Feel the excitement of the race as you run underneath Columbus Drive - with music blaring, feet clapping on the pavement and rows of cheering spectators above you, you'll feel your adrenaline pumping! Miles 1 & 2: Tour Chicago's scenic Streetville Neighborhood, towering with architecturally acclaimed skyscrapers, and look for the famous Chicago Theater as you approach mile 2 on State Street. Mile 3: Ever wonder how Chicago maintains its reputation as a financial hub and global leader? Check out the financial district - you're running through it! Mile 6: Hear something howling just east of you? Do not fear - lurking in the shadows of the city's skyscrapers, you are gliding through one of Chicago's largest green spaces: Lincoln Park Zoo. Mile 8: Get ready to get your groove on in "Boystown"! One of the most entertaining, spectator-friendly and famous places on the course, let the all male cheerleading squad of boystown put a little pep in your step. Mile 10: As you turn onto the beautifully tree-lined Sedgwick Street, you will hit one of the loudest spots on the course. The thunderous yells and cadenced applause of the endless crowds will send chills up and down your spine. Mile 16: You've passed the halfway point, and after heading west for two miles you've turned back east. You can finally look up and take a deep breath and get a snapshot of the entire city skyline. Inhale the beauty and exhale the wonder. 10 miles to go. Miles 19-20: No bonking ahead! Let the rhythms of the Mariachi bands playing along 18th street in Pilsen help you through Chinatown. Mile 22: Enter the dragon. Prepare to be awed by the colorful dynamic costumed dragon cheering you through Chinatown. Mile 23: Keeping it steady and strong, capture a glimpse of IIT's famous campus. Focus on the stunning and innovative architectural design of Mies Van Der Rohe, Myron Goldsmith, Rem Koolhaas and Hulmet Jahn before you make one of your final turns on Michigan Avenue. Mile 26: Hello "Mount Roosevelt"! As you vigorously stride into the homestretch, you power over the highest elevation point on the course - 24 feet. Mile 26.2. Celebrate your accomplishment and relive the journey you've just taken and the mark you've just made. Congratulations.
At the start line among 40,000 other people. Whoa. There are A LOT of people here. I can't see in front of me or behind me. I am packed in like a sardine. But, at least it's keeping me warm! Is it really 36 degrees?!? What is it with me and running marathons...??? What is it with me and running marathons in inclement weather??? At least it's not raining! This is going to be better than last year??? THIS IS GOING TO BE BETTER THAN LAST YEAR!!! Man it’s cold! How do people live here?!? Good thing my dad bought me this REALLY ugly disposable jacket and gloves. I think we are FINALLY moving. Oh crap, I can't get this fancy-schmancy new GPS watch that Seth lent me to work. I knew I should have used mine! Mile 1.5: Is that man really running with one leg and crutches?!? That's crazy. And, he's fast. I HAVE to pass that guy, he only has one leg! Ok, passed him... whew. Mile 7: Am I still running? I don't really feel like running anymore! Ugh... why do I keep signing up for these things? It's so bloody cold! Mile 8: Oh my gosh, the sun!!! FINALLY!!! Good-bye disposable gloves. Miles 8.5 - 9: Wait! What happened to the sun?!? My hands are freezing. My hands are freezing. My hands are freezing. Luckily I am running with a pack of sport jelly beans (yes, I did take candy… none of you are surprised). It seems like whichever hand the bag of beans is in is WAY less cold than the other. Great, I am never going to be able to actually eat these! Oh, this is pretty. These houses are gorgeous. If it wasn’t so bloody cold, maybe I could live here. They do have great shopping. Miles 10 -13: Look there is a pair of gloves someone disposed of, is it unsanitary to pick them up and use them?!? Yes... it is right?!? Oh, look there is another pair of gloves, can I use those... no. Oh look, another pair of gloves… etc., etc. etc. for 3 miles. Mile 13: Does that mile marker up there say 18?!? Oh my gosh, I am making such good time... wait... I think that's actually a 13. Man, I need new contacts. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! I AM ONLY HALF WAY DONE WITH THIS BLOODY RACE!?!?! Mile 14: There's an aid station. I wonder if they would give me some of their plastic sanitary gloves they have to use. Cool. I'll just wear these. They are making my hands warm and even kind of sweaty. And, now I can finally EAT these sport beans, whew. Mile 15: Ummmm, I think maybe I look like the lunch lady with these gloves on. Oh well, I get to keep my hands. Mile 16: I SO look like a lunch lady. Mile 18: Is that guy giving out beer? What the... Mile 19: Do I still look like a lunch lady? Yep. But, I am not going to have to amputate my hands. Mile 20: Where's my brother? I need to find my brother, is that him... no... what about that guy? ... no. Mile 22: I guess I missed Mark... but, I was so preoccupied looking for him that I don't even remember running that past 3 miles, so that's good. Mile 23: Am I still running?!? WHY AM I STILL RUNNING! Mile 23.5: That guy is wearing a Fred Flinstone costume... did he just pass me?!? … yep, there he goes. He sure looks crazy... and weird... and warm! Wait, do I still look like a lunch lady?!? ... yep. Mile 24: Is that the finish line?!? Cool, I think it is. It looks ssssoooo close! I can do this. Mile 25: Why did they show me the finish line?!? I feel like I just got punk’d. It's like I am almost done, but I am NEVER going to get there. One more mile and I'll see my parents. Yipee. Mile 26: I am done... no wait... I still have .2 to go!!! I... can't... run... anymore... ugh... Finish line: Aaaaahhhh done! A little under 4 and a half hours. Yes, best time yet! That was fun. I totally want to do that again. I wonder when I can do another one. Beyond the finish line: OH MY GOSH! WHY DID MY PARENTS PARK SO BLOODY FAR AWAY! I AM GOING TO DIE! I wonder if they have a wheelchair I can borrow. I should have brought money so I could take a cab. I... CAN'T... MOVE. I wonder if this is permanent? I NEED FOOD. Oh, I see my parents. They are so cute and wonderful. My parents rock! Oh, they look so close, but it feels SO far away. I... DON'T WANT TO MOVE ANYMORE!