Sunday, October 22, 2006

This is a friendly reminder to my readers, though I know you knew anyway, that the Chicago Marathon is tomorrow. For those who wondering which of Daniel Njenga, Charles Kibiwott and Dejene Berhanu will be victorious, you can find out tomorrow morning starting at 8 am. Local radio station WSCR 670AM will have coverage of the race. Shan, I will probably be up, and I know you will be. Since I mentioned a few of the contenders, I pick Kibiwott, a fast-rising star, to beat a strong challenge from the veteran Njenga, who has a string of strong finishes at Chicago, but no wins. Njenga has finished third or better four years in a row with a best of 2:06:16, set here.

Thinking about this race has to run chills down the spine of any runner, as does this video. It's one thing to run a big race with some great runners, Kenyan or otherwise, but it's another to run in the same race as the best in the world. The field at Chicago is a little weak this year with the withdrawal of favourite Felix Limo and the absence of defending champion Evans Rutto, but world records have been set here. Very few races are worthy of being followed as you would follow sports conventionally; after sanctioned world championships, Chicago, London, New York and Boston are the only ones. In all other cases, you can only go to the race and watch, which is easily more fun, but those races are not world-class competitions. This one is, this is a race that everyone around the world will notice, and so should you.

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