CHICAGO (CBS) — The thrill of running like a champion pitted North Siders against South Siders on the marathon course. The competition is aimed at getting high school students interested in world-class running.

CBS 2’s Pamela Jones shows us the students with this unique honor.

“I know my entire team is excited. We’re happy to be here,” said Sergio Dorado of Niles West.

That feeling shared by some 336 high school athletes stretching to run in a field of their own.

Nike’s North Side/South Side Challenge started 2.6 miles from the end of the Chicago Marathon.

Nike hopes they all catch the fever for world-class running through the challenge. Students learn all about the discipline it takes.

“We were running about 70-miles per week,” said Sergio Dorado.

Plainfield South student Kayla Rice hopes to run the full marathon someday. She says that shoe doesn’t feel any pressure and that, “It’s more like fun. Just go out and do our best.”

With 26 schools in the running competition was fierce. The students say it’s a truly unique experience they won’t forget.

“The thought of seeing thousands of people run and being part of something that happens once a year,” said Plainfield South student Kayla Burrell.

“You see places you’ve actually been before, actually racing. Because usually you’re racing like in a forest. But now we’re racing in the streets of Chicago,” said Marquis Dixon of Jones College Prep.

The students ran the last 2.62 miles of the marathon and ended at the finish line in Grant Park. Graham Brown of palatine high school took the top time in the boys division and for the girls, Kathryn Adelman of Geneva High School.

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