The Chicago Marathon: Past, Present and Future

October 10, 2016

The other day I was perusing the blogs of the New York Public Library (my old stomping grounds) when I came across a piece that was strangely pertinent to my current location.  Called Researching the Chicago Marathon the piece talked about this past Sunday’s race and mentioned the following:

Most runners who are interested in or will run the Chicago Marathon have two main resources to read: One is the Chicago Marathon website where runners register, and the other is the World Marathon Majors’ website, since the Chicago Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors—joining the Tokyo, London, Boston, Berlin, and NYC marathons as one of the largest and most renowned races in the world.

But since this was written by a researcher, what they really wanted to know was more about the race’s history.  Maps, train systems, pertinent databases, and books all play a part.

Well.  That got me curious.  Here we have a NYPL librarian doing all this research.  What does Evanston Public Library have to offer the marathon-curious?  Here then are some pertinent titles, just in case you’ve a hankering for some marathoning (and yep, I do indeed regret writing that, but for whatever reason I’m not going to amend it).

The Chicago Marathon by Andrew G. Suozzo


Mentioned in the NYPL piece, the researcher says he, “found the historic information fascinating: Andrew Suozzo covers the history of the Chicago Marathon starting from its grassroots foundation from local clubs and the initial political obstacle it faced. Later, the focus shifts from Mayor Bilandic honoring the first marathon to the late Mayor Daley, to the stories behind the elite male and female runners who broke world records on the course.”

Running Commentary: A Life on the Run by Will Van Dyke


They say it’s inspirational to both new runners and old.  A tale of a man, and how he proceeds to show what 50 years worth of running can do for a person.

Aaaaaaaand  . . . . . *checks website* . . . . yeah, that’s all we’ve got folks.  At least about the Chicago marathon specifically.  But if you’d like a couple books on becoming a marathoner yourself, then please be so good as to consider these:


Imagine running a thousand marathons in a thousand days so as to reach enlightenment.  Some monks do it!  Japan, as it turns out, is the most running obsessed country in the world and this book shows precisely how and why.

Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training by Hal Higdon


If you’d like to start marathoning, but you don’t want to go whole hog, consider Mr. Higdon’s methods for a kind of start.

Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat Like a Champion Marathoner by Meb Keflezighi


Publishers Weekly called this book, ” a perfect accessory for marathon training.”  Its author won the 2014 Boston Marathon and this book covers everything you might need to get ready.  As PW concluded, “The format is clean and the writing is simple and strong, all making this book a valuable tool for anyone with their sights set on running a marathon.”


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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