Last weekend’s Bank of America Marathon was dedicated to the city’s Olympic and Paralympic bid. Committee members, volunteers, Olympians and Paralympians participated in the event along with 45,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.
Chicago 2016 officials participated in a number of marathon-related activities, including touring the course, the Health & Fitness Expo, and race day festivities.
Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said, “the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a world-class sporting event held in the heart of Chicago that takes runners through 29 of Chicago’s 77 distinct neighbourhoods – showcasing our city’s diversity and passion for sports. The Chicago Marathon mirrors our concept to the Olympic and Paralympic Games – it put athletes and sport in the city centre, surrounded by millions of cheering sports fans”.
During the race 225 Chicago 2016 volunteers manned the finish line aid station, and handed out water. Another 100 volunteers, staff and Olympians were in the Little Italy neighbourhood at the Chicago 2016 cheer station cheering on the runners at mile 18 of the course.
During the pre-race events Chicago 2016 assisted race organizers by working the media check in and providing interpreters at the kick-off press conference to translate for the international media, visitors and athletes.
Volunteers were also on hand at the Health & Fitness Expo to share information about Chicago 60, and special Nike Dri-Fit shirts were available for sale in the bid’s expo booth. Bank of America’s “America’s Cheer” mobile unit gave expo visitors a chance to record video messages about why Chicago should be chosen to host the 2016 Games.