Thousands of runners hit the West Side of Chicago Sunday for the inaugural Bank of America Chicago 13.1, which made its long-awaited debut following two years of pandemic delays.
The half marathon saw nail-biting finishes and plenty of excitement as wheelchair athletes and runners kicked off the new running event in the city.
Among the elite finishes was a close call in the wheelchair race, which saw Bank of America Chicago Marathon alums Daniel Romanchuk and Aaron Pike finishing in less than a second of each other. Though their times were the same at 44:24, Romanchuk narrowly took the victory.
On the women's wheelchair side, Susannah Scaroni cruised to a clear victory with no challengers in sight at a time of 46:07.
John Dressel took the first spot for the men's race, coming in with a time of 1:02:17. Carrie Verdon took the top women's spot, finishing with a time of 1:11:15.
The half marathon course started and eneded in the city's Garfield Park, taking participants through Humboldt and Douglass Parks and on a tour of several neighborhoods that line the boulevards connecting all three parks.
In addition to the race, a free outdoor festival was held for both participants and community residents. The festival, also in Garfield Park, opened at 8 a.m. and features "a mix of entertainment, health and wellness activities and community activations," organizers said.
There will also be a track and field clinic for youth athletic groups, put on by USA Track & Field.
"I'm just humbled by the turnout and the support," executive race director Carey Pinkowski told NBC 5. "When we decided to do this, part of motivation was this marathon, this has been an idea and a concept and we worked on it, starting pulling together, got the planning going and then we had to pause with response to COVID. So our team stuck together, and here we are. It's exciting."