Chicago Marathon

In October I traveled to Chicago with Courtney to compete in the 2007 Chicago Marathon. Unfortunately, Courtney had to drop out of the race due to stress fractures that popped up after we registered for the race. Since we were already registered and had reserved a hotel, we decided to book flights and carry on with the trip. I ran and Courtney was my cheerleader! Although, since there were 36,000 runners and 1.5 million spectators out and about, I did not see her until the finish line.

For those of you who did not hear, the race got cancelled at about 3.5 hours in, due to extreme heat. Yes, it was 88 degrees in Chicago, in October! Fortunately for me, I trained in the NC heat all summer so I was prepared, but I saw many runners who were not. Over 10,000 runners dropped out of the race by choice due to the heat. Over 300 runners required paramedic assitance due to heat exhaustion, which is ultimately why the race officials called the race off. Despite the fact that they had brought in paramedic resources from Chicago's many surrounding suburbs, there still weren't enough paramedics to serve the runners and the conditions made it too unsafe to continue. A large portion of the runners got diverted to the finish line and did not get to complete the full course.

Since I was at about the mile 20 marker when the race was called, I was able to complete the full course, but I was forced to walk the last several miles. When I got to the finish line and learned of the many runners who did not get to complete the race, I was just happy I got to the finish line! All in all, I had a great race day despite the conditions and I would recommend the Chicago Marathon to any of my fellow runners. Just hopefully if you choose to run it, you won't experience the freakish weather conditions I did!

Here are some pictures from the trip:

Runners getting underway at the start line.

Me at Buckingham Fountain after completing the race.

Me & Courtney after the race.

Me eating a "hamdog" at the Packers fan bar in Chicago after the race. The Bears and Packers played that night and I have no alliegance to either team so I cheered the Packers on with Courtney, Leslie and KC.

Me with KC & Leslie at the Packers game party.

Court & KC, two of the hottest Packers fans ever!

Heather & Court. (The Packers fan bar had giant beers.)

And no trip to Chicago would be complete without a visit to famous Gino's East for deep dish pizza. Yum!

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