Friday, October 15, 2004

Chicago Marathon Race Report

Seven of us went down to Chicago, four by car and three by plane. We had a riot in the car and were laughing all the way down. The 10 hour drive felt like 2 hours.

When we got there the flyers were still nowhere to be seen so we went out to get some dinner and once they arrived hit the sack pretty early.

The Saturday morning we got up and went for a light 3K jog which turned into about 8K once we had looked around. We then headed for the Expo using the free shuttle bus which was a good idea because the traffic and parking were a nightmare.

The expo was great and very well organized. We arranged to meet up after an hour but none of us were finished so out we went again. After the expo we spent a little time shopping before the pasta party but the legs were now starting to ache from all the walking.

The pasta party was OK but not worth the $25 it cost. We were in bed by about 9:30 ready for the busy day ahead.

Heading down to the start was awe inspiring. Hundreds, if not thousands of runners heading in the same direction. I had a preferred start and the others were in the open pen so we split up and I immediately lined up for the port-o-potties. By the time I was finished, I just had enough time to run for the start line before they closed the gate on the preferred start and within a couple of minutes the race was on.

The race itself was good and flat and the crowd support was amazing. I saw one of the mountie girls from the Ottawa marathon in the first K.

My garmin was having trouble finding any signals so by the time I hit 5K it read 3.02K. My pace was good up until the 35K mark when I slowed down considerably. For some reason I had started taking gatorade very early in the race and now I was getting sick of it. I did manage to stick to my 10 and 1's but I missed a few of the early ones because I wasn't paying attention or the crowd was too loud.

Came across the line in 3:53 and felt pretty good, got all the free food I could and the beer and headed for the reunion area.

The reunion area was like a zoo and it was now getting very hot. Eventually found one of our guys who was having trouble with cramps so he just lied on the floor for a while and when the third member arrived we decided to head for some shade. It was about then that he started to throw up, right in the middle of all the runners. We took him over to the medical tent and waited for him to come out. When he did he was like a new man. I don't know what they gave him in there, but it worked.

We then started the mile long walk back to our hotel and it was like the land of the living dead. All the hobbling runners walking slowly north, wrapped in their thermal blankets.

The post race party was good but mostly because of our crowd. There were a lot of people sitting around on the dance floor so we headed out to hit the local bars and clubs.

At 4:30am we finally got back to the hotel after about 10 beers and surprisingly got up a couple of hours later without a hangover.

The drive home seemed a lot longer than the drive down but I had a great time with the rest of the Chicago Mob Squad.

I plan to download my camera this weekend so maybe we will have some more photos soon.

Hit The Road Web Site

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