became a landmark year for running in Chicago when over 4,200 runners turned out for the first Mayor Daley Marathon, making
it the largest big city marathon in the world.
soon gripped the city with several other shorter races organized for the first time -- including the first Chicago Distance Classic (now the Rock 'n Roll Marathon) featuring an incredible 5,000 runners.
Adding to the excitement, Chicago aimed to become "the running capital of the world'' and turned five miles of an old horseback riding path along the lakefront into jogging paths. Due to overwhelming popularity, it ultimately grew to 18 miles around.
Today, the Chicago Marathon is renowned for its great local support, superb organization, and for being the world's fastest and flattest course.
Over 1.2 million spectators are expected to line the 26.2-mile course for the Chicago Marathon for it's landmark 40th anniversary this year, beginning at 7AM on Sunday, October 8, 2017. The traditional start and finish is in Grant
Park on Columbus Drive, near Buckingham Fountain.
Chicago Marathon best viewing
To view runners closest to the start of the race, go to Grand Avenue, between Columbus Drive and State Street, near Mile 1, or anywhere along State Street, between Grand Avenue and Jackson Boulevard. To view runners closest to the finish of the race, go to the Bank of America Cheer Zone at Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road..
Also watch for comprehensive TV coverage on race day airing on NBC Chicago.
Meanwhile, check out related maps and pictures, recent stats and running times plus lots more on this year's Windy City run ....
More about the Chicago Marathon around the Web:
Marathon - The official site with info on this year's race, entry & registration details, parking and transportation, Chicago travel info, tourist attractions and accommodations, how to become a member of the volunteer crew, spectator guide and course map, race day photos & video, marathon weekend events, complete results.
Chicago Transit Authority - Check out this guide from the CTA on how to get to the start of the race on the big day, as well as prime viewing areas.
Chicago Area Runners Association - Great resource for prospective Chicago Marathon runners featuring the latest news, local race calendar, membership info, maps, best places to train, interactive pace calculators, fun runs, recent results, related message boards.