The marathon expo in Chicago is always an exciting event. It has grown significantly since 1996 when the first one I went to was held in the lowest level of the Hilton Hotel in Chicago. Of course, back then only 9000 people did the marathon. This year, there has been over 45,000 entries sold. I’m not sure how many will actually do the race but likely around +40,000.
I like to got to the expo on Friday, the first day it opens. This way the lines are shorter and all the vendors are already set up. The later you go on Saturday, the less excitement the vendors and everyone else seems to have.
When I picked up my bib 5069 I felt proud having such a low number. It’s a silly thing but having a 4 digit number is more pleasing to me than having a 5 digit number. I’m certain one day my times will slow and I’ll be back in the 5-digit crowd but for the moment, I’m a 4 digiter.
After getting my bib packet, I checked my d-tag to make sure my time will show and then picked up my t-shirt and goodie back. This year the t-shirt is a red, technical (running) shirt. It’s nice and all but I like when they used to give out cotton shirts. At least I could wear that shirt out. Running shirts are only wearable when you’re running. I know other runners have different feelings about this but I like wearing out race t-shirts. Maybe some day I’ll buy one.
I met my sister and her friends at the expo this year. They have been training hard and are hoping to finish under 3:45 which would qualify them for Boston. I know how hard they have been working and I do hope they’ll meet their goals. My goals are rather modest this time…just finish faster than last year’s 3:38. We’ll see. My training hasn’t been a good as it should have been.
One of her friends brought her son who was a real hoot. I did some magic tricks and he was super amused. Seven year-olds find me amusing.
That’s it for now. Hopefully, I’ll recover by next Wednesday because I’m scheduled to be on a national late-night TV show! More details on that in a future blog post.