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LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon - RunMarathon


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Chicago, Illinois
United States
I have no idea, but he/she is probably fired
89F / 32C
Sunny
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 35/39
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up early and took the train down with Chris. Got to the race start in plenty of time... said Good Bye to Chris and picked up my friend Irish Peter who was running this race with me bandit, as a favor!
Event warmup:

Walk 25 + minutes to the start line.
Run
  • 4h 00m
  • 19 miles
  • 12m 38s  min/mile
Comments:

OK, peeps. I was out there... First, I was at or around the 5:30 pace group. Never saw the 5:45 pace group, so I was ahead of them. I started the race with a full fuel belt full of my pre-tested pre-determined race day nutrition. I had a hand carrier for water, because I knew it was going to be hot.

I did 90% of my training runs either in the middle of the day, or after work, when it was hot hot hot and HUMID. I think what people are failing to understand is the HUMIDITY. It can get so humid and stinky in Chicago in the summertime... it can almost churn your stomach to breathe the air... but that's beside the point... I have run in both heat and humidity, and although I'm NOT FAST, I am experienced and I know what to do, or at least I know what people should do. I had ample Endurolytes. Ample nutrition, and enough water to keep me going for about an hour or so...

That being said, I was not encouraged when I reached the FIRST aid station and found NOTHING. No Gatorade, no water, NOTHING. Luckily, Chris was not too far away and he had a water bottle along the side of the road. He topped me off.

Next aid station... circa mile 6ish... AGAIN, nothing. No water for the first 3-4 tables... they were flipped over and there were cups strewn about an inch thick all over the roadway. The volunteers were raking the cups up... toward the end of the aid station, there was one guy with a gallon of water pouring it into people's bottles. They were out of cups. There was a female volunteer struggling with a new box of cups, trying to open it and get the cups out of the plastic sleeves, while literally hundreds of runners stood around, waiting for water.

Each aid station we went through looked like something from Michael Jackson's THRILLER video... rushed volunteers, trying to get water to zombie like runners who were bouncing around from table to table looking for open gallons of water and cups, which were sometimes hard to find TOGETHER.

We plugged along... passing the halfway point @ 2:49 chip time, which translated into about 3:15 race time because it took us a LONG time to cross the start mat.

At mile 16 we stopped for the bathrooms. Upon exiting the bathroom, I noted ANOTHER packed med tent, people sitting on curbs, ice packs on their heads and necks, people on gurneys... it was quite dramatic and looked like something you'd see in a war movie, sans the blood...and the combat, and the enemy, and the tanks and such, but you get it, right?

Anyway, we were making our way toward mile 17 when we heard an announcement "THE MARATHON IS CLOSED PROCEED 2 MILES AHEAD AND PICK UP YOUR FINISHER'S MEDAL" I was like "What? Let's GO!" So we ran a little further, and we heard it again... "THE RACE HAS BEEN CUT SHORT, PROCEED TO GRANT PARK TO PICK UP YOUR GEAR AND YOUR FINISHER'S MEDAL..." We kept going...

Up comes the RIGHT turn to go south to the south side, Chinatown, Comiskey Park, etc etc... the turn is BLOCKED by both mounted police and police cars... there are barricades up, and there are spectators all over.... and both fire hydrants are open spewing water on to the streets everywhere... There was also a misting machine. (We thought a building was on fire... we had no idea what all the smoke was... turns out it was water...) There was no getting through, and no going past...

So we we walked... past our turn and made the slog back to Grant Park, where we (in this peculiar order) picked up our gear, received a finisher's medal and photo, turned in our chips, and then crossed the defunct, backwards finish line. We were given a banana in there somewhere along the way too. The ice machines at the finish line were EMPTY.

I have no idea what my results say. I haven't looked yet. If given the OPTION, I would have finished the whole distance, as I planned. I was doing fine with nutrition and hydration. Even though water was scarce, I was able to keep my water bottle topped off at the aid stations, and I still had 8oz in emergency water in my fuel belt. My legs were starting to ache, but I figured that's what you get around mile 17 in a marathon.

We were not given any options. Our race was not the full distance and the last part was NOT fully supported by anyone, except spectators who were handing out bottles of Gatorade or water because they felt sorry for us.

The Marathon website is entirely wrong. I passed the halfway point WAY before 4 hours and I was NOT given any option to continue the race. No one around me was given any option of continuing the race. We were diverted. Halsted was blocked, and that was going to be that.

