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Chicago Marathon

No starting-line jitters here. It's her 102nd marathon — after knee injury and cancer

No starting-line jitters here. It's her 102nd marathon — after knee injury and cancer

Don’t look to Leesa Drake for first-time nerves at the starting line of the Chicago Marathon on Sunday. This isn’t her first, 10th or even 50th. It will be her 102nd marathon in the two decades that running has been her throughline, from becoming a mother to recovering from a knee injury to hearing the words, “You have breast cancer.”

Drake’s first marathon was in Chicago in 1994. She had planned to run the race a year earlier. But the Sunday before the race, she’d biked the route. Her front wheel hit a car going through an intersection. She flipped over its hood.

The next day, a doctor told her she had a mass of blood surrounding her kneecap and that she would never run...

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