Chicago Marathon 2009

The Chicago Marathon has to be on of the biggest marathons that I have participated in. Absolutely huge! But then again everything seems big when you are barely 5’1

Chicago is one of my favorite cities for 2 reasons: Shopping and Giordano’s Pizza.

Amazing!

If you have been to Chicago and have not been to Giordano’s, then shame on you! It’s sooo good and making me really hungry just thinking about it. And it was the first place I went when I got into Chicago on Friday night.

I have to say that the Chicago Marathon was an extremely well  organized event. Especially considering the number of people who participate, about 45,000! When I got to the expo (of course I went the first day they held it and was there first thing in the morning) there was a line to get in! I was like “oh no!” this is going to be a long day. But it really wasn’t bad. Waited in line about 20 mins and slowly made my way into the expo. I had to manuever between multiple lines to get my bib and check the timing chip but there were tons of people to point me in the right directions.

Just got my bib and on my way to shop at the expo!

Spent close to 2 hours at the expo and was completely exhausted and starving afterwards. But totally worth buying new running gear (Chicago Marathon long sleeve shirt, long sleeve tech shirt capris and running socks) and getting my marathon tech shirt!

My Favorite Tech Shirt!

I then spent the rest of the day walking, touring and shopping around Downtown Chicago. I know Chicago is normally a bustling city but with all the marathoners it was packed! How could you tell they were marathoners? I could pick out running shoes a mile away! One the way back to the hotel I insisted on stopping at Millenium Park, I wanted to see what it looked like at night and I couldn’t resist taking this pic.

Like most marathons I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before the race, just too excited! Race morning was way colder than I had expected it to be. It was 30 degrees when I woke up. Umm guess that tank top and shorts I was planning on wearing just won’t cut it. Good thing I packed a long sleeve running top and purchased running capris at the expo! I thought finding my way to the correct corral would be a little difficult with the large amount of people but it wasn’t at all. Plus I ran into a couple Clevelanders so I had people to hang with before the race. Yay!

The Chicago course is the flattest course I have ever ran on and the crowd support is absolutely phenomenal. I did not expect to see a crowd of people lining the streets for the entire race. I figured there would be a few miles that would lack crowd support but I was proved wrong. I ran pretty good for most of the race. Since I had already qualified for Boston I decided to just have fun and enjoy the Chicago Marathon.

That's me in the blue!

After running such a good time in Cleveland I really thought I would run a PR in Chicago since it is so flat. That did not happen. I finished with a time of 3:55, 9772 overall, 2421st female and 662 in my age group. Although I did not run a PR, I did have an awesome time and would run the course again in a heartbeat.

Chicago Finish Picture!
2009 Chicago Finisher's Medal

And I even made it into the Chicago Tribune!

Where's Moja? I'll give you a hint. I am wearing a red top, with a black headband and am on the left side of the picture.
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