Chicago Half Marathon
|Chicago Half Marathon|
|Date||September 8, 2013 (next race)
September 9, 2012 (last race)
|Established||October 5, 1997|
|Course records||- (men)
Chicago Half Marathon or Chicago Half Marathon & 5K (formerly Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon presented by the Illinois Agents of Farmers Insurance, Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon & 5K and Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon) is an annual half marathon as well as 5000 metres race occurring in September or October on the South Side of Chicago. The race takes place on an a largely out-and-back course along Lake Shore Drive. With 20,000 registrants and 13,537 finishers in 2009, the race bills itself as the fifth largest half marathon in the United States and the 21st largest road running event in the country. The race is regarded as one of the premier half marathon events, with Runner's World naming it as one of the top 10 half marathons in the United States. Susan Nicholl is the race director and founder of the event. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, this race is known as The people's race.
The course passes by or through several of the most prominent parts of the Chicago Park District on the South Side including Midway Plaissance, Jackson Park and Burnham Park. The route passes through several community areas: Woodlawn, the South Shore border, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, and Douglas. The first running October 5, 1997 occurred along the Lake Michigan lakefront and finished in Grant Park. In 1998, the race moved to the South Side course that begins and ends near the Museum of Science and Industry. That year's race, which had 4100 runners, was part of the USA Track & Field state championship series, crowning the state half marathon champions. The race is now listed as one of three half marathons in Chicago.
Some runners, including 2009 winner Patrick Rizzo, use the race to prepare for the Chicago Marathon. Others, such as four-time winner Chris Wehrman, have used it as a tuneup for the New York City Marathon. The 2004 edition of the race, which had 9,000 runners, served as the USA Track and Field State Championship.
The first race, which had over 3000 competitors, was won by Grzegorz Olszowik of Willowbrook, Illinois (1:09.46) and 1996 Marathon Olympian Jenny Spangler of Gurnee, Illinois (1:20.19). Greg Costello won the race three consecutive times from 2006-2008. Chris Wehrman won the race 4 times in 5 years between 2000 and 2004. In 2006, Banco Popular became the title sponsor of what was called the Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon presented by the Illinois Agents of Farmers Insurance. It continued as sponsor until 2008 when the race was known as the Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon & 5K.
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