I'm not fast, but I tell you, I was there to finish. I'm not afraid of heat or humidity, and although I don't ENJOY them, I am able to "deal"with them, and because of my relative slowness, I don't sacrifice much "speed" to them.

It was the most unusual clusterfcuk I'd ever seen. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is the best way to describe it. People staggering around in a daze, falling over for no particular reason, and people schumped outside med tents along the course, nurses/doctors tending to them... all to the tune of ambulances wailing in the distance.

I believe the RD rerouted the race in order to cut his losses. Immediately. The last I'd heard 206 people were transported to the HOSPITAL, thousands upon thousands more were falling out of the med tents, and one person died. The early lack of water and fluids probably created problems for people later in the race... especially those who did not bring their own bottles.

How do I feel? I don't know how I feel. I thought I'd be a marathon FINISHER tonight. Instead, I think I'm just a marathon participant. So I still have that 26.2 hanging over my head.

I'm going to wear the jacket, though.
What would you do differently?:

Jump the barricade, steal the mounted police horse and gallop off far enough to dismount and run to the finish line.

Heh. Just kidding... I don't know what, if anything, I'd do differently. I think I had my own bases covered. I knew the last 8-9 miles were not going to be glamorous, but, hey, what can you say... Unfortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to see exactly how unglamorous they might have been.
Post race
Warm down:

Bizarre finish line configuration. Walking around with gear bag. Strange strange strange.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My legs. My knees. My joints. My connective tissues and anatomy in general.

Oh, and it was hot outside.

Event comments:

*Sigh* I know this is always a popular race. I know many people who have done it many times multiple years in a row. This was clearly an anomaly. Poor planning. Poor poor planning.




Last updated: 2007-04-13 12:00 AM
Running
04:00:00 | 19 miles | 12m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
I don't know my exact mileage or time...?
Course: Truncated!
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

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2007-10-07 9:04 PM

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Champion
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Whizzzzzlandia
Silver member
Subject: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon


2007-10-07 9:24 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Expert
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Farmington, MI
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

Oh Wow.  That really, really stinks.  You are a Trooper.  Come run Detroit- Its bound to be super cold and crappy outside.  

Seriously, that just sounds rough.  What a disaster.  You deserve that medal.

2007-10-07 9:40 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Veteran
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Carencro, Louisiana
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Glad you are okay!  Crappy luck!  Interesting story to tell!  Foot in mouth  Hope you feel better soon!
2007-10-07 9:42 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Member
10

, Maine
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
That is completely unreal! I've been watching (and cheering for) you silently for some time--and I'm bummed for you and absolutely blown away at what happened today!

It sounds like you were totally prepped and doing great; pat yourself on the back for being ready for the challenge. I'm just sorry you didn't get the chance to finish it.

We were talking this weekend with a couple here in Maine, and the wife has done four or five marathons--NY, Chicago, several others--and she said the Chicago was the WORST. She said the energy was bad, the atmosphere wasn't good, the people weren't supportive, etc.

On the other hand, I heard the NY marathon is fabulous--you might want to consider traveling for it. I guess the whole of Manhattan takes the job of cheering everyone on seriously! (If you don't get in the first few years by lottery, they automatically take you for the 3rd or 4th time you enter.)

I plan to do a marathon and I hope when it's my turn, I'll be as well-prepared as you obviously were. So far I've only done a half, and it was WONDERFUL (Maine Coast Half, York ME, 3 weeks ago). My goal is to do the Honolulu in December 2008.

HEY there you go, sign up for the Honolulu for Dec. 2007. There is still humidity but not as bad, and supposedly (from what I've heard) it's a good one!!

Good luck, enjoy and take care,
Karina
2007-10-07 9:54 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Expert
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Wellington, North Island
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
I'm so sorry the race turned out this way Laura. I'm really impressed by your effort today. It takes a lot of strength of charater to get out there and run in this weather and then to be as calm about it as you have been when this happens. VERY impressive!
2007-10-07 9:54 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Hi Whizzz,
I am SO glad you are OK, and you were running a good pace, too! Good for you! Come run NY next year, it is a GREAT race, it starts right near the house I grew up in, on Staten Island, you begin by running over the Verrazano Bridge, go through all 5 boroughs of NYC, end in Central Park. Lots of support, a great marathon. I used to go down and cheer at the beginning.

Take care of yourself, you still ran a long time today in terrible conditions.


2007-10-07 10:02 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Champion
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MA
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon


Whizzz..thought about you today...strange way to handle the heat/humidity by RD. I'm sad that you were not allowed to finish as I know you would have.

