The Rundown: Chicago Marathon edition

So welcome to the Rundown, a special Chicago Marathon edition … a roundup of selected blog-posts on last weekend’s race.

women's winner deena kastorMarried mom Through Th3 Wall was spurred on by friends:

My friends appeared from the air at mile 25.2 …“Over the hill! You’re almost there! Over this bridge, just cross this bridge and you’re there!!! It’s all downhill after that, just cross the bridge, one last climb, COME ON! YOU’RE ALMOST THERE! LOOK HOW FAR YOU’VE COME!!! CROSS THE BRIDGE, CROSS THE BRIDGE!!!

And everything went silent and slow again. I didn’t feel anymore pain, I didn’t hate running, I didn’t feel like I’d held anyone back, I left all of that at the bottom of the hill, and I started to climb. My friends continued to cheer, Glenn continued to throw up his arms and pour gas on the open flame of a crowd, but I couldn’t hear a thing in the deafening roar. My friends mouthed thank-yous to me for running this race, so that they could experience it, too. This baffled me at first, for I was the one who owed them! And then what they were thinking and trying to say suddenly all made sense.

They were there for me, they wanted me to succeed. They wanted to share it and because I’d run this race they could experience it, too. I was never so humbled, and I had no more words. I looked at their faces, and knew that they wanted nothing more than for me to simply run.

curly su Chelle has previously written about the danger of hyponatremia — overhydration. It seems like Curly Su found out how hazardous this can be firsthand, and it sounds scary. She was on a 9-minute pace and had been drinking water at every mile. At mile 14 she started feeling crappy. At mile 15 she threw up.

Then at 19, I basically passed out. Kurt had to drag me to the medical tent, where they stuck me with an IV and then took me in an ambulance (yep, pretty crazy, eh?) to the main medical tent near the finish line. Besides that tent, 19m was as close to the finish line as I got. Pretty depressing.

I’m having a little bit of trouble with it mentally, but I’ll bounce back, obviously. It’s just frustrating because I was perfectly trained, and should have been fine.

When she collapsed, “My eyes were rolling back into my head, my pulse was only 100 and my blood pressure was 80/60.” Yikes.

RLS hit the wall but managed to finish:

I found that I was hitting my wall around Mile 18 and I had to dig deep down somewhere inside myself to keep going. I honestly don’t know where the strength came from, but I’m sure that being surrounded by people still pushing themselves helped!

Ali at Just One More Mile has a mile-by-mile report … she finished in 4:52.

Josh on a Mission ran a 4:18, two minutes faster than his goal. “There is not much quite like the feeling of setting a goal, putting a lot of hard work into preparing to meet that goal, and then accoplishing what you set out to do.”

Word to that, brutha.

Aimee ran a 3:52 and realized “how much I severely underestimate my ability as an athlete. I finished for my aunt, I finished for my team, and I finished for me … I had the best time of my life.”

Chicago Runnerz has some marathon photos.

Tangleweed was one of the bands lining the course and says , “I have to imagine we got as many waves, smiles, blown kisses, thank-you’s and outright dance-running from the racers of any band on the route.”

Other runners blogging the race: Ben & Joy (4:52); Kate of Kate & Jenny (4:18); Mermattali ; Boy’s Briefs (3:31); Donnie (3:33); paul-a-ver; Rad; Todd (4:16); Rachel (4:02); and Jimez (4:27). Yvonne ran a 3:30 and has promised a race report later. Also, Running Chick with the Orange Hat ran Hartford, not Chicago, but her report is so good it deserves a mention here too.

17 comments to The Rundown: Chicago Marathon edition

  • Gosh darnit, I love these things. I get to meet someone new each week. Thanks Derek. Nice job.

  • Great post! I was looking for other bloggers who ran Chicago, so thanks for all these links… and thanks for the plug! Have you seen the guy who photoblogged the race? I don’t know how he did it! His site is here:

  • Wil

    Hey! Thanks for the mention. Chicago was awesome, just the city to bring out the best in a marathon. Great site here, and thanks again!

  • Thanks Derek, a job well done. and to all that completed Chicago, congrats.

  • Great roundup-and congrats to all the Chicago (and Hartford) marathoners!! 🙂

  • Hey there…thanks for your comment and for quoting me. Awesome overview of the race…

  • Nice job! I enjoyed reading about everyone’s marathon experiences…and gets me that much more pumped up for my experience to come in about 2 1/2 weeks:)

  • Great round up of blogs. I was in need of some inspiration for this weekend’s Columbus marathon!


  • very cool run down, derek! great to see a profile of bloggers that were at chicago.

    just a correction, though. ali was the one from ‘just one more mile’, hosted by, that rocked out in chicago. and she’s a she. =)

  • Hey, nice roundup! Thanks for the shout! When would you like me to write one? 😉

  • guy

    people need to quit bitching about the lack of water/resources available so that they could of finished the marathon for their selfish reasons. Only in America do we have marathons, eating contests, etc.

  • Leon

    Chicago Marathon

    250 runners went to the hospital because of dehydration!

    1 runner just died in the emergency room. 10 in critical condition. The hot weather has nothing to do with anything. The fact remains that lack of water caused this, otherwise Texas (and the rest of the sunbelt states) would not hold marathons in the summer months (let alone in October).

    Once again, A RUNNER JUST DIED! Lawsuits are already being drafted against the event, somebody is going to jail for this and this is the beginning of grassroots movement of runners who will boycott the Chicago Marathon and knock it out of the top 10 World Marathons.

  • Chicago marathon boycotter

    i’m with Leon; I am a slow(er) runner & was mentally & physically let down at the SECOND water station (mile 3) when there was no water available. There was no Gatorade until mile 8, and by that time, I was probably already lacking fluids. At the finish, I heard from others who had completed the race that volunteers were pouring jugs of water over their heads along the route; they thought that this caused them to run out of water. C’mon – running out of water at the 2nd water station? Talk about poor planning – the race director knew the temp was going to be hot, & people would need more liquids than usual. Why couldn’t they start the race at 6:00 am like in Cinicinnatti? They could’ve notified everyone of a different start time when picking up race packets. I will not run Chicago again, too bad, because it was really fun a few years ago….

  • Dick Willis

    I am one of the runners who was caught in the middle. I was actually well ahead of the stated half-way point cut off and yet was forced off the route by barricades, police officers and a gauntlet of open fire hydrants that I felt made my effort to complete a life long dream unsafe (slippery shoes).

    I was heart broken. I ran with my daughter and we were committed to finish th 26.2 miles we had promised each other. After turning in our chip we crossed Lakeshore Drive and continued our run. Many along the path thought we were a bit strange as we continued to run with our medals around our neck but Allison and I didn’t want a medal with an asterix on it. We finished the 26.2 miles in about 6 and a half hours. Given all the drama we had to go through to accomplish this I’d say we did okay. Sadly, the official results make it look like Allison and I quit.

    The reports by the race director that there was plenty of fluