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A record number of more than 14,000 runners are expected today to challenge defending champions Paul Evans and Marian Sutton in the LaSalle Banks Chicago Marathon.

Elite runners will compete for a total of $300,000, with the winners in the men's and women's division each receiving $50,000.

In addition, New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., is offering $1 million to the American man or woman who lowers, by the largest margin, the U.S. best performance in a marathon.

For the men, the target is Bob Kempanian's 2 hours, 8 minutes, 47 seconds, at Boston in 1994. For the women, it's Joan Benoit Samuelson's 2:21:21 at Chicago in 1985.

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