Chicago Diaries: Speaking with Bank of America's Paul Lambert

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IMG_6316.JPGPaul Lambert with Larry Eder, 10.06.16, photo by The Shoe Addicts/Adam Johnson-Eder

Paul Lambert is the President of Bank of America Chicago Division. He is also a life long runner. For Paul, the relationship between Bank of America and the Chicago Marathon is about " stewardship". Paul and his team respect the relationship between the marathon and the community.

RunBlogRun spoke with Paul at the Thursday press conference for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Lambert and his 19 year old son are running the Chicago marathon this year. Both are running for charities, which Bank of America champions for the Bank of America Chicago marathon.

Until the involvement of Bank of America, the Chicago Marathon did not focus on the charity support that runners could provide from their running.

In 2016, 12,500 new marathoners are running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Many of those runners used the training program provided by the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and also supported charities of their choice. In 2015, over 10,000 runners who supported charities ran in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Those ten thousand runners supported over 170 local, national and global charities and causes. In 2016, $18.7 million was raised by charity runners.

The charity program was officially begun in 2002. Since then, 96,000 runners have raised $150 million for local, national and global charities.

The Bank of America has been involved in the race for nine years, and Paul Lambert and his predecessors at the Bank have embraced the charity aspect of the sport, as well as how marathons build community. "We have 5600 associates in the Chicago area, and the marathon is a great way to reach out to them and encourage them to support our local community," Paul Lambert enthused.

Paul and I spoke about the financial benefits of the marathon to the city of Chicago. $277 million in economic impact is how the research noted the 40,000 marathoners and their families and friends impacted Chicago from the 2015 race. Lambert sees that impact as another way the race adds to the Windy City.

Most days, and most years, RunBlogRun writes about the elite part of the sport. Today, it was nice to see a large bank such as Bank of America being a more than good citizen in the city that they call home. In this day of social media and cyncism, supporting the local community with visible action is how the Bank of America has supported the Chicago Marathon over these past nine years.

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