If a man sets a goal of breaking the course record in his first run over a marathon course, it would be wise for him to learn about the terrain before the starting gun sounds.

That is exactly what Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele is doing as he prepares for his Oct. 12 debut at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Bekele, the greatest track distance runner of the 21st Century, will be studying in a way that reflects our times as he seeks to run one faster than the Chicago mark of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 45 seconds Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto set last year.

He isn’t asking countryman Tsegaye Kebede for information, even though it was Kebede’s 2012 course record (2:04:38) that Kimetto broke.

Read the rest of Phil Hersh’s article here at the Chicago Tribune.