I was honoured to be invited to join the official pace team for the 2019 Chicago marathon and was asked to lead one of the sub 4hr30 groups alongside Suman who I had paced with at London this year.
This event is amazing, it is one of the World marathon majors and it lived up to all expectations.
The marathon expo is held on Friday and Saturday to collect your number and necessary kit ahead of an early 7.30am race start on Sunday.
Logistics are very simple with the start and finish being very close together in Millenium and Grant Parks in the centre of Chicago, a short walk from all of the central hotels. The route takes in huge parts of the city and crosses through over 20 different boroughs, the weather was cold but dry and meant there was an excellent support on the course. Just one or two slightly quieter areas. Aid stations were very frequent with a mixture of drinks available.
The finishers medal is beautiful and the technical ‘competitor’ t-shirt from Nike is high quality.
We had a great group running with us with many of them staying with us right through to the final mile before we sent them on ahead for a strong finish. I crossed the finish line in 4hrs 29 and 42 seconds which I was very happy with, lots of high fives, pictures and happy runners at the end.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this race to anyone who enjoys major city races. Yes it was busy in places but the very wide open roads meant no hold ups on the course. The city of Chicago was lovely to run through amongst the modern sky scrapers and the variety of boroughs and parks. The organisation and logistics were superb. I hope to run this race again in the future and highly recommend it.