Just got back late last night from running the Chicago Marathon. I had a great experience, but it was tempered by the news I read when I got home that a fireman running for charity collapsed near the very end and died a few hours later.
Considering the number of participants nationwide, marathoning is still statistically one of the safer sports, but it’s alwas very sad to hear this kind of news. This reinforces the fact that we should never take a marathon for granted; it’s still a difficult endeavor, no matter your training and racing background.
But onto the race! Any fears I had about how the organizers would handle the 40,000-plus runners were quickly allayed. The start went off well, and the broad streets easily accomodated the masss. I didn’t experience any bottlenecks, and the race support was wonderful. The course was as flat and fast as advertised, and it felt like all of Chicgao turned out to cheer us on (the race organizers informed us that they expected 1.7 million spectators on the course).
One of my favorite race experiences was reading the different signs held up by the race fans. Maybe you’ve seen smilar signs in other races yu’ve run, but I loved them nonetheless. In no particular order, here are a few:
- Holy Sh*T! You’re Running a Freakin’ Marathon!
- Worst Parade Ever
- One Day You Will No Longer Be Able To Do This. Today Is Not That Day
- Go, Complete Stranger, Go!
- Do Epic Sh*t