– Spectator's Sign At The 2009 Chicago Marathon
...and we're off. Me, PB&J and Greg. shuffling our feet closer and closer to the finish line. Greg was planning on finishing in 5 hours and we were planning on finishing in 4:45 so we decided to run together. it was fun. all the cheering all the spectators.
Over 1.5 Million people came to watch the race!
We were at about mile 3.5 when we saw Greg's GF and my long time friend from home Socks. she was able to snap a pic of us.
Me, Greg and PB&J (with our neon gloves and throw away pants!)
The race was absolutely amazing. PB&J and i put our names on the front of our shirts so people could cheer for us. and boy did they! Let me just say that the people of Chicago can really pronounce my name. i think of the hundreds of people cheering only a handful said it wrong. there were some points of the race that i had to go towards the middle cause i couldn't stop smiling from all the cheering!
seeing all these people and kids out on the side of the road was so inspiring. we were able to run up next to them and give them high fives! i love high fives!
right around mile 6 we lost Greg because we decided to wait 15ish minutes in line for the restroom. (note: Chicago calls them toilets, not restrooms. even in restaurants)
the whole north portion of the race was the most crowded with runners and spectators. as we're heading south back into the city we run through Boys Town. By far my most favorite section of the race. there was a stage were these "marines" did some sort of choreographed dance with fake riffles, there were cross dressing prom queens and transvestite cheerleaders! IT. WAS. AWESOME!
shortly after that we were coming up to the half way point. we just got done saying how we think we must have missed PB&Js parents when BAM! her dad calls out to us!
we stop for a quick photo op. which i don't have pics to share. it was so fun.
we're feeling good crossing the bridge to head west out of the city. once we hit mile 15 we were super excited. it was the farthest that PB&J had ever run! ever step was a new record for her. i wish this excitement could've lasted for me.
around mile 17 i started to pay attention to the blisters on my pinky toe and the crowd started to diminish a little. Then out of no-where an angle appeared!
i think it was between mile 19 and 20...this woman, probably around my age. she was standing on the curb with her husband/BF shouting...
"cold beer, get a beer!"
O.M.G. that was just what i needed. i grab the cup from her hand and it was just enough for one swig. down it went and it was good!
next on the course...Chinatown at mile 21.5. that was a lot of fun. they had two dragons at the entrance along with a big arch that says "welcome to chinatown". after china town we ran though the Hispanic area which was fun. everyone was cheering and waving flags.
then finally we make the turn onto Michigan Ave. the last 2.5 miles of the race. We were suppose to see our friend Shibani on the sidelines so we kept a look out. as we were running north back to the city the crowd started getting packed. the cheers were coming from all sides. "Go Lara! Go Jennie! Cleveland Rocks!" it was so exciting.
then i hear the worst thing possible. two people are running next to us..."after this right turn we run up a hill and then turn left for the finish"
A Hill?!? i thought this was a flat course! so i immediately tell PB&J so we can mentally prepare for this "hill". psh. hill my butt. it was at the most an slight incline. and it was actually welcomed. running on a flat course is actually kinda boring for your muscles.
the one thing i noticed...the spectators had stopped cheering. they were just watching us. WTF! i just ran 26 miles. i have .2 to go and your gonna sit and watch quietly! HELLS NO! so what do we do? what any clevelander would do.
we started cheering on the spectators! doing the whole "get up on your feet" type of cheering! and once we could see that beautiful word FINISH up ahead we picked up the pace and crossed that finish line hands above our head in victory!
and soreness. we could hardly walk. no cramps. just stiffness. we had to walk about another .8 miles to get out of the runner area. but we got pictures taken, free beer and our awesome medals!
it was a really fun race. and i'm so proud of PB&J and Greg for completing their first marathon...without walking! PB&J and i finished in 5:26:41 (minus the 15ish for the bathroom). it was the only race were we finished together. we got a little teary-eyed once we got our medals. then quickly dried up and headed to the post race party.
we only stayed for a little. we realized we had to meet up with PB&Js parents to take us to our friends Fazio's so we could take a nap. zzz...
Fun Facts about the Marathon:
• a blind runner beat us
• Sammy Wanjiru (KEN) finished in 2:05:41 (we weren't even at the 1/2)
• Liliya Shobukhova (RUS) finished in 2:25:56 (we still weren't at the 1/2)
• i finished 29,039 and PB&J finished 29,038 out of 33,608 runners!
before the half way point! feeling good!
how was everyone else's weekend?