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Your friend Liz just spent the entire summer training for her first Chicago Marathon. She hasn?t slept past 5:30 a.m. in months, and her feet look like calloused bricks.

Give her a special reminder of the achievement: a marathon course map by Cape Horn Illustration.

Local artist couple Phil Thompson and Katie Lauffenburger use pen, ink and digital watercolor tools to create 12-by-18-inch illustrated maps of the Boston, Chicago and New York City marathon routes.
But these aren?t just by-the-book maps. Rather, they zero in on key markers along the way. For Chicago, Thompson--himself a marathoner--opted to focus on scenic spots like the Millennium Park starting line, the LaSalle Street Board of Trade building corridor and Lincoln Park Zoo?s lush green oasis. ?

Signed prints are available on heavy stock paper ($26 unframed; $100 framed in black metal). Or Thompson suggests having a print mounted in a customized box frame along with your runner?s bib and medal. (Local shop Artists Frame Service can do the job.)

It?s the decor-friendly version of a trophy case.

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