The fundamental questions are twofold: Should the marathon have been stopped, and will the controversy surrounding the marathon impact Chicago's chances at landing the 2016 Olympics.
What's my opinion? I don't know, especially as far as Olympic chances go. Jim Spivey, three-time Olympian (and coach of the Jim Spivey Running Club with which I am happily running) suggests that, for health reasons it both makes sense and has been done before, citing the Rotterdam Marathon. However, health always should trump public relations and financial gain.
CBS quotes Jim:
"There's people out there today, grumpy, [saying] I wanted to finish that race, but I think for health reasons for the city of Chicago it was the right decision," three-time Olympian Jim Spivey said the day after the race. "It's also not unprecedented because Rotterdam, this year, they cancelled their marathon as well. They were running it and halfway through they stopped it."story: Three Questions Hanging Over Chicago Marathon
video (two minutes) http://firstname.lastname@example.org
My basic thought: When health issues come into play, leaders of such major athletic events must make a hard decision, even if, in the process, it ticks off a lot of people and hinders a coveted Olympic bid. If, in the course of ending the marathon early, lives are saved, who dares criticize them?
Would I run the Chicago Marathon in 2008? Yes, if I'm in shape and ready to run the distance well. Carey Pinkowski has an excellent record of organizing a top-quality race. Next year will be no different. If I get to 23 miles, the heat is unusually high, and he calls the race, I'll be ticked, but alive.