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Published on May 19, 2024
Thousands of Runners Converge in Downtown Chicago for LifeTime Spring Half Marathon and 10KSource: Unsplash/Miguel A Amutio

Thousands of athletes laced up and hit the pavement in downtown Chicago for the LifeTime Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K race on Sunday. The event drew a large crowd of competitors, with ABC 7 Chicago reporting that 8,000 runners participated in the day's races. The half marathon kicked off the day at 7 a.m. near Columbus Drive and Monroe, followed by the 10K, which started at 7:45 a.m., athletes journeyed south along the picturesque Lakefront Trail.

It was not just a race for the participants, but an event that brought together family and supporters from across the nation, including some who made long journeys to watch their loved ones cross the finish line. "We're so proud of Caroline," father Tony Cruz said in a statement to ABC 7 Chicago — "She's been working really hard to get ready for this event, and now, seeing her this morning takes it all to another level," while mother Diana Sarmiento Cruz added, "I just told her to remember everything she did to prepare and just have fun." As they cheered, the runners pushed towards the finish line until 11:30 a.m., marking the race's end.

Road closures throughout the city made way for this athletic display, which was organized with a new start and finish line for this edition of the race, according to WGN-TV. The start was located near Jackson Boulevard this year, and runners aimed for a new finish on Monroe Street, both locations central to the city's heart that beat in sync with the pounding of thousands of feet against the asphalt.

Travel disruptions were expected as several major thoroughfares closed for the event. For instance, Monroe Street, from DuSable Lakeshore Drive to Columbus Drive (all lanes), was not set to reopen until 6 p.m., and northbound lanes of Columbus Drive, from Randolph Street to Monroe Street, would be unavailable until noon, Southbound lanes were reopening at 9 a.m.