I arrived in Chicago Friday about noon. I met Jamie and Eddie, a Green Lake runner, and we headed to the Expo. We met my sister, Pam and niece Manami at the Expo. It’s always great to see family, when you live so far away.
Packet pick up was quick and easy. I’m disappointed in the shirt, they ran very small and I don’t love the gray. The Expo was large and had plenty of room to move around. All the big vendors were there. Not as many freebies as Boston and NYC. I was not thrilled with the official merch, but bought one sweatshirt that I have already worn 3 times, money well spent.
On Sunday Jamie and I got up at 5:30 walked to Dunkies for coffee. After getting ready we took a taxi to the start. We met a few of her friends, used the porta potties and gear checked, wished each other luck and she was off to her corral. I had a little time to wait. I had a granola bar and water, and walked over to the corral.
My wave started at 8 and I crossed to start at 8:08. It was sunny and about 50. I do not like running in the sun. It was very crowded the first few miles. It was fun to run through the same areas that we had been walking through the past few days. There were lots of crowd support along the way. I had put my name on my shirt and really appreciate the shout outs. I saw my niece, Manami about mile 12 and that was awesome! The water stops were long and on both side of the street. Gatorade then water at each stop. The volunteers were great. I tried to thank a few at each stop.
This was the smartest marathon I have run. I kept a pretty even 10 minute pace for 22 miles. I did not go out too fast. This was not easy. my Garmin was all over the place for most of the race. I did use a pace band and that help, but I knew 4:20 was not happening pretty early. I fueled well and had fun. I tried to hug the shade as much as I could. I could not escape the sun the last 4 miles and my time slowed. My legs were tired. I finished 4:28. The race was long 26.66 on my Garmin and most others were in that range.
I was a little disappointed at first, but then I realized I had just run my 6th marathon. No PR but I had a great time.
I found Jamie (she had a PR and her second BQ!) and her friends. We stayed at the finish for about and hour then walked back to the condo.
I loved Chicago and if you have not run it you should. It is super flat. And the city is great.
I am not registered for any races. What should I run next?