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Looking ahead to Sunday's Chicago Marathon

Looking ahead to Sunday's Chicago Marathon

The 39th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is nearly upon us.

The 26.2-mile race will take place on Sunday and will be televised on NBC at 7 a.m. This year more than 41,000 runners are expected to start.

This year's route begins and ends in Grant Park. The race will pass through Lincoln Park and go as far north as Addison St., just a few blocks east of Wrigley Field, before heading back south. The runners will then go back towards the Loop, passing by CSN Chicago's office on Orleans St. just before crossing the Chicago River again. The race will turn west at Adams St., taking runners all the way to Damen Ave., a block south of the United Center. Towards the end of the race, runners will approach U.S Cellular Field as the course cuts through the Illinois Institute of Technology and De La Salle before cutting north on Michigan Ave. to finish the race.

There is also a free app for the marathon that features live race day runner tracking, a schedule, weather updates, an interactive course map, photos and more. Click here for more info on the app which is powered by Tata Consultancy Services.

Executive race director Carey Pinkowski was a guest on SportsTalk Live. Watch the video including him above for more on the upcoming race.

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Chicago Red Stars come up short in first-ever NWSL final appearance

ISI Photography/Chicago Red Stars

Chicago Red Stars come up short in first-ever NWSL final appearance

For all the positive momentum and attention the Chicago Red Stars received for reaching the NWSL Championship, things unraveled quickly once the game kicked off.

The Red Stars’ first appearance in the NWSL final was not one to remember. The host North Carolina Courage won 4-0 to win their second straight NWSL title.

Vanessa DiBernardo had an early shot for the Red Stars in the second minute which required a solid save from Stephanie Labbe. After that, the Red Stars were under siege,

The top-seeded Courage got a goal in the fourth minute from Debinha and kept piling on the pressure. Two more goals put the game out of reach before the break. U.S. national teamer Sam Mewis added a fourth goal on a header in the second half.

Red Stars forward Sam Kerr, who broke her own single-season record with 18 goals this season and was named the league MVP just days before the final, was unable to get on the board. The Australian had a pair of solid chances, but couldn’t convert.

The Red Stars went 2-0-1 against the Courage in the regular season and Kerr scored in all three of those games. Neither of those trends continued.

The Red Stars’ season featured a fifth straight playoff appearance and a first-ever final appearance. They won a semifinal in front of a raucous home crowd the week before. They also had a record crowd of 17,388 in a July 21 match that was the first game back for the team’s returning World Cup winners. However, the final defeat, and especially the way it happened, will leave a bitter taste in their mouths.

Red Stars coach Rory Dames tweeted out some reaction to the final.