Running coverage of the 2012 Chicago Marathon today.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon ran out of medals for about 1,300 participants who finished the course seven hours after it had begun. Marathon organizers said they were reaching out to all of those individuals to arrange to mail or ship them a medal, said Diane Wagner, a spokeswoman for Bank of America.
“We are ensuring that every runner who crossed the finish line will receive a medal to recognize their accomplishments, said Wagner.
The marathon will be donating clothing left behind at the marathon to Pacific Garden Rescue Mission. After it was over, runners rummaged through dozens of bags of clothing.
-- Naomi Nix
Runner suffers cardiac arrest during marathon
Officials with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon say one man suffered a cardiac arrest near the end of the race and nine others were also hospitalized.
Race medical director Dr. George Chiampas says the 47-year-old man was alert and talking on Sunday after being shocked twice. He declined to say where the runner was from and wasn't sure if the runner had a previous heart condition.
The runner suffered the cardiac arrest around the 21st mile.
Chiampas says at least nine other runners had also been taken by ambulance with injuries or ailments, although none were life-threatening.
-- Associated Press
Marathoners look forward to 'long shower, lots of food'
At the finish line of Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon, runners walked with medals around their necks and beers in their hands. And they talked about running 26-plus miles on an October Sunday in Chicago.
For Abbey Breshears and Lisa Sudmeier, both 26, the Chicago marathon was not only a chance to challenge themselves athletically but also to reconnect with each other.
Both were on the track team at Washington College, where they often trained with each other. After graduating in 2008, they moved apart. Breshears lives in San Francisco, while Sudmeier lives in Madison, Wis.
"We don't get to see each other enough," said Sudmeier.
Sunday they spent several hours running together. Both said they were disappointed they didn't finish the race in under three hours.
"If it's not where you want to be, it's sad," said Breshears, who finished in about 3 hours and 9 minutes. "It's all relative."
Sprawled on the ground outside the finish line, the two women said their muscles felt cramped but were looking forward to rest of their day.
"Laying (around). Maybe a bath," Breshears said.
"Long shower. Lots of food," they both said in unison.
Calvin Aschliman's entry into the Chicago Marathon world was somewhat accidental. He was fixing a copier at the Chicago Area Runners Association headquarters, where he learned about the association's running programs.
At age 49, he joined one for new beginners near his home in Hyde Park.
"They said by the end of this program, you will be able to run 20 minutes nonstop and I didn't believe them," the 57-year-old said.
About two years later, he was running his first Chicago marathon. He has run three more since, including Sunday, and five others elsewhere.
"If he didn't have a marathon to train for, he would never run," said his wife, Annie Stewart, 54.
Though Aschliman said he achieved his goal of clocking a time under 3:50 (he finished in 3:48.00), it wasn't always smooth sailing.
"When I saw her (Stewart) at mile 22, I sort of had my doubts because my calf started to tighten," he said. "So I stretched and kissed her."
"And one of those helped," joked Stewart.
The couple drove up from their home in Indianapolis last night and had picked out places to meet along the way.
"If you don't pick very specific spots, it's hard to find somebody," he said.
The two plan to finish their day with a 3-hour drive home to Indianapolis."I think he's gonna sleep. I think I'll drive," Stewart said.
It was a good race for Arik Anderson, 31, who said he was happy to finish in under three hours and get a Boston Marathon qualifying time.
"The last three miles I felt surprisingly good," he said, adding that the "good weather" helped him finish at around 2 hours and 58 minutes.
Anderson, who currently lives in New York, said he has been running the Chicago marathon since 2006.
"I didn't do last year's so I'm happy to be back," he said.
-- Naomi Nix
Two Ethiopian winners in Chicago Marathon
With a stunning effort over the second half of the race, Tsegaye Kebede became the first Ethiopian man to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and broke the year-old course record by nearly a minute.
Another Ethiopian, Atsede Baysa, won the women's race. She edged out Kenyan Rita Jeptoo at the finish line in one of the closest women's finishes in Chicago Marathon history. Baysa won in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 3 seconds.
