The 44th Bank of America Chicago Marathon is attracting runners from all 50 states this year and more than 100 countries.
CHICAGO (WLS) -- We are just hours away from tens of thousands of runners taking to the streets of Chicago in the 44th Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
The event is attracting runners from all 50 states this year and more than 100 countries.
People packed into Italian Village Restaurants in the heart of the Loop Saturday night for a massive carb intake.
"We make sure we load up on plenty of pasta, plenty of bread. We know what we're serving today," said Jared Gelvand, Italian Village Restaurants' wine director.
Runners are conserving their energy for Sunday and focusing on the carbs -- lots of carbs.
"Pasta, pretty much," said Jacob Wormald, a runner from New Hampshire.
They are getting fueled up and excited.
"I ran it last year for the first time just to see it and now this year, I'm actually trying to do a really good time," said Daniel Tenayuca, a runner from Algonquin, Illinois.
While for many this isn't their first marathon, it's one they wanted to check off their list.
"This will be my first full marathon. I've done a number of half marathons and other races and other distances, but spent the summer training for this," said Tim Todd, a runner from Kansas City.
Many traveled from around the world to the Second City.
"I've seen the same people from Germany, from Japan come in and we'll recognize them because it's been a year after your thing. It's really special," Gelvand added.
Last year, the race was scaled down because of the pandemic, but this year, it's back in full force with 40,000 runners.
"Last year was a challenge, having to pause the event was heartbreaking. But there's an energy, an excitement," said Carey Pinkowski, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive director.
"I was supposed to run it in 2020 and set a new personal record for me, and then it all got canceled. I got injured and had to wait a little while. So we're back in Chicago this year. It's my first Chicago marathon," said Angela Giese, a runner from Minnesota.
"I think getting back and actually being able to run with a lot of people is going to be a really special thing. We haven't been able to do that for a few years, so I'm really looking forward to it," Todd added.
The race begins at 6:30 a.m. Sunday in Grant Park. It winds through 29 different neighborhoods, stretching from Wrigleyville to Bridgeport.