the start of the Wheel Chair Athletes
The race began at 7:59 at the corner of Columbus Drive and Monroe. This is the one of the boundaries of the Taste of Chicago during its 10 day summer run. The BP Gehry bridge is in the background.
With 40,000 participants, it takes almost 30 minutes to get all the runners out on the 26,2 mile course. This is a very challenging day to drive in Chicago as one wrong turn may have you blocked for several hours.
The Marathon starts north on Columbus Drive and crosses the Chicago River.
Every participant seems to have a dozen supporters who travelled with them. Combined with all the Chicagoans, who came out to cheer, over 1.2 million people are lining the route giving encouragement to the runners
The race heads west on Grand Avenue and heads underneath Michigan Avenue. Here you can see Navy Pier in the background.