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  • Press Release: Chicago 2016 Participates in Bank of America Chicago Marathon


    CHICAGO (October 15, 2008) This weekend, Chicago 2016 committee members, volunteers, Olympians and Paralympians participated in the world-class Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Dedicated to the city's Olympic and Paralympic bid, the 2008 marathon saw 45,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Chicago 2016 participated in a number of marathon-related activities, including touring the course, the Health & Fitness Expo and race day festivities.

    The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a world-class sporting event held in the heart of Chicago that takes runners through 29 of Chicago's 77 distinct neighborhoods showcasing our city's diversity and passion for sports, said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. The Chicago Marathon mirrors our concept for the Olympic and Paralympic Games it put athletes and sport in the city center, surrounded by millions of cheering sports fans.

    Volunteer Presence

    On race day, 225 Chicago 2016 volunteers manned the finish line aid station, cheering on runners as they completed the race, handing out water and attending the aid station. Another 100 volunteers, staff and Olympians were in the Little Italy neighborhood at the Chicago 2016 cheer station, cheering on the runners at mile 18 of the course. During the pre-race events, Chicago 2016 assisted race organizers by working the media check-in, and by providing interpreters at the kick-off press conference to translate for international media, visitors and athletes.

    Health & Fitness Expo

    Volunteers were on hand at the Health & Fitness Expo to share information about Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and special Nike Dri-FIT shirts were available for sale in the bid's expo booth. Bank of America's. America's Cheer mobile unit gave expo visitors a chance to record video messages about why Chicago should be chosen to host the Games.

    Olympian and Paralympian Participation

    Sunday's marathon was attended by Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, honorary starter for the elite race, Paralympian Jessica Galli, honorary starter for the wheelchair race, and Olympians Cat Osterman and Jim Spivey, honorary starters for the open field competition. The Olympians also handed out medals as runners crossed the finish line.

    Community Relations

    Representatives from Chicago 2016's community relations team rode in the lead vehicle ahead of the elite runners, viewing the completed course as it traveled through 29 Chicago neighborhoods, and witnessing first-hand the best way to involve Chicago's vibrant and distinct communities. 

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