Carey Pinkowski is the Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a world class event and one of the 6 World Marathon Majors.
He has been committed to the event for 23 years and through his leadership the event has grown from about 3,600 registered runners in 1990 to over 45,000 today representing over 100 countries and all 50 states, including a record finishing field last year with over 37,000 finishers and let’s not forget an estimated 1.7 million spectators along the 26.2 mile course.
An estimated 40% of the field will be first time marathoners making Chicago one of the few big city marathons that is truly accessible to all.
A runner himself, Carey attended High School in Hammond, IN just outside Chicago where he was where he was a four-time state champion in cross-country and track for Hammond High School. He also competed collegiately for Villanova with personal bests of 13:48 for 5,000 meters and 29:12 for 10,000 meters and a 3-time NCAA All American in Track and Field.
In this episode, Carey and I talk all things Chicago Marathon including:
- What has led Chicago to become a premier marathon for elite and everyday runners alike
- His advice for both first time marathoners and first time Chicago Marathon runners
- His perspective as the course designer for those looking to PR or BQ
- How to take it all in and savor marathon weekend
- The competitive and cooperative nature between the six World Marathon Majors
- How he assembles the elite field each year
- A preview of the 2013 Men’s and Women’s elite race
- The impact of Competitor Group recently ceasing funding for elite athletes
- Registration questions for the future – how to keep the race accessible to all with high demand
- A inside look at race day as the Race Director
- What keeps him still at it after 23 years
Carey also provides a detailed mile by mile course talk about what to expect throughout the race providing valuable insights to those running or considering running the Chicago Marathon.
I share 5 pre-marathon mistakes that can derail your race – and how to avoid them.