Nice work....

So...do you love running now? like running now?

2007-10-07 10:02 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Veteran
252
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Chicago and therabouts
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
You trained. You prepared..And then because of others who didn't you paid the price. If more people prepared for the day the way you did, there would not have been problems of this magnitude. Hang in there Whizz.  Glad you were able to survive the day without serious injury.
2007-10-07 10:04 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Elite
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Racine, WI
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
I still think I've always known you'd kick Oprah's a$$ any day
2007-10-07 10:04 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Elite
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In The Peleton
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Wow Whizzzzz.  Just wow.  So disappointing, I know you could have done it!  So, any thoughts as to when you WILL conquer this distance?
2007-10-07 10:05 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Pro
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Evanston,
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

We know how prepared you were, and it sounds like you were running a GREAT race - don't let the turkeys get Your Whizzzzzzness down.



2007-10-07 10:06 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Master
2139
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piece o heaven
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
way to slug it out!

I have faith you would have been a stubborn donkey and made it 26.2 anyways. Glad to know you are upright and alright.

Now you can look for another fight for a another day!!!
2007-10-07 10:08 PM
in reply to: #995799

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Pro
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Without house
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
I'm sorry you didn't get to have the race you prepared so hard and so well for.
2007-10-07 10:23 PM
in reply to: #995799

Master
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Houston
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

I saw the race on the news and immediately started thinking about you!  Unable to get online until now.  Glad you are ok!  Sorry that you didn't get to finish but your time looked great for what you did get to complete.  Take care of yourself.

Great race report by the way!

2007-10-08 4:59 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Master
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Mishicot, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Hey, congrats on doing what you did...you sounded like you were probably one of the more prepared people out there and they should have let you finish if you were doing fine.  I was on the Twin Cities Marathon course, which was the same day and they were about a temperature degree away from shutting down the course too.  Come run the Green Bay Marathon in May.  I personally know the race director and he is cool.  Plus last year the race temp was in the 40's so heat was not at all an issue!  Congrats on what you did accomplish.  I have no doubt you will become a marathon finisher your first opportunity!!!
2007-10-08 7:01 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Elite
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New City, New York
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Bummer. Sucks when things out of your control determine the outcome.  26.2 is there for taking anytime you want it. I'm sure.


2007-10-08 7:16 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Elite
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Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

Thanks for the report.  What a dreadful experience...I'm sorry that it happened to you and everyone else.  how disappointing...you should look for a small mary to get your experience in, after all, 17 miles is at least a training run!

Thank god you were prepared with your fuel belt! I know I wouldn't have had mine, b/c you EXPECT that on a course! 

2007-10-08 7:18 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Regular
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Westchester, IL
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
In between Mile 20 & 21 the police were telling us the same thing but no barricades were up, all along the route people were telling us not to run since the clocks were all off and the race cancelled. I walked, ran to the finish. I too had my fuel belt with water, pedialite & sustain energy. Like the Cubs there is always next year. Congrats and Good Job!
2007-10-08 7:37 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

And this too shall pass, eh?  Glad to hear that you came out relatively unscathed ... well, at least physically.  I think it sucks that the race got so out of whack from an organization (or lack there of) perspective.  You can feel good knowing that you were MORE than able to cover the distance and cover it handily. 

BTW, Green Bay is a great marathon but recovery cuts into the tri season.  I ran it in '06.

2007-10-08 8:22 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Master
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Ellsworth, WI
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
So sorry the race didn't go well from an organizational standpoint, but it sounds like, personally, you did very well. Congratulations! Wear that jacket with pride.
2007-10-08 8:45 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Master
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Clifton, NJ
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

WHAT?

that's so terrible! what a letdown that must've been - sorry to hear.



2007-10-08 9:02 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Pro
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Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Sorry about the way things went.  Sounds like you've maintained a good attitude (or as best as can be expected) and I'm sure you'll be able to check off that 26.2 on your life list soon. 
2007-10-08 9:14 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Master
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Colorado
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

That is insane! Wow. Just... wow.

Good on ya for pushing ahead, and doing the best you could with the situation. That is CRAZY!

2007-10-08 9:18 AM
in reply to: #995799

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Pro
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Orange Park Florida
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Way to be prepared!  Too bad they wouldn't let you finish.
2007-10-08 9:35 AM
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Elite
2673
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Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Wow.  What more could you have done?  Nice job pouding out what you did pound out.
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