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Arment Dietrich

Chicago marathon: Come and gone?

By: Arment Dietrich | October 15, 2008 | 
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon held last weekend on the streets of Chicago had 45,000 people registered to run.  Only 33,000 of those showed up, and not being a runner myself but an interested viewer, I heard very little about the race at all. Most sat inside last year at this time watching it on television, too hot to stand outside and cheer, while the racers were forced to stop due to the record heat.  Race day hit a grueling 88 degrees and organizers were not prepared, leaving runners with not nearly enough water or supplies causing numerous injuries among other things. 

This became a PR nightmare almost as fast as the winner crossed through the finish line.  So this year, things were to be different.  They made certain there was enough water and fluid stations for every runner.  There would not be another situation like the one they endured in 2007, only problem is, no one heard much about it.  Organizers were so concerned with averting another crisis, that they forgot to do public relations.

I understand the apprehension, but this race brings in $140 million to our economy.  Sixty-five charities are represented hoping to bring in more than $10 million, these are outstanding accomplishments, not to mention the thousands of runners doing this for the first time or the ninth time. 

These accomplishments deserve to be shared and not avoided due to concern of bad publicity.  I admire you all, even if I didn’t hear your personal stories, all 33,000 of you.