Pilsen cheers Chicago Marathoners

As the runners in the 2013 Chicago Marathon turned east on 18th Street from Ashland Avenue into Pilsen, they were met by drums, mariachi music and supporters waving Mexican flags.

All marathoners were greeted with cheers, but those wearing Mexican shirts and running gear won over the crowd.

"Where are the tamales?" one of the runners shouted.

Some runners also carried Mexican flags and ran into the crowd to hug the neighborhood residents who came out on a warm fall morning.

As the runners ran east on 18th Street, they were met by a D.J. spinning techno music and also two giant Mexican dolls, mojigangas, dancing to traditional Mexican music.

They crossed Mile 19 in Pilsen as children and adults held out their hands to high five runners and encourage them.

Some offered snacks, pretzels, candy and plenty bottles of water to help runners in their push towards the finish line seven miles away.

The runners experienced the energy and cariño of Pilsen, just one of the many neighborhoods to give them a true Chicago welcome.

All photos by Teresa Puente

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