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7:30 AM

26.2 mi


11:07 mi


164.8 lb


45 F


10 / 10
10 / 10

Race Result

23435 / 33687 (69.6%)
1690 / 2147 (78.7%)
14686 / 19069 (77%)
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I DID IT (Facebook post shortly after the race)

I would like to thank my family, friends & co-workers who encouraged me through out this endeavor. I would especially like to thank my race crew. Carol, Annette, Bob & Logan. Could not have done it with out you. And I need to thank my Dad. Gone all these years. It was his Love, Mental Toughness, and Example of Always Finishing What He Started that got me through those last few brutal miles. (Facebook post the next morning)

How did I go from never again to next time in 24 hours? (Facebook post as I'm writing this)

Start coral was nuts. You could feel the energy. Where you from? First marathon? Chucking my sweat pants and shirt, fun & a little weird. Pace group crews got there a little late, causing me and others additional stress. I found my way to my group, the 4:30. Throw away jacket was a mistake. Didn’t breath at all. When I finally chucked it I found out how wet I was. Next time an old zippered hoodie?

First few miles dodged a lot of clothing, water bottles etc. By mile 3 I started to settle in, and stress a little about the Pace group. There was an ebb and flow in the traffic that had me in the front on minute and at the back the next. When our leader pulled over to greet someone, I pulled just ahead of the group. By the crowd calls I could tell they where just behind me. Cool. Somewhere in mile 5 my watch bonks (Garmin Forerunner 205). Without my glasses I couldn't read the error screen. I later learned the memory was full. Hitting enter when it first happened would have made everything right. Live and learn. Still have my pace group, all is well. Miles 4 - 6 there's all these mad dashes to the trees for relief. Don't you guys & yes a few girls, plan ahead? Lincoln Park was beautiful, what a way to see the city. Boy's Town was a gas. Drag Queens, & A Baton Troupe & Cheer Leaders oh my! All kidding aside, some of the best neighborhood support came from Boy's Town. Old Town was cool and also gave amazing support. I'm settled in with my pace group behind me. I feel good & look forward to seeing my race crew just before the halfway point. And there they are, front and center on the fence. I make my way to the side for a quick greeting and some high fives. Logan looks a little freaked out. I think I scared him. They'll see me again around mile 17, but I wont see them. More on that later. Shortly after the half way point on I realize I have no choice, I have to hit a port a potty. I’d gone three times before the race & only hit three aid stations. At least I did better than the boys & girls in the trees. Somewhere on mile 14 or 15 I find one that’s not too busy, probably loose less than two minutes. But now I have no watch & no pace group. All I have to go by is my body and the clocks on the mile & kilometer signs. As fatigue sets in my math skills fade. I start wondering if the 4:45 group passed me on my “break”. Miles 15-17 I settle in with a brother sister team. They ask each other how they feel, then they ask me, and they seem to really care for an answer. All three of us are first timers. We chat on and off until 17, then I bonk. I guess it was what runners call the wall. But, bonk better describes how I felt. I look for my crew but don’t see them. I start reliving our meeting at mile 13, that helps. Miles 17-20 are a blur, except one or two blocks in the Pilsen neighborhood. The smell of Mexican food and shouts of Viva La Mexico are in the air as my fellow runners from Mexico are greeted. Cool!. At the aid station around 18 I realize it’s the Gatorade that’s giving me cramps. I switch to water at the next aid station, it tastes funny. Aid stations starting at mile 20 are giving out bananas, I learn to watch my step. I’m now in a nice walk run routine that seems to be working. It looks like I won’t break 5 hours (my math skills are gone). I’m having fun again. Checking out Connies Pizza (I could go for a slice) and China Town. Somewhere on mile 23 I catch up with the 4:45 pace group. I try to hang with them, but it’s not happening. Still I now know I’ve got a good chance to break 5 hours. My spirits are lifted. Then there it is, Michigan Avenue. Two more turns & then the finish. I tell my self it hurts if you walk, it hurts if you run, so you might as well run. Thanks Matt & Kim. This and the more you run the sooner you’re done are my mantras. At mile 26 you turn right and there it is, the only real hill on the whole course, are you kidding me? Then it’s a left, and there it is, the finish line. Other runners are egging on the crowd with their hands, I try, but don’t have the strength. I thrust my hands over my head in one final defiant move against my spent body as I cross.

Time spent in the runners area after the finish stands still. I feel like a could cry several times. I don’t fight it, I don’t have the strength. Turns out I don’t have the strength to cry either, that’s ok too. I get my space blanket, then my medal, then cookies & beer. Yea I know. But when you combine two of my favorite words, free & beer in a sentence, I’m in. Later, while looking for my crew, I learn my time. 4:51:03, cool!