|Morning Check out.|
|Breakfast at the gate|
|Hurray for Dunkin Donuts!|
|Crowds gather after leaving Cheryl|
|Hmm, Frank Ghery building?|
|Sun rise over lake Michigan|
|Helicopter waiting for the start|
|Look out for tall buildings!|
|More cool architecture|
|My first spectator spot at mile 2|
First the Rollers!
And then.... Everyone else! Waves upon waves! I did not spot Cheryl at this point.
Even sifting through the videos together, we could not find her in the massive flood of people. So. As the 3:55 pace group ran by...I moved on to the next location. Mile 14.
I could not believe my luck that I managed to arrive at mile 14 with very few spectators and ahead of the Elites once again!
I stood there for about an hour searching the crowd for Cheryl with no luck. The people flooding by were nearly impossible to distinguish. With the wind picking up and the sun coming out, the thought had occurred to me that Cheryl might have taken off her long-sleeve shirt ( which, in fact, had happened!) and be wearing something totally different. Hence, my inability to recognize her from the crowd.
|The entire Park is Fenced off!|
|And celebrates with Goose Island Beer.|
|Cheryl shows off her medal|
I was happy that it was the latter.
|Blue Sky, Green Grass, Skyscrapers, and Beer. What could be better after a Marathon?|
Here are the results!
Official time: 3:34:21 That is a Boston Qualifying time! Only 1:01 slower than twin cities.
That is far better than even Cheryl had hoped! There was the specter of Cheryl not even breaking the 4 hour mark. To qualify for Boston...AGAIN... and on a World Marathon Major course is SPECTACULAR!
Age group place: 147. out of 2691
Gender group: 1166. out of 18583
Overall place: 5565. Out of about 40,166 runners.
The total story is here: Runner's World Chicago Marathon 2016
There was not shortage of conversation for the drive home. Cheryl was in high spirits and felt awesome. I, on the other hand, felt sore and beat up! Either I'm old, out of shape, or really did more physical exertion battling crowds and waiting around than someone who ran a marathon! ( Or a combination of all three!) I have not felt this bad since the 25 mile road march in the Army!
I could also chat about the expensive food, mediocre hotel room and service, and crowds of unusual size, but they are greatly overshadowed by the "Good Stuff" that it would seem petty ( but entertaining..I'm sure) In addition to the race results, the people of Chicago who ran the race were AWESOME! The police and volunteers were helpful and knowledgeable. They were very considerate and understanding that their beloved City had been inundated with outsiders who had no clue what was going on. The city size and crowds were intimidating enough. It was nice to have people who could help you navigate the stormy seas.