Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director, photo by PhotoRun.net.
There is a famous picture of the late Fred Lebow, from the mid-eighties, checking the blue line that shows marathoners the five borough course in New York. The picture always reminded me that the job of a race director is thankless.
Carey Pinkowski should have a picture like that. I remember being with Jeremy Solomon of Chicago Athlete magazine, late one night after a marathon party, heading back to our hotel and noting Carey Pinkowski out on the course, about two in the morning, checking signs. We wondered then, if Carey ever slept the night before the Bank of America Chicago marathon.
The truth be told, the city of Chicago and the marathon would not be the same without Carey Pinkowski and his team. The attention to detail, the love of the sport and the love of the city are all apparent in his work and in the event.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon treats the elite and citizen runners alike with respect and gives them an experience peculiar to the city of Chicago. A fast course, great hotels, some of the best pasta in the world (if you can not find pasta in Chicago, then, you are just not looking!), and crowds that rival any of the Major marathons in the world are some of the highlights of the experience in the Windy City.
Carey Pinkowski and his team have taken the last twenty years to build a marathon, and a marathon experience that is the litmus test for major marathons. Naming a street after Carey is a good start at honoring his work….
Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski
Celebrates 20 Years with Honorary Street Naming at Race’s Grant Park Start Line
Intersection of Monroe Street and Columbus Drive Now Named ‘Carey Pinkowski Drive’
CHICAGO, IL (October 8 , 2009) î º To commemorate his 20 years of leadership as the Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Carey Pinkowski was recognized today by the City of Chicago and Bank of America with an honorary street naming at the site of the race’s start line. The intersection of Monroe Street and Columbus Drive now bears the name “Carey Pinkowski Drive.”
“The growth of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon from the race it was in 1990 to its stature today is the combined effort of tens of thousands of hard-working individuals dedicated to maintaining its tradition,” said Pinkowski. “Everyone including the volunteers, City of Chicago agencies and partners, our staff, sponsors and the entire running community has had a hand in its success. I am honored to have had the opportunity to be part of this race for so long and proud of what we as a team have been able to give back to the city through the its annual running.”
In assuming the leadership role of the Chicago Marathon in 1990, Pinkowski inherited a race that hosted 7,269 starters and 5,635 finishers in 1989. During his tenure, the race has grown to host 45,000 registered participants, including representatives from all 50 states and more than 6,000 from outside the U.S. As a result of its popularity, 1.5 million spectators annually gather along the course and in Grant Park to witness the official start and finish of the 26.2-mile race.
“The job of a marathon race director really hasn’t been around all that long. Carey Pinkowski has helped define it. In these 20 years, he has played a huge role in growing this race from 7,200 registrants to 45,000 and in establishing it as one of America’s premier running events. On behalf of the people of Chicago, I want to thank Carey for his hard work and commitment to our city,” Mayor Daley said.
“It has been an honor to work hand-in-hand with Carey and his team to produce the Bank of America Chicago Marathon each year,” said Ald. Brendan Reilly of Chicago’s 42nd Ward. “Today’s installation is a fitting recognition of a man who has committed his career to an event that generates a wealth of positives for our residents, business owners and visitors.”
Along with mass participation, the event has secured and maintained consistent sponsorship support leading to the arrival of its current steward, Bank of America. Since its arrival to the Marathon, Bank of America has focused on extending the effort that has led to a race that annually generates a $143 million impact and $10 million for charities.
“Carey Pinkowski has done a tremendous job of developing this event to its current status as one of the five World Marathon Major races,” said Tim Maloney, Bank of America Illinois State and Chicago Market President. “We are proud and honored to recognize him today and look forward to our continued partnership with him to continue this race’s grand legacy in the future.”
In addition to producing the race, Pinkowski is responsible for recruiting the world-class athletes that compete for its championship title. Home to four world records, the Chicago Marathon has become one of the most competitive in the world. In its storied history it has hosted some of the great names in the sport including Steve Jones (GBR), Joan Benoit-Samuelson (USA), Khalid Khannouchi (MAR/USA), Catherine Ndereba (KEN) and Paula Radcliffe (GBR). This year, among its star-studded field are Olympic medalists Deena Kastor (USA) and Sammy Wanjiru (KEN), reigning World Marathon Major champion Irina Mikitenko (GER) and 2008 Chicago Marathon champion Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS).
