The 39th annual Chicago Marathon gets underway at 7:30 a.m. CT on Sunday, Oct. 9 in downtown Chicago. The 26.2-mile course is flat and fast (with only one slight hill found in the final mile), sending about 40,000 runners through 29 neighborhoods.

The Chicago Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors, a series of the world’s best marathons. Also included in that group are the Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon and Tokyo Marathon. It is the fourth-largest running race in the world with an average of about 39,000 finishers over the past five years.

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Musician Liz Anjos is Running the Chicago Marathon

Pop/electronic singer/songwriter Liz Anjos leads a life on the road. The 31-year-old who resides in Portland, Ore., is a vocalist for RAC, a popular electronic band fronted by her husband André Anjos. However, she’s also a sub-3-hour marathoner with a personal best of 2:59:22, an avid running blogger, and a personal running coach. And she hopes to PR again at the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8.

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Comedian Rob Riggle is Running the Chicago Marathon

Riggle, 46, whose big-screen roles include “Step Brothers,” “The Hangover,” “The Other Guys” and “21 Jump Street,” is running his first marathon in 14 years despite a calf injury.

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Runner Returns to Chicago Marathon after Cardiac Arrest in 2015 Race

Richard Sikorksi last year on-course suffered a major cardiac arrest. He was revived, thanks to a fellow runner, Angie. She performed CPR. Only 8 percent of people who have that kind of cardiac incident survive. What are the chances, of all the days in the year, and all the times that Richard has gone out for a run, that his incident would occur while he was surrounded by more than 40K runners and 1 million spectators? Richard, after a quadruple bypass, has recovered and is running the 2016 marathon this year.

RELATED: Read About Richard Skiorski’s Story of Cardiac Arrest at the 2015 Chicago Marathon

International Chicago 5K

The inaugural International Chicago 5K was held on Saturday morning as a precursor to the marathon. Matthew Hudson of Waverly, Australia, was the overall winner in 15:15, while Priscilla Fristella of St. Louis was the women’s winner in 18:39.

RESULTS: International Chicago 5K

The Chicago Marathon has an annual economic impact of $277 million, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune. Nearly 39,500 runners took part in last year’s marathon, each spending an average of $566 per day, according to an economic impact report by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory that was commissioned by the Chicago Marathon. The race also drew roughly 1.7 million spectators.

Funny Stuff

Want to read a funny rant about the Chicago Marathon? Check out Mark Remy’s post on DumbRunner.com. Remy is able to whip up 27 funny anagrams from Chicago Marathon, including No. 21 Harmonic Taco Hag.

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Elite Fields

The Chicago Marathon is known for having one of the most competitive international marathons of the year and has a strong field again this year. Dickson  Chumba of Kenya leads the elite field with a 2:04:32 PR. American Luke Puskedra returns after a year in which he placed 5th at the Chicago Marathon, placed 4th in the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and then endured his 1-year-old daughter overcoming cancer. Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) is the top runner in the women’s field with a 2:19:44 personal best.

Course Records (Male): Dennis Kimetto – 2:03:45 (2013)
Course Records (Female): Paula Radcliffe – 2:17:18 (2002)

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History-Making Paralympian Tatyana McFadden is Racing Chicago Again

McFadden is a Russian-bornUnited States Paralympian athlete competing in the category T54. McFadden has won 10 Paralympic medals in multiple Summer Paralympic Games as well as numerous major marathons, including Chicago three times.

RELATED: Watch this recent clip of Tatyana on the Ellen Show