The streets of downtown Chicago are set for excitement at the 36th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon this October. As one of only six World Major running events, the Chicago Marathon welcomes 45,000 world-class runners to participate in the race each year. The 26.2-mile loop course begins at Chicago's historic Grant Park, winding through 29 city neighborhoods, past landmarks like Wrigley Field and Lincoln Park Zoo, finally ending up at the finish line in Grant Park. Elite athletes and everyday runners from around the country and the world take to the streets in a competition of strength and endurance that not only challenges each runner's abilities but also helps fund charities like the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, PAWS Chicago, and many more. Visitors who want in on the action without actually running can participate as a spectator at several viewing areas along the course, visit the Health & Fitness Expo or volunteer in several capacities. While registration for individual runners has closed for the 2013 event, charity groups and international groups can still register. The Health & Fitness Expo will be held at the McCormick Convention Center from 9am-6pm on October 11th and 12th. The 2013 Chicago Marathon begins at 7:30am on Sunday, October 13th in Grant Park. Stay at the Days Inn Chicago and enjoy watching the Chicago Marathon just steps outside the doors of our award-winning Lincoln Park hotel.