After the disappointment of New York marathon's cancellation, there is an added sense of excitement for this year's Chicago marathon on 13 October. One of the six majors, many consider Chicago to be New York's biggest rival, with entries opening for the race at 12pm on 19 February.
The marathon course is fast, flat and offers a scenic tour of Chicago, weaving through the 29 neighbourhoods of the city. The race starts and finishes in Grant Park, first heading north through the Loop, River North, Lincoln Park and Lakeview, then west past Greektown, the United Center and UIC before heading south through Chinatown, Bridgeport and the South Loop.
British runners have traditionally fared well in the marathon with Steve Jones winning in 1984 and 1985, and Paula Radcliffe famously taking first place at the women's race in 2002, setting a world best of 2.17.18. The female race is particularly popular, with Chicago having the highest percentage of women runners out of all the majors.
Specialist sports travel company, Sports Tours International, is offering UK runners various travel packages for the event, including race entry, flights and accommodation. For more information, visit the STI website