About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
The 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will start and finish in Chicago’s Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. In advance of the race, a two-day Health & Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place on Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10. More information on the race is available at the event Web site, chicagomarathon.com.
Bank of America and Nike Donate $100,000 to Chicago Public Schools’ Hanson Stadium Refurbishment Efforts
Reuse-A-Shoe Drive Launches Today to Collect Worn-Out Shoes
CHICAGO, IL – Bank of America and Nike today announced a $100,000 joint commitment in support of youth running in Chicago, advancing the philanthropic heritage of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Those efforts will begin immediately with the refurbishment of the Chicago Public Schools’ Hanson Stadium which plays host to track & field and football events at both the elementary and high school levels. The announcement was made at a press conference today with City of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
“I want to thank Bank of America for its contributions and efforts not only on the marathon but also on many other initiatives that help improve the quality of life for residents of Chicago. Bank of America and Nike set an example for other organizations about the importance of the public and private sectors working together to benefit our city,” Mayor Richard M. Daley said.
In addition to the track refurbishment, the companies announced a Reuse-A-Shoe Drive, and are encouraging Chicagoans to drop off their used shoes to be recycled. The collected shoes will be transformed into Nike Grind, a material used in sports surfaces and playgrounds.
“Bank of America is thrilled to team-up with Nike to support youth running programs throughout the city and advance the positive impact the Marathon has on the community,” said Tim Maloney, Illinois State and Chicago Market President for Bank of America. “Chicago has been and will always be a training ground for some of the world’s greatest athletes and Olympians, and we are committed to helping provide our local student athletes with the resources and opportunities to develop their talents.”
The track refurbishment project will restore the eight-lane track at Hanson Stadium by summer 2010. The facility plays host to some of Chicago’s most prestigious events such as the city championship and Illinois High School Association sectionals.
“Leading the pack of marathon runners to our Reuse-A-Shoe program is a natural extension of our ongoing efforts to support Chicago’s running community,” said Reg Hamlett, general manager of Nike’s central territory. “By continuing that commitment through our partnership with this world-class event to improve a track, we are paving the way for the next generation of athletes.”
Starting today through Oct. 16, all Chicagoans, runners and visitors are invited to drop off their used athletic shoes at select Bank of America banking center locations and Nike retail stores, which accept shoes year-round, in the Chicago area. Drop-off bins will also be on-site at the Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo at McCormick Place on Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10 and at the 27th Mile Post-Race Party at Grant Park’s Butler Field on race day, Sunday, October 11. Thirty-three local Bank of America banking centers in the downtown and surrounding areas will also collect shoes. For a full list of banking centers, please visit www.chicagomarathon.com. To find a map detailing the closest Nike Retail location and to learn more about Nike Reuse-A-Shoe, visit www.nikereuseashoe.com.
About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 32nd year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 runners including a world class elite field and 1.5 million spectators. As a result of its national and international draw, the iconic race assists in raising $10 million for a variety of charitable causes while generating an estimated $143 million economic impact to its host city. To extend that impact, the 2009 race has invited all participants and fans to get involved through a first-ever online fundraising campaign going on now through Oct. 9. By customizing a shoeprint at www.chicagomarathon.com/footprint, visitors select one of 22 charities to receive a dollar donation from Bank of America. The charity with the most submissions will also be granted an additional $10,000 donation in an announcement at the 27th Mile Post-Race Party on race day.
About Nike Reuse-A-Shoe
Nike Reuse-A-Shoe is an integral part of Nike Corporate Responsibility and is a unique recycling program that turns worn-out athletic shoes of all brands into Nike Grind, a material used in sports and playground surfaces. Since its inception Reuse-A-Shoe has helped reduce millions of athletic shoes from ending up in landfills each year and has recycled more than 24 million pairs of shoes. The recycled shoes are given new life, and are reborn into sports and playground surfaces around the world. For more information on Nike Grind and Nike Reuse-A-Shoe, visit: www.nikegrind.com .
Individuals wanting to take part in a collection set up by one of the organizations participating in the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program can find a list of drop off locations on the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Web site: www.nikereuseashoe.com.
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