26.2 for all of us

For 41 years, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been a highlight for the city of Chicago. 40,000 runners, 10,000 volunteers and 1.2 million local and international spectators come together for a weekend filled with inspiration.
Running a marathon is a tremendous accomplishment. Throughout the 26.2 miles of the course, runners experience pain and doubt, but their grit, determination and personal motivations carry them through. Three of this year’s runners, Joe, Lynn and Brian share what drives them through the course. They are all running for deeply personal reasons and their journey to the starting line gives them the power to inspire millions.

26.2 for second chances

Meet Joe Clark also known as Chicago Joe. Joe is from the west side of Chicago and the last thing he imagined he’d be doing was running a marathon. Growing up, his neighborhood was infested with gangs and drugs. For 20 years, Joe had been in and out of prison and struggling with substance abuse.

Today, Joe has turned his life around and is training for his second Bank of America Chicago Marathon. He credits his transformation to hard work, humility and the help of the running program, Back on my Feet.

As a Chicago native, he’s proud to run his hometown marathon and show that people can change. Sometimes, they just need a second chance.

26.2 for starting again

Meet Lynn Rogers, a research scientist who is running this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Lynn’s story is one of resilience. In 2017, Lynn found herself unable to walk as an extremely rare autoimmune disease left her paralyzed from the chest down.

Lynn has managed to remain positive, never letting the thought of stopping come to mind. She’s used this mantra to make it through the ups and downs of recovery, “I’ll fall down but I always get back up.”

After months of physical therapy, she’s ready to run her 10th Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This year, she’ll be running for everyone who hasn’t gotten to the place where they can run.

26.2 for crushing limits

When Brian was four-years-old, he lost both of his legs to a blood infection. Despite the difficulty, Brian has never thought losing his legs should be an excuse to stop striving for greatness.

Last year at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, he set his personal record, a staggering 3:06. This year, he’s hungry for more. He plans to set the record for double-amputees and run a sub 3-hour marathon.

Brian wants to use this experience to inspire others — not just amputees — to conquer any challenge placed in front of them.


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