Mayor Richard M. Daley helped the organizers of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon kick off the start to marathon weekend by honoring Carey Pinkowski for his 20 years as executive race director of the event.
At this year’s marathon press conference, Daley revealed that the race’s start at the intersection of Monroe Street and Columbus Drive will bear the name “honorary Carey Pinkowski Drive.”
“Carey Pinkowski brought this marathon from what it was, to what it is today,” Daley said. “It started out as a small race and now brings 45,000 participants to the city. It brings a tremendous amount of revenue to the city of Chicago.”
“It’s been an honor to be a spokesperson for this event,” Pinkowski said. “But it really is about the thousands of people behind the scenes who make it happen.”
The announcement was part of an event that began the weekend’s festivities in preparation for the 32nd annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 11. Race organizers confirmed that this year’s event has 45,000 registered runners, including 7,500 runners who are from outside the United States.
The race also features more than 8,000 runners who will be running the money to raise money for 123 different charities. Last year runners at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon raised more than $10 million dollars for charities affiliated with the race.
Other news coming from the press conference:
• Race sponsor Nike and Bank of America donated $100,000 in support of youth running in Chicago. The money will be used to refurbish Hanson Stadium, a Chicago Public Schools facility on the northwest side. The stadium has hosted various track & field events from the elementary to high school level.
• Nike also announced a Reuse-A-Shoe Drive, which will encourage Chicagoans to donate used running shoes to be recycled this weekend. The shoes will be turned into Nike Grind material, which is used to manufacture sports surfaces and playgrounds. From Oct. 8 to Oct. 16, runners will be able to drop off used shoes of any brand at Niketown, Nike retail locations, city locations of Bank of America, the marathon expo at McCormick Place and at the finish-line area at the race on Sunday. For a full list of locations, visit www.chicagomarathon.com. To find out more about the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program, visit www.nikereuseashoe.com.
• The Bank of America Chicago Marathon race expo opens tomorrow for runners at the McCormick Place Convention Center. The expo is free and features more than 175 exhibitors. Expo hours are Friday, October 9, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, October 10, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• A University of Illinois study showed that last year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon generated a $143 million impact on the city of Chicago.