Monday, October 8, 2012

Chicago Marathon Spectating Report

Wow. This past weekend was pretty much a runnerd's dream so it will take me a few days to talk about everything that happened! First, I'd like to talk about spectating the Chicago Marathon.

I headed downtown bright and early because I wanted to see the elites run by. One of my running group friends, Diane, carpooled with me as we parked and walked to our designated spot: Mile 17. After watching some of the speedy wheelchair racers go by, it was time for the elite men. Diane had never spectated a marathon before so I told her she was in for a treat! The first pack sped past us in a blink and Diane grabbed a quick pic (better than mine).

Not too far behind was the elite I was most excited about seeing, Dathan Ritzenhein!
I absolutely love this photo. Dathan looks like he is literally FLYING. He ended up finishing 9th overall in a very tough field and shaved 2 minutes off his previous PR, finishing in 2:07!! This interview video from Flotrack is great. Dathan talks about some of the mistakes he made (even elites make mistakes) and how he struggled with the "Roosevelt Hill" (just like the rest of us)!

After the elite men went by, it was time for the elite women!

After the elites, we had some down time before our first group of friends came by. We decided to make the most and take some more photos!
Diane and I at mile 17
My general store was quite the site.
Diane was meeting her friend Jeni at the halfway point so she hung out as long as she could at mile 17 before making the walk to mile 13 (due to logistics of the course, this walk was actually less than a mile). Due to the wave start, my friend Kate S. passed Maggie so I walked to try and run with Kate! I walked to try and meet her but with the wave of runners and spectators, I totally missed her and a bunch of our friends that she was running with. I was so upset!!!! :( I was so worried looking for Kate (and obsessively checking my phone for the next update) that I almost missed Maggie! Thankfully, she spotted me in my bright FNRC shirt and we were on our way! Maggie was running this at her own pace and just enjoying the scenery. (You can read her full recap here.) I took a lot of pics but this one is my personal favorite.

I ran with Maggie from mile 16-23. It was nice to sing along to Gangham Style (complete with the dance) as well as cheer for the runners while they were running. People looked at me as if I was crazy and that I had too much energy! That was why I was there! To help boost the energy of those that didn't have it anymore. :) I hopped out at mile 23, knowing that Maggie could finish this race at ease (and she totally did). Next up, I hopped in with Amanda and ran with her until they pulled me off the course.

I think Amanda was smiling much more here, at mile 24 than when I left her at 25.5. Either way, I'm glad I was able to help her reach her goal! Amanda got a shiny new PR and finished under her ultimate goal time as well. You can check out her race recap here.

Afterwards, I walked to the Congress Hotel to congratulate all my Yankee Runner friends. The FNRC was pretty split up after the race so it was hard to get together.

Either way, I had an absolute blast out there cheering for all my pals along the way! I'm surprised I still have a voice, to be completely honest. It was a great day and this only fuels my desire to get out there and give the Chicago Marathon another attempt. We have some unfinished business! (To read about my Chicago Marathon experience the first time around, you can check out my post here.)

CONGRATULATIONS to all the finishers, whether you PRed, completed your first marathon, or just crossed the finish line with a smile on your face. You are all awesome and I hope to join you out there again some day! :)

21 comments:

  1. Sounds like an awesome day and you definitely were having much more fun than that guy in the photo. Hilarious! Anyway, I looked for you at mile 17, but did not see you. Oh well. :-)

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  2. Hi Pete! Sorry about that! The wave start totally threw me off! I didn't see a lot of the folks I planned on seeing. :(

    I just read your recap and it looks like you had a fantastic race! Congrats on a course PR and a BQ for 2014!

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  3. Dathan looks awesome there! He ran the 3rd fastest marathon by an American man EVER yesterday. He deserves that little bit of glory after his rocky struggle as an elite.

    That guy in the photo of you and Maggie is hilarious! I feel bad for him and know that feeling, but it doesn't take away at all from how amusing it is. I missed you yesterday too. It was really difficult to pick out spectators for me. I'm not used to running that far into the pack, and holy heck the roads are much more crowded than usual as are the sidelines.

    But glad you found your gals and had a blast!

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  4. No problem about the missed sighting. I missed a couple of other people as well. I think that's how it goes sometimes when there are 40,000+ runners and over a million spectators. Thanks for the kudos!

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  5. I didn't know that tidbit of information about Dathan! That is amazing! I'm so excited about the future of American marathoning. We can only go up from here, right??? :)

    I'm so bummed I missed you out there! Spectating is hard work, especially looking through so many people! It is definitely an art! Thanks!

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  6. Hahaha, the shorts picture cracks me up! I can't believe how long the legs are on the elites...they seriously look like gazelles!! I also got my second wind the moment i heard gangnam style. And then the three other times i heard it. I might need to have it on my playlist for Dublin :)

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  7. OMG I love the guy behind us in that pic. HILARIOUS. I'm pretty sure by miles 20-23, no one else around us was having as much fun as we were.

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  8. I know, right? Does that mean that since I have long legs, I will some day be an elite? That's how that works, right?? *crosses fingers*

    When I joined Maggie at mile 16, we heard Gangnam style 3 times. And we totally did the dance while running EVERY TIME. #worthit

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  9. ha. Your post is awesome esp the pic of the guy behind you.

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  10. Irina @ Chocolatea TimeOctober 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    I may have gotten teary-eyed while watching the elite runners at mile 24. I may have also screamed delirious things like "you're beautiful!" to the women leaders. So inspirational!!!

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  11. Wow. Looks like you guys had lots of fun there in Chi-town. I should definitely start saving so I can one day join in the fun as well. Those are quite the supplies you have there.

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  12. Yay! Did people partake in the general store? What was the most popular item?

    It sounds like they kicked you off the course? Or asked you to leave?

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  13. It is quite an emotional day whether you're running or not, I totally agree!

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  14. Haha thanks! The Chicago Marathon is quite popular and people come from all over the world to finish this great race!

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  15. No one really used the general store. Everyone was well prepared! I think if I was at a different marathon without as much support, things might have been different.

    They rudely/forcibly asked us to get off the course... Although I heard a few stories of course marshall's physically pulling people by the arm and removing them from the course closer to the finish line. We hopped out by mile 25.5 so there was time for the runners to finish it off themselves.

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  16. True story. There are lots of pained faces in the back of various marathonfoto pictures as well...

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  17. Your friends are lucky to have you.
    Loved the pic with the guy all beat down behind you two.

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  18. Thanks, that is so nice! :) A couple of my friends' race photos had some painful faces in the background. :)

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  19. Love all the photos! Seems like you had a blast spectating and running with Maggie. This post just made me want to sign up for another marathon. Thanks! :)

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  20. Thanks! It was totally fun!! I may or may not be thinking about doing another marathon myself sooner rather than later. HAHA

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