Final preparations for the 2013 Bank of Chicago Marathon began Saturday as runners began their final moments of training along Lake Michigan and others took to the city’s streets.
With less than 24 hours to go, Chicago is set for the Chicago Marathon, drawing competitors and spectators from all over the world.
“I'm from Toronto,” said runner Audrey Pattacks. “I'm really nervous it's my first time.”
“I'm from Brazil it will be my first marathon,” said fellow first-timer Rafael Vendremine. “I'm a little afraid but very excited.”
It's a diversity of cultures and causes as the marathon raises funds for charities, raking in more than $15 million last year.
“We're from the Cayman Islands and we're running for the Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Association,” said participant Emily Harrison.
“We raise money for the Red Cross local efforts and we're all here together to run the Chicago Marathon,” said Susan Mungo.
The marathon’s race director said Saturday was a day of testing communications, setting up corrals, tents and conducting walk-throughs.
“Everything's moving along very well,” said Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “We're on schedule and optimistic about a great day.”
Parking restrictions for the event begin at 1 a.m. Sunday.
Marathon organizers said the much-publicized new security measures are in place and the city is ready for race day. After the Boston Marathon bombings, the Chicago Marathon stepped up security, increasing checkpoints, banning spectators from the start and finish lines, and requiring runners to pick up their own race-day packets.
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