Chicago Marathon runners worldwide brace for the race - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Chicago Marathon runners worldwide brace for the race

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Marathon has attracted runners from across the globe, from Peru to Mexico.

"You get there and then just make a couple of words in Spanish just to let him know that you're with him and he can do it all the way," said Jorge Hagg, a tourist from Mexico.

Inside the Hilton Hotel, the tradition of carb loading before marathon day is nothing new. The pasta-filled buffet contains vital nutrients needed to run the 26 miles in Sunday's race - the first domestic major marathon since the tragedy at the Boston marathon.

"After the events in Boston I thought that this would be a great opportunity to run and do it and get out there," said Carol Leurini, a state trooper from Boston.

"If anything it motivates you to run a marathon than not run one, I would not be deterred just because of what happened in Boston," said Brittany Hall, a nurse from Boston.

Each runner has a different reason why Sunday's race means so much - one story sure to touch many is that of Justin Lansford.

"I'm a Sergeant in the Army, Justin Lansford, I'm 24, I was injured in Eastern Afghanistan when an IED bomb went off underneath my truck. I was a .50 cal gunner and the truck flipped and I lost my left leg above the knee," said U.S. Army Sergeant Justin Lansford.

Lansford is hand-cycling in Sunday's marathon on the Achilles Freedom Team with eight other wounded veterans from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"I've never been to Chicago so I kind of had the chance to get around and check things out and it's been pretty neat," said Lansford.

The group spent the day touring the city, including the Willis Tower, before Saturday night's pasta dinner. A meal that brought together runners from all walks of life, including many who saw the tragedy in Boston, but were not deterred.

"We were there in Boston with the team of vets from our group and no, if anything they're even more charged to do this and to come together with everyone else, in the spirit of racing and definitely no determent, if anything just more excited," said Janet Patton, Director of the Achilles Freedom Team.

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