The 14th Annual Chicago Half Marathon was to start "early" at 7 am (due to the opening game of the Chicago Bears). I purposely picked the hotel we stayed at because it was decently close to the start line so we could walk there if necessary. After seeing the neighborhood we didn't even want to ATTEMPT to drive there, and taking a cab seemed silly. So we got up just a bit earlier, got ready to go, and then we headed out. We rarely take advantage of the bag drop, but it was chilly, so we wore our sweatshirts. I had GPS'd directions to Jackson Park, figuring that with a sell-out race of 20,500 people (between the half and the 5K) that we would have no trouble finding out where we needed to be. It was still pretty dark out, and we didn't start seeing other runners until we got much closer to the start line.
Immediately hit up the port-o-potty line since it was short, and then wandered around trying to find the bag drop... when I ran into a fellow Half Fanatic and FB friend, Dave! (Thanks for getting this shot :D )
|I'm actually wearing the race shirt (which is long sleeves) because it was chilly!|
Found the bag drop (it looked to be VERY organized for a race of this size). Then we headed over for another quick trip to the bathroom, and finished just in time to line up in our corral for somewhere in between the 2:00 and 2:10 finishing times.
|Pre-Race (Matchy, Matchy!!)|
|This guys shirt cracked me up "Two Kenyans Equal ONE ME" - hilarious|
|Lake and downtown Chicago|
|White building is the Ramada we stayed at, I'm on the way out, approximately at mile 6. See the dude running the other way? He is already at about mile 11. Jealous.|
However, I was REALLY struggling. I was VERY hot and tired, and just wanted to be done. It took everything in me to not walk (I really wanted to, but settled for only a brisk walk through aid stations. Which, as an aside, I manage to spill on myself almost every time).
|Even MORE sweaty|
Kicked it in to high gear and somehow managed to beat my best time!!
Pretty cool finishers medal:
Trying to weave the mayhem and madness to pick up the drop bag and get the heck out of there was totally insane. So many people! Thankfully everything was pretty well marked and we got back to the bag drop, took just a minute to pick up the bag (fabulous organization, Chicago!). Getting offical results printed on a little label and our free piece of pizza took maybe five minutes. We were a little turned around, but thanks to GPS on the phone started walking in the direction of the hotel, making pretty good time. Stopped long enough to buy a postcard and soda. Super fast shower and then headed out on our drive to Madison.