Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Do you want to know the best day when running the lakefront is clear and you can have a nice relaxing run in Chicago?  Chicago marathon race morning.  I think I saw 1 other runner and only a handful of cyclists.
I live about 2 miles from the 12K point of the marathon so instead of walking or taking the el I decided to run to Addison, cheer my heart out, then finish up my run after my hands were too sore to clap anymore.  I made it to Addison right as the first few participants in the wheelchair division were coming through, found a spot right up front, and waited.  The wait was short and soon enough we could hear the lead cars honking and the helicopter overhead.

Here they come...
There they go... can you spot Ryan hall?  And yes that is only 1 of the cheerleading groups along this mile of the marathon.

After that I cheered for people I didn't know for the next 2 hours.  I ended up seeing my friend running her second marathon (and PRing by 40 minutes!) Unfortunately she didn't see me.  My fault, I never told her I would be there.  I am glad though I was able to spot her in the masses!

It was a warm morning, nice for spectating but I felt bad for the runners.  Definitely not as warm as it has been in the past but nowhere close to ideal.  I saw a handful of people already struggling at the 12K which was shaded.  I can only imagine how they felt on the back half where shade is hard to come by.  I noticed many spectators only cheering for the 1 or 2 people they knew and it bothered me.  Maybe since I've run a couple races now that I know how nice/motivating it is to hear the cheering, clapping, and support from total strangers.  Seriously, if you are going to stand there and wait an hour to see your family member or friend might as well clap for the others while you are at it.

I don't know what it is about spectating but I tend to get emotional and want to run another marathon.  It holds my absolute worst race and my current marathon PR.   It's my town and I kind of love it in all its craziness.  It's a good thing registration doesn't open until next year otherwise I would have come home and signed up immediately. 

8 comments:

Maggie said...

Haha, I'm with you, I'd be signed up by now if registration for 2012 were open. I haven't done a marathon yet though, and I think Chicago 2012 might be my first ...

Marlene said...

Sooo awesome that you are close enough to just run out and cheer on the course!

Tara said...

I had two friends running and they said it was icky hot!
Soooo very cool to see the elites come in; they certainly amaze me.

Congrats to your friend on her 40 minute PR! Wow.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I agree. There is something about watching a marathon and KNOWING all they put into it that makes you want to do it again!

Jill said...

I love spectating and cheering. I think I should become a professional cheerleader for my son's XC team :). Glad you had a great time and congrats to your friend!

J said...

So awesome you live so close to the race! I have a feeling if I ever spectate a marathon I will want to run one, so I kind of try to avoid it for now! lol

kilax said...

I think it's odd when spectators just stand there too, and only cheer for their folks. Oh well. At least they are there?

At Milwaukee, there was this one group we kept seeing over and over and they always cheered for us. It was awesome.

Watching a race always makes me want to sign up too!

runner26 said...

i'm sorry i missed cheering this past weekend - wouldve been a great day to be out there. i am also strongly thinking about chicago 2012.