2017 was my second time to run the Chicago Marathon. The first time I ran it was in 2014 and I ran with with a concussion. I had tons of fun but had absolutely no business running that day. I decided to head back to the Windy City to run it again.
Instead of hoteling it in downtown Chicago like I did in 2014, I stayed with friends in the suburbs. MFH (My Favorite Husband) and I used to live in Chicago. Our two children were born there so it's a return to my old stomping grounds.
I caught a very(!) early train into the City on race day morning. The weather was nice and sunny and not too cold. I had a friend staying in the hotel directly across the street from the corrals so I went up to her room until we needed to head on over.
The atmosphere in the corrals was festive. Already I was having a great time!!! Eventually I was able to see the starting line and turned on my Garmin. By the time it found satelite reception, we were crossing the timing mats.
It was fun running the familiar streets of Chicago! So many neighborhoods I've visited so many years ago. I remember pulling my daughter as a toddler in her red wagon down some of those streets off to visit my husband for lunch (he worked on Michigan Ave).
The entire race was a blast from the past.
Running past the zoo, I met up with a nice Hispanic man. He was up from Mexico for the race. It was his first marathon so he decided to tag along with me for a while. We ran together until the HM timing mats. He started losing steam about then and I lost him.
The course had lots of room. I had heard a rumor that they had accepted 50,000 runners? Don't quote me on that, okay? Regardless of the number of runners, I had lots of room to manuver out there.
The aid stations were amazing!!! Seeing as I fuel with Tailwind Nutrition and they had announced no back packs would be allowed on the course, I was carrying a soft flask of Tailwind. Those wonderful aid stations and people on both ends of the stations with gallon jugs of water! You just took the lid off your flask/bottle and they would fill it up! Easy Peasy!!!
Lots of people were grumbling about the heat but I found the race very well prepared. There were kiddie swimming pools full of ice water and sponges. They'd hand out the sponge as you ran by....the most wonderful thing in the world!
They also had fire trucks pumping out water through huge fans to make incredible misting stations. Chicago was very well prepared!
I did think the crowd support was a little thin this year. That could just be due to the warm-ish day?
Just like in 2014, I had a blast running the Chicago Marathon!!! As I came up that last tiny incline into Grant Park, I was so pumped and yelled, "YAY!!!!"
With that triumphant yell, I crossed the finish line and Chicago was in the bag.
I need to run this one again...and again...and again....
It's impossible to go wrong with this race!