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Posted: June 13, 2018:  

Athletics: Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials To Headline The 2018 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon

Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series will follow the race on Sunday, July 22 in Grant Park at 9:45 am

TAMPA, Fla./CHICAGO, Ill. (June 12, 2018) - The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® is excited to announce Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials as the headliner for the 2018 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll® Chicago Half Marathon. On Sunday, July 22, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials will take to the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series stage in Grant Park at 9:45 a.m. to close out a great two-day event that will include more music than ever before. The concert will be free and open to the public.

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been a part of the Chicago blues scene for over 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed Williams’ string bending guitar work, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets. Lil’ Ed comes to the blues naturally. His uncle J.B. Hutto, Chicago slide-guitar king and master songwriter, taught him you have to feel the blues, not just play the blues. Nine albums and thousands of performances later, Lil’ Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre alongside bassist (and Ed’s half-brother) James "Pookie" Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton. Lil’ Ed

"Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials will be a great way to celebrate the local music styles and spirit of Chicago," said Frank Lowery, Regional Director for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. "Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials is staple in the Chicago blues scene and we know they will put on an incredible show for our runners and spectators."

The band recently won the coveted 2017 Blues Music Award for Band of The Year, the same honor they received in 2007 and 2009. They have also received the Living Blues Award for Best Live Performer three times in five years. In 2017 they were named Blues Band of The Year by Blues Blast Magazine. Leader of the group, Lil' Ed has also sat in with Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band for the Conan O’Brien Show.

The musically themed Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon is celebrating its 10th running and is known for Bringing the Fun to the Run(TM). Event weekend ramps up with a 5K on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 a.m. in Grant Park. The half marathon and 10K will start at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 22. While taking in some of the scenery surrounding The Windy City, this flat and fast course is jam packed with spectator support, boomin’ bands at every mile, and all new mile-markers that literally rock. Participants will experience great runner support and community engagement as they move along to the music with live on-course bands, and race pacers running with mobile speaker packs.

Runners will start in Grant Park on Columbus Drive and Monroe Street. The course takes runners on a scenic tour of downtown Chicago with epic views of the Chicago skyline, Lake Michigan, Chicago River and more.

Race weekend kicks off with a Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, July 20 from 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 21 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at McCormick Place, North Building, Hall C1. The expo will showcase vendors featuring the latest in running gear, nutrition and training and is free and open to the public.

For information about the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, visit For more information on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, please visit Media may contact

For more information on the Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, please visit

For more information on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, please visit Media may contact

About Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® is the world’s largest running series with more than 600,000 runners taking part in over 30 destination events around the world every year. Established in 1998, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series’ simple idea of making running fun has transformed both the U.S. and global running landscape by infusing the course with live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations, creating a block-party atmosphere for participants and spectators alike. Focused on running, music and community, race weekend kicks off with a free Health & Fitness Expo showcasing the latest in running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information and much more. Events culminate with an entertaining finish-line festival featuring some of the biggest names in music, with past performances including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, O.A.R. Aloe Blacc, Pitbull, FloRida, The Band Perry, Fitz and the Tantrums, the Goo Goo Dolls and Bret Michaels. Further information about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series can be found online at and follow @RunRocknRoll on all social platforms.


A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150(TM) Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 200 events across 50 countries. For more information, visit

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