The 45th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon took place on October 8, 2023 and Dr. Michele Kerulis participated as a member of the Medical Committee and Director of the Chicago Psyching Team.
Bank of America Chicago Marathon 45th anniversary medal. Photo: © Bank of America Chicago Marathon/Kevin Morris
There was much to celebrate during this historical year:
Allison Naval, a first time marathoner, was the one millionth person to cross the finish line in Chicago. Her time was an impressive 4:23:13
More than 48,500 marathoners completed the race
$291 million dollars has been raised for charity since the charity program began in 2002 with 190 charity teams this year
Over 10,000 volunteers and 1,500 medical volunteers helped make the event a success
Multiple records were shattered
Runners from all 50 states and 100 countries participated
Marathoners ran 26.2 miles through 29 of Chicago’s vibrant neighborhoods and passed nearly two million spectators who cheered them on. This event is home to world records, historic debuts, and elite and novice runners, alike. Runners began the weekend at the Abbot Health and Fitness Expo located within McCormick Place.
The Chicago Psyching Team was on site to help Psych Runners Up. The Psyching Team, directed by Dr. Kerulis, was developed in 2020 as a way to help marathoners remain motivated during the pandemic after so many races were canceled. The team helped runners reach their goal of completing the Bank of American Virtual Marathon and Virtual Experience. Since that time, the Chicago Psyching Team has been part of 12 events (three Chicago marathons, four Shamrock Shuffles, two Bank of America Chicago 13.1s, and two BTN Big 10 10Ks).
Runners shared inspirational words with Dr. Kerulis and her team at the expo
As a professor, Dr. Kerulis is proud to pair with graduate students and professionals who want to learn about sport psychology as she and colleagues provide mentorship for students who are part of the Psyching Team. As a licensed counselor, she engages in committee meetings throughout the year to ensure a medically safe event, and as a marathoner, Dr. Kerulis shares in the excitement of race day as she cheers on Chicago marathoners. During race day, she assists runners with emotional reactions related to their race-day experiences.
During the expo, the Psyching Team helped runners gain motivation, support other runners, and share their “Why” for running this race. “Whys” ranged from wanting to challenge oneself physically and mentally to honoring loved ones who have passed. Additionally, over 14,000 runners raised money for charities.
Dr. Michele Kerulis, The Family Institute at Northwestern University, and Dr. John-Coumbe Lilley, members of the
Bank of America Medical Team.
About 50 million people in the U.S. (about 15%) participate in running activities, and less than 1% have completed a marathon. Globally, around 1.1 million people have participated in a marathon. Needless to say, marathons are major sporting events that draw both new and elite runners.
“My favorite thing about the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is that we have people who have never raced before on the exact same race course, on the same day, running the same 26.2 miles that professional world-record holders run. A marathon is the only sporting event that has beginners in the same event as professional athletes,” Dr. Kerulis said.
The 2024 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will take place on October 13.