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26 Highlights of Running the Chicago Marathon

Posted Oct 17 2008 9:14pm

June is over, which for many of us training for the Chicago Marathon means a chunk of training is behind us, and now we face some more important and challenging runs ahead.

2007_logo_2 Optimistically, I find the remaining weeks of training uplifting because there is so much to look forward to.  The marathon involves so much more than merely the race on Sunday morning.  Like everything worthwhile, its enjoyment comes in the preparation and traditions leading up to the event itself.  These days I'm enjoying the great running advice, conversation, and support from a passionate group of marathoners,

On marathon day there's no shortage of human drama, and Chicago's Marathon offers some special experiences.   Some of what I love about the Chicago Marathon:

  1. Training for Chicago 2007 --Our ticket to the world's greatest marathon
  2. Sweet Home Chicago --The town rolls out the red carpet for all runners & visitors
  3. Chicago Marathon Volunteers --10,000 tireless workers devoted to ordinary runners
  4. Marathon Organizers --Leadership at its best staging the world's largest marathon
  5. The Expo --A showcase of running events, merchandise, information, and excitement
  6. The Field Of 45,000 Runners --A city on legs; fitness, talent, and courage moving in unison  
  7. Amazing Crowd Support --A sea of whistles, cow bells, high fives, and banners
  8. Elite Runners --World record holders, Olympians, and others capable of beating them
  9. Charity_runners_2 Pace Teams --Veteran runners helping complete strangers mile by mile hit our pace goals
  10. Charity Runners --committed, generous heroes running in the name of raising funds, awareness, and beneficiaries.
  11. International Flavor --Runners from around the world wearing their homeland colors 
  12. Throwaway Clothes --Shirts and pants we discard as the race starts and we heat up
  13. The Night Before --Constant checking our gear, the weather, and our sanity--all while trying to sleep
  14. The Course --The flatest and fastest in the world beginning and ending in Grant Park
  15. Pre-Race Days Countdown --Harnessing energy and confidence while tapering
  16. Pre-Race Hours Countdown --Final carbs, drinking, shoe lacing, and reality checks
  17. Elvis_3 One Hour to Go --Final warm-ups, porta-johns, and managing nerves
  18. The Start-- Months of pent-up energy finally unleashed to start a running dream
  19. The Early Miles --Jockeying for position and pace while navigating turns, bridges, tunnels
  20. The Middle Miles --A sea of humanity feeding off each others' running exuberance
  21. Miles of Elvises --Entertainers, live bands, cheering squads when we need them most
  22. Neighborhoods --Ethnic communities dotted with color, language, music, tradition,and pride
  23. Crossing_finish_line The Later Miles --Quiet, focused stretches where we draw from our confidence
  24. The Final Miles --Hearts of spectators and runners flood Michigan Avenue
  25. The Finish --Deafening crowds, 10 spectators deep--cheering like we're all #1
  26. Reuniting With Family And Friends --Being treated like heroes by those who love us

Here's hoping all runners have a list of motivators and to keep them excited about their marathons.

2007 Chicago Marathon logo onGoogle ImagesbyRealbuzz

Charity runners onGoogle ImagesbyCharity Runners

ElvisGoogle ImagesbyMainetoday

Crossing finish line onGoogle ImagesbyRaybritt

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