by Andrew Suozzo
University of Illinois Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-252-03168-7 | eISBN: 978-0-252-05636-9 | Paper: 978-0-252-07421-9
Library of Congress Classification GV1065.22.L37S86 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.4252


Received the Hal Higdon Journalism Award, recognizing serious journalism about running from the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA, 2007).

The first book-length study of the city’s great annual contest

In The Chicago Marathon, Andrew Suozzo reveals this citywide ritual as far more than a simple race. Providing a full-spectrum look at the event’s production and participants, Suozzo shows how the elements that comprise the marathon also reflect modern Chicago’s politics, it’s people, and the ways the city engages with the wider world.

The book encompasses all of the forces that come together to make the race the spectacle it has become today. Beginning with a brisk history of the marathon, Suozzo leads readers from its origins in Greek mythology to its modern reality, and also along its rocky road to international prominence.  He investigates the roles of sponsorship, small-business support, and the city’s intervention on behalf of the marathon, as well as the alliances the event has forged with the media and charity fundraisers. He also discusses race management and the grassroots support that ultimately make it possible, with a special perspective on the aid station directors and volunteers. Finally, The Chicago Marathon features numerous interviews with the runners themselves, ranging from world-renowned professional athletes to amateurs with diverse backgrounds and abilities.