The 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon begins on Sunday and marks a triumphant return after the global coronavirus pandemic canceled the race last year.
For the first time in more than 700 days, thousands of runners will hit the streets of Chicago for the largest and most prominent race in the city.
This year’s race will be a comeback celebration, but there will also be some exceptional racing drivers, including Reuben Kipyego, the second fastest man of 2021, the Olympic and former marathon champion Galen Rupp, the Kenyan sensation Ruth Chepngetich and Sara Hall, making the race will be making a comeback in more ways than one as it seeks to break a big record in this year’s race.
And while much of the race will feel like a return to normal that will bring pride and inspiration to Chicago, it will also include some new guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.
Requirements include vaccinations or proof of a negative COVID test, masking in specific areas, and more.
The runners not only have to fight each other, they are also confronted with unusually warm temperatures on Sunday, which make the conditions difficult.
At 7am at the start line, conditions are expected to be mid to late 60s and dry, but temperatures will get warmer as the day progresses.
With both humidity and temperatures rising, runners can expect warm conditions to be well above average, rising into the upper 70s and lower 80s as the day progresses, although runners have the added benefit of being on the lakefront reported where usually cooler temperatures prevail.
Other major races, usually held in the US in the spring, have also been postponed until this fall, making it an exciting time for runners.
Bank of America Chicago Marathon Race Director Carey Pinkowski acknowledged that hosting the Chicago race during an Olympic year combined with a fall racing season spanning all six Abbott World Marathon majors adds to the excitement of the city’s popular race.
Several athletes in the elite wheelchair competition will compete in Chicago on October 10 and Boston on October 11, with Daniel Romanchuk, Marcel Hug and Tatyana McFadden planning to complete the doubles.