Sunday marks the 35th year for the running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. With 45,000 participants it seems everyone knows someone lacing up their shoes and running the streets of our city. I was a short distant runner — long ago — so this length is always daunting to me. The training and discipline alone are quite demanding. This year I have a former student, Gary Craig, taking part. Every day he tweets the count-down to the race. (In my mind, I think, "better him than me.")
Just like any individualized sport there are individual stories, from the person losing weight or overcoming an illness to the person just crossing the finish line to say, "I did it." This is usually the case for runners behind the elite runners, who have more lofty goals. But some of them have interesting stories, too. Last year's runner up, Wesley Korir of Kenya, has had a terrific year after winning the Boston Marathon on a very warm April 16th. He has a pretty interesting story, too.
After earning a scholarships at Murray State and the University of Louisville, Korir remained in the U.S. and began competing in long distance races. Sunday he could be crowned where he first started running marathons in 2008. In that first Chicago Marathon, Korir wasn’t with the elite runners and started back in the pack.