After several hours of preparation, we're ready at Aid Station #19, just past the 39k course marker--runners had about 1.8 miles to go at this point. (28th/Michigan) ADDED: I have to say, between doing water and Gatorade, Gatorade is so much more work. Take the jug of Gatorade concentrate. Add 4 gallons of water, which may or may not require lugging over said water. Mix. THEN pour and stack. Before when I did water, it simply just pour and stack. And the Aid Station I worked at before was very organized and we never needed to leave our area for stuff (like hauling water.)
1 part of our 3-man crew, BB the mixmaster. Look how many extra jugs we made. There'd be no dry Gatorade cup on our clock. ADDED: And then midway through the race we looked over and all of our jugs were gone. Other tables must have grabbed them. Shrug. So goes volunteer work, I suppose. At least they were used. Once our Gatorade was gone we just kept moving back to the next table. At one point I noticed the Gatorade I was handing out was deeply yellow. I realized that someone had started pouring straight concentrate into the cups? I went over to the culprit and caught her in the act. She proclaimed she didn't know and I was super annoyed as I've been on the other end of that cup and gulped straight concentrate. It's not cool, and definitely not cool so close to the end of the race when volunteers are relied upon the most. ARRIVE ON TIME, LEARN and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, people!! Sheesh!
The "own Chicago" theme has taken root over the last few years. You can't really see it here, but there are signatures all over this--I guess it must have been on display at the expo. Very nice touch along the course. ADDED: I have something similar ready to post on my vision board, for which I haven't quite put together. Vision board? Another post for another day. But anyway...interesting how I haven't had time to put all the pieces together for said vision. What does that say of my vision and goals? Hmmm
All ready, nothing to do but wait for the elites. Here are a few of the wheelchair racers. Tatyana McFadden from Univ of Illinois won again for the women wheelchair division. She's going for marathon win #4 of the year at NYC in a few weeks. Awesome! Her story is quite remarkable (I'll link it when I add to this post.)
The eventual 1st and 2nd place runners. The perfect fall temps helped them keep this pace--a course record.
Rita Jeptoo, less than 2 miles from her win. (And while I'm not above screaming like an idiot, this is NOT me screaming like an idiot in this video.)
But there's so much more, I'll write more soon!! ADDED: Ok maybe there's not SO much more, especially since I've waited an entire two weeks to update this and things are already fading. Here are a few notes I will add: -At the 24+ mile marker into a race of 45,000 runners, it gets a little difficult to spot your runner friends, but somehow I managed to do so for all my friends I was looking for. I have been on the other side and know how good it is to see a familiar face, so I was happy to be that face for my friends. One of my friends emailed me the next day and wrote: "I can’t tell you how amazing it was to see you at the end of the race yesterday. Seeing you gave me that extra push to get through the last bit of the race. Thank you for volunteering and being such a wonderful cheerleader. You are just the best!" That made me feel really good, but I was happy to be out there. So many people said thank you...but really..thank YOU for being such an inspiration. That being said, I have been on the other end of an exasperated thank you. it feels good to say it, and it's good to hear it. :) -I brought my friends pretzels just in case they needed salt/carbs, and a few took them. I kept them in a bag and a cop with a dog came around and said "It's a bad day to leave a bag lying around" sounding all annoyed. In my head I said "whatever!!!! You're doing your job, your dog sniffed it, what's the big deal?!" They didn't tell volunteers not to bring bags, they said bags would be subject to search. So ease up." But instead I just looked over and said "Ok thanks." I mean really...if people didn't bring bags, then he wouldn't have anything to do. (insert deadpan stare here.) I mean REALLY. I'm still a bit annoyed by him. -I saw several "No Meat Athlete" shirts throughout the day. I now have the book, but at this point it hadn't arrived, so it was cool to see them. But the best t-shirt of the day that I saw was one that said "stop not training." So true. how many times have I just barely completed the mileage or failed to cross or strength train? Or wasn't honest about the quality of miles in my long runs? (ie too much stopping for water, not running hard enough, turning off my watch when taking GU or stretching.) guilty, Guilty, GUILTY! "Stop not training" will be a training mantra of mine every time I get tired or want to cut corners. Good stuff. -We finally left the race at around 2pm, maybe even a bit later. 8 hours on our feet, with a solid 5+ handing out cup after cup, arm in the same position. It's not running a marathon, but we were tired! We ate then crashed for a few hours, I think. And so concludes the running of the 2013 Chicago Marathon. Until next year...
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