The Chicago Marathon

Every year, 45,000 racers start the Chicago Marathon; 44,940 of them have absolutely no chance of winning.  This is their web site.

Every year, more than a million spectators come out to support the racers.  This is their web site.

Every year, dozens of world-class athletes run the Chicago Marathon, setting records on a regular basis.  This is not their web site.

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In my entire adult life it is quite possible I have not run a total of 26 miles, so it goes without saying that I am fairly impressed when someone runs 26.2 miles in a small number of hours.

And I'm sure I'm not alone.  I think that's why a million people show up to support so many racers who simply will not compete for first.  These are "ordinary" people doing something extraordinary.

The racers certainly have different motivations.  Some want to set a personal best.  Some run to remember a loved one.  Some to raise money for a favorite charity.  But I suspect most are there for one reason – to set a goal which seems unattainable, and then accomplish it.

In the end I believe that's why so many of us support the racers - to experience, vicariously, that with commitment and dedication, we're all capable of something extraordinary.