Countdown to Chicago Marathon Continues

Chicago is one of six World Marathon Majors

With less than 40 hours left before 45,000 marathoners put their training to the test in the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon runners are finalizing their preparations and setting their time goals.

The elite runners are projected to finish in just over two hours, and on the men's side it's expected to come down to Kenenisa Bakele from Ethiopa and Elliot Kipchoge from Kenya in possible record time.

“The weather that we're looking at on Sunday is probably as good as it gets,” said American runner Dathan Ritzenhein.

Ritzenhein, currently ranked as America's fastest marathoner, is not running Sunday, but he says he wouldn't be surprised to see course records from the men and the elite women.

“If the wind stays down, that's going to be the biggest factor,” he said.

There are also three women capable of running the event in less than 2 hours and 20 minutes.

While it may be about records, competition, and prize money for the elites, typical runners are also facing down Sunday's challenge.

Chicago is one of six World Marathon Majors.

The elite series announced Thursday that Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories will be its new title sponsor. The group bought the naming rights through 2018.

“By getting involved in marathons around the world, we're really kind of signaling who we are as Abbott. What's our core identity? What are we all about?” said Paul Magill, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Abbott Laboratories.

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