Kebede clocked 2 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds. Moses Mosop of Kenya ran the race in 2:05:37 last year.
Kebede, the 2010 runner-up, pounded out five straight sub-4:40 miles to shred the pack down to two runners and pulled inexorably away from countryman Feyisa Lilesa in the 26th mile. Lilesa finished in 2:04:52.
The winner covered the second half in 61:53 after a first half in 62:55.
"I don't believe it," Kebede said of the time.
A view of the marathon: Fans, free beer, flags
As runners traveled down LaSalle Street on the Near North Side, spectators were crowded two- or three-people deep in some places.
It was the biggest crowd that Mary Racila, who has been watching her cousin Jeff Zwit run for four or five years, could remember.
"A lot more people came," she said. "A lot more spectators."
Racila and her husband were holding two pieces of posterboard with pictures of Zwit, a Chicago police officer, and his partner, who was also running the race.
Just north of where Racila was watching at LaSalle and Superior, Ken Regan was running what might have been the race's most popular refreshment stand.
Regan, who owns an apartment building along LaSalle, set up a card table with Dixie Cups full of Budweiser and Bud Light. It's an annual tradition that was started by the building's previous owner more than a decade ago, he said.
Regan bought six cases of mini beer cans and expected them all to be gone by 9 a.m.
"Free beer for runners," Regan's friends shouted as the marathoners ran past.
Most declined, but a few stopped for the treat.
National pride was on display along LaSalle Street, where spectators waved Danish, American, British and Trinidad and Tobago flags to support runners.
One woman draped in a German banner stepped off the curb and sprinted alongside a racer to hand off a giant bottle of water.
Not far away, Urs Krieg and others were waving Swiss flags. Krieg, who lives near Zurich, was in town watching family members and friends race.
But had Krieg ever considered running?
"Maybe next year," he said with a laugh.
Near the starting line, friends and family were lined up on the sidelines cheering the runners on.
Julia Dragstrem of Naperville stood near Columbus Drive hoping to see her daughter-in-law pass through the start line.
"I think we could see her any second," she said, bouncing a homemade sign up and down. "Did we miss her?"
She had already missed her son, who was so engrossed in his headphones that he went right past.
"I had a big sign and everything," Julia said.
She is not a runner herself but says she is proud of her family.
"I think it's awesome to get out and do this."
Near North Avenue and LaSalle Drive, about 4.5 miles into the race, folks were cheering on the last group of runners to pass.
Patrick Little, 56, was holding up a sign that read, "E.T. Go Run Home" in support of his 54-year-old wife Elizabeth.
"We haven't seen her. She has got yellow flowers in her hair," he said, waving the sign above his head. "She has probably already passed."
Though she has been exercising for about five years, this was the first marathon for the Louisiana woman.
"I couldn't even do that," said her daughter Clara Little, 22. "I'm very impressed."
-- Mitchell Smith and Naomi Nix
Illinois native McFadden, Cassidy win wheelcair races
Tatyana McFadden added to her Olympic glory. The Illinois native won the women's wheelchair division of the Chicago Marathon in 1 hour 49 minutes 52 seconds, adding to her three Olympic gold medals.
Josh Cassidy, 27, was the first to cross the finish line at the Chicago Marathon, winning the the wheelchair race in an unofficial time of 1:32:58.
It's chilly -- but runners like it
Thousands of runners poured onto Columbus Drive in the chill early Sunday morning, many wearing shorts and multi-colored running shoes.
An estimated 45,000 people are participating in the 2012 Bank of America marathon, which started with a siren around 7:30 a.m.
Most runners started out in a walk as the crowd approached the start line near Columbus and Monroe Drive.
Few seemed fazed by the 40-degree temperatures.
"We could not ask for better weather," said Alison Raitt, who has qualified for the Boston Marathon. The Los Angeles runner is hoping to run in the top 5 marathons, including Chicago, London, New York, London and Berlin.
