On Saturday, September 23, 1905, fifteen determined runners bolted at the sound of the starter's gun to begin an amazing journey of distance and endurance: the first Chicago Marathon. Huge crowds witnessed a thrilling race that had it all: action, disaster, suspense, a fallen favorite, and a cliff-hanger ending. It was epic, defining a new chapter in Chicago's athletic history. More than a century later, each year Chicago welcomes nearly 40,000 inspiring runners-from the world's best to complete novices-who will start, discover, battle, and ultimately finish something they once thought impossible, even ridiculous: the Chicago Marathon, all 26 miles, 385 yards. This book takes the reader into the marathon experience, including the sights, sounds, emotions, challenges, and achievements.