As host to the first major marathon since the tragic twin bombings at this year's Boston Marathon, Chicago implemented the tightest security in its history.
It seems to have paid off. Even with a record 40,230 runners participating this year, Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon went off without a security hitch.
"Congratulations to all of the runners who participated in today’s Chicago marathon," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "These athletes did more than run 26.2 miles through our city and neighborhoods, they came together from across the globe to celebrate the human spirit."
This year, the race's start and finish areas were locked down to anyone without proper credentials or event-issued bib numbers. Checkpoints were increased, runners were required to pick up their own race-day packets and random bag checks were instituted.
Executive race director Carey Pinkowski said many of the security policies were already in place, but after the tragedy in Boston, race organizers decided to enhance them.
"As we planned for this year's event, we were profoundly affected by what took place in Boston this past April," Pinkowski said last week. "The heartbreaking events left a lasting impression on all of us, but it was evident to me and our organization how strong, how determined and united the running community it is. Together we move forward, we move forward with confidence."
That community was abundantly clear, from the morning moment of silence for Boston Marathon victims, to the sideline support from fans to the incredible stories created by a multitude of runners.
Dennis Kimetto set a course record with his win in the elite men's race, marking his second marathon win of the year. Rita Jeptoo got her redemption, taking home the win in the women's race after finishing second in a photo finish last year.
A huge feat was accomplished in the wheelchair race. University of Illinois alum Tatyana McFadden won her third consecutive Chicago Marathon in the women's race, making her the first person to win three major marathons in a season.
Ernst VanDyk of South Africa beat Kurt Fearnley of Australia by one second to win the men's race.
Countless other goals were achieved by runners spanning skill and experience. Thousands of dollars were raised for charity and finishing medals were worn with pride.