26.2 for Chicago

Every year, it's Chicago's greatest weekend. In Boystown, there will be dancers in the street. In Pilsen, the joyful sound of Mariachis will keep the runners in step. And in Chinatown — look out for dragons, moving to the drummers' beat.

But this isn't just any weekend. On race day, over 40,000 runners will be cheered on by 2 million spectators. And over $330 million will be generated throughout the weekend, supporting local businesses and charities with vital impact that will last the entire year.

To understand what the power of the weekend does for Chicago’s economy, listen to voices of Chicagoland: Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski, who designed the course through 29 neighborhoods, now marvels that the event raised $18.5 million for local charities in 2017 alone. Chicago Market President Paul Lambert, who has run the marathon nine times, views the course route as a tour of Chicago, connecting the city to the globe. City Scents Flower Shop owner Theresa Montana explains the yearly boost to her business, when millions of spectators celebrate in the streets. Most taking part in the weekend, enjoy a 3-day stay in Chicago during race weekend, taking advantage of local food, hotels and entertainment.

In 2017, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon became the largest marathon to earn the highest possible certification — Inspire Level — from the Council for Responsible Sport. It's the result of year-round planning that includes incorporating environmentally and socially responsible practices. Spectators along the course this year will see recycling efforts, food donation and water-fill stations.

"Honoring the Bank of America Chicago Marathon's impact on our community and the environment demonstrates how one positive action can make a huge difference in the lives of many," said Paul Lambert, Chicago Market president, Bank of America. "We're proud to be part of this great initiative, and it builds on our commitment to becoming better environmental stewards in our local communities."


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