"The training is hard, but the reward at the end is worth it," said Raitt.
Runners travelled from as far away as Russia and Ethiopia to run in Chicago. Isaias Castellanos said he hopes the flat course will make it easier for him to qualify for the Boston Marathon; he said he will need a time of 3 hours and 23 seconds, which would beat his personal best of 3 hours and 26 seconds.
"I'm hoping I'll make it here," he said, wearing a trash bag to shield himself from the cold. "But still, whether I make it or not, I'll still enjoy it."
-- Naomi Nix
Runner with a cause
As thousands of runners hit the streets this morning with only Chicago's architecture to pass the hours a way, EJ Scott will be running the marathon blindfolded.
Scott suffers from a rare retinal degenerative disease, choroidermia, which eventually leads to total blindness. And though he has been running regularly for the last few years, this year he set an ambitious goal: to run 12 marathons in 12 cities in one year while raising more than 100,000 dollars for research for choroidermia.
So far he has raised about $75,000 and run nine marathons.
Choroidermia is a genetic disease that is passed on to males in the family. Scott, 36, and his 26-year brother as well as his 4-year old nephew have been diagnosed with the disease.
"It means I will definitely go blind unless something is done about it. It means my brother will definitely go blind unless something is done about it," he said. "We don't have a lot of time. People are losing their sight."
Scott was first diagnosed in 2003 after his brother went in for a check-up. Since then he says he has about 10 percent of his sight, which he describes as "tunnel vision." He has stopped driving and now walks with a cane.
Sunday he will be wearing a blindfold to protect his eyes from the sunlight so he doesn't go blind faster. Two people will be running with him to help him navigate the course.
He says he will miss not seeing Chicago's scenic course but says the money he will raise is well worth it.
"Choroidermia and blindness gets so little attention that its hard to raise it," he said. "We're not as close as I'd like us to be."
You can donate at ejscott.com.
-- Naomi Nix
Weather, traffic notes for 2012 marathon
About 45,000 participants from all 50 states and runners from more than 100 countries are expected to take part today in the 35th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Weather conditions are expected to be brisk, with temperatures in the low 40s at the start of the race along with chilly winds out of the northwest. Temperatures will slowly rise through the morning heading toward a high in the low 50s -- though you won't see that temperature until most of the runners have finished.
Watch for signs marking street closures and parking restrictions throughout the race route, which begins in Grant Park and extends north to Addison Street, west to Damen Avenue and south to 35th Street. No-parking restrictions along the route start at 1 a.m. Sunday.
Among the streets closed by the race are Columbus Drive, Grand Avenue, State Street, Sheridan Road, Clark Street, Ogden Avenue, Ashland Avenue, Halsted Street, Cermak Road, Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road and many more that aren't on the actual route will be affected. All of the closures will start about 7 a.m. today (though some roads in the Grant Park area are already closed) and the roads are expected to re-open gradually as the runners pass. Here's a detailed map of road closures.
"Extensive planning and the collaboration is part of hosting any large-scale Chicago event and public safety is of paramount importance," said Gary W. Schenkel, executive director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. "We encourage all participants and spectators to be alert, pay attention to any announcements by officials on race day and be prepared for any change in weather conditions that can impact their health or safety."
The marathon starts in two waves, one at 7:30 a.m. and the other at 8 a.m. Some street closures already are in effect around Grant Park. Route closures begin about 7 a.m. All city streets are anticipated to be reopened by 4:30 p.m. or when it is deemed safe to do so, OEMC said.
Residents are encouraged to read signage before parking in the area and to call 311 to locate a towed vehicle.
As always, public transportation is encouraged for these events. The CTA will run extra trains and buses for the marathon, and start service earlier Sunday.
For more route and marathon information, see www.chicagomarathon.com.
On Monday, downtown traffic will be affected by the annual Columbus Day parade, which steps off at noon on Columbus Drive and runs from Balbo to Monroe.
-- Heywood Hoffman