Rock N Roll Chicago 1/2 Marathon

Now that half marathon #16 is in the books and I’ve flown back to Philly, I’ve had time (and sleep) to think about my weekend in Chicago.  I haven’t been to my second home since last year at some point and boy, I’ve missed it!!!  I flew in Friday morning and our flight was delayed over an hour.  It was a combination of rain, our flight starting off at the wrong gate and it taking 20 minutes to get off the run way.  I got into Chicago around 10 AM Chicago time and headed over to the expo to pick up my race gear.  The expo wasn’t all that special- I’ve seen most of the vendors before.  Since I was meeting up with a friend, I was in and out in 10 minutes and headed to my hotel.  Note, I booked my hotel Tuesday and that was after we got a good deal from another runner friend coming in for the race.  After checking in, I met up with a friend for the afternoon and we headed out for a short run while his girlfriend was on a conference call for work.  After we got back and showered, we did some grilling and headed to my alma mater to take a look at all the work they’d done (holy construction Loyola!).  From there, I headed to Evanston and met up with another friend for dinner.  After catching up, I headed back downtown (thank goodness for 3 day groupon CTA passes on sale!).

Saturday morning, 3 friends made their way to Chicago.  I met up with 2 of them at the expo, where, while waiting, I met my alter ego Christine Amy Martinez made an appearance.  A friend had signed up for the race, but ended not making the trip from LA.  The Rock N Roll series, for whatever reason, no longer allows people to pick up bibs for others, even with a note and permission from the person.  This is a huge issue because I knew a few people who were coming back from vacation and couldn’t make the expo.  The race made it seem like they were doing people a huge favor by allowing my friends to pick up bibs race day. Why not just let them have someone pick up their bib??  Anyways, I was determined to get my friend’s bib and my alter ego came out.  Yeah, we’re just going to leave it at that.   Let’s just say a bib went good use.  Another issue I have is with the prices.  $150 to sign up for a half at the expo?  Are you kidding me?  Even after a certain date it was $100 and that wasn’t even close to the race date. Why jack up prices?  I’ve gotten the same amount of ‘stuff’, including end of race food, etc for less than what Rock n Roll charges.

After the expo, I met up with some friends at The Melting Pot to catch up and then headed out to church (smart phones are a good thing).  Afterwards, I met back up with my fellow runners and we headed to Quartino’s for dinner.  Holy loudness!!  After some good pasta and conversation, we headed to the hotel and called it a night.  We laid out all of our stuff so we were all ready to go in the morning

Our wake up call was 5 AM. YAWN.  The 4 of us met in the lobby around 530 and headed to The Congress Plaza Hotel to meet up with some runners we know and have run with before.  We also made sure my alter ego’s bib was used well.  We started in corral 8 with the goal of just to get out of the start and on the course.  It was definitely hot and humid the entire race.  I haven’t done a run over 7-8 miles in over a month just because of time so I knew I wasn’t going to PR by any means and the heat didn’t help at all.  There was water and gatorade on course, but I felt like it was erratic in placement.  I appreciate the marks at 5k/10k/15k/20k, but I wish they would have done split times there as well.  I was dripping sweat at least 5 miles in!  The last 3 miles were rough.  My stomach wasn’t liking me (and I did eat before the race!) and I was sure I would be sick by the end of the race.  After hitting mile 11 we ran under McCormick Place.  I’m not a fan of that part of the race just because you can’t see well and if someone gets hurt, it’s hard to get too.  After passing mile 12, around the 20K, there was a runner down who did not look good at all.  some of her friends and medical were there working with her (which is why I didn’t stop- help was already there).  I was hoping she was alright!  one of my running friends saw her as well and asked about her when I finished since we were a few minutes apart finishing.  The last part of the race was a straight shot to the finish, but the finish seemed so far off! You came around the corner and were running Columbus Blvd, and it just felt like it kept going and didn’t end.  After getting through the finish, I picked up my medal, wet (cold) wash clothe, 2 chocolate milks, water and banana.  As people started finishing, we made our way back to Congress Plaza to meet up with our group.  We then headed back to our hotel and got some much needed showers. Let’s face it, that’s always the best part of the race!

After we freshened up, we headed to lunch over at the Emerald Loop Bar and Grill and had a free appetizer to boot.  After walking around State street, depositing a check and picking up some Garrett’s pop corn, we relaxed in the hotel until 6 or so.  I headed off to Midway to fly back home while 2 of my running buds headed to dinner to meet up with our running friends from this morning.  It was a good weekend overall with good company.  Here’s to hoping to another meet up for the marathon in October!

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About drrunner
6 time marathoner, 40 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. New title of BibRave Pro member so watch for discounts and products! Do what you love and love what you do!

2 Responses to Rock N Roll Chicago 1/2 Marathon

  1. Beth says:

    I was there in support for 4 friends. This was my first experience with the marathon. after reading your story, my friends said you captured exactly what they felt at the last leg..where is the finish line! Congratulations to all you 1/2 marathoners and 5k ers!!!

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