Chicago Marathon 2018: Date, time, how to watch, race facts, runners to know, past winners

One of the world's six major marathons -- and the globe's fourth largest by average finishers worldwide -- will take place this weekend in Grant Park, Ill., home of the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

As the Chicago Tribune notes, the Windy City hosts "one of the flattest -- and hence the fastest -- marathons in the world, and so many runners come here either to qualify for races such as Boston, or elite runners aim for national or world records." That means this weekend's event not only continues the international schedule of marathons that runs through Berlin, Boston, London, New York and Tokyo, but showcases some of the world's top runners from all kinds of fields.

From defending American champion Galen Rupp, who snapped a 15-year streak of non-U.S. winners, to a deep pool of women's contenders, this year's Chicago Marathon is set to be as contested as ever.

Here's everything you need to know about Sunday's annual race:

Runners to know

  • Galen Rupp: The defending champion, he's fresh off a personal best at the Prague Marathon
  • Mo Farah: The four-time Olympic gold medalist, he finished third in April's London Marathon
  • Abel Kirui: The 2017 runner-up, he almost had back-to-back Chicago Marathon titles
  • Amy Cragg: Probably the top American in her field, she finished third at the 2017 World Championships
  • Laura Thweatt: Another top women's contender, she won Chicago's Shamrock Shuffle this year
  • Gwen Jorgensen: The 2016 Olympic triathlon champion is among the top women in the field
  • Taylor Ward: She won in Philadelphia in 2016 and finished ninth in Chicago in 2017
  • Dickson Chumba: A men's contender after winning the Tokyo Marathon this year in record course time
  • Tatyana McFadden: She's an eight-time wheelchair winner looking to defend her 2017 title
  • Joan Benoit Samuelson: At 61, the former Olympic gold medalist is going for an age-group (60-64) record
  • Kevin Hart: Yes, the Kevin Hart, he will make his Chicago debut after running in the 2017 New York City Marathon

How to watch

Date: Sunday, Oct. 7
Location: Grant Park (Chicago, Illinois)
TV: NBCSN, NBC 5 Chicago
Stream: fuboTV (try for free), NBCChicago.com, NBC Sports Gold

Marathon schedule

All times in Central Time.

5:30 a.m. -- Gear check opens
5:30 a.m. -- Start corrals open
7:20 a.m. -- Wheelchair start (men)
7:21 a.m. -- Wheelchair start (women)
7:22 a.m. -- Handcycle start
7:23 a.m. -- Athletes with disabilities start
7:30 a.m. -- Wave 1 start
8:00 a.m. -- Wave 2 start
8:35 a.m. -- Wave 3 start

Past Chicago Marathon winners

Here's a rundown of the last 10 years of Chicago champions:

2017: Galen Rupp (United States)
2016: Abel Kirui (Kenya)
2015: Dickson Chumba (Kenya)
2014: Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)
2013: Dennis Kimetto (Kenya)
2012: Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia)
2011: Moses Mosop (Kenya)
2010: Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya)
2009: Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya)
2008: Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya)

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