Chicago Marathon Slots Disappear in Record Time as 45,000 Runners Register

Registration for the Chicago Marathon closed today in record time after 45,000 runners signed up in 31 days, three weeks faster than the previous mark, organizers said.

The 34th annual race, which covers 26.2 miles and begins and ends in the city’s Grant Park area, will be run on Oct. 9.

The Chicago course, known for speed due to cooler temperatures and flat terrain, attracts runners seeking to set personal records or qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Last month, the Boston Athletic Association, which stages the world’s oldest annual marathon, announced that it would drop qualifying times for the race by five minutes, beginning in 2013, and alter its registration process for 2012. This year’s Boston Marathon sold out in eight hours, leading to the changes.

Kenya’s Sammy Wanjiru set the U.S. marathon record in Chicago in 2009 with a time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 41 seconds. Wanjiru also won the 2010 race in 2:06:24.

The Chicago Marathon, sponsored by Bank of America Corp., is one of the five World Marathon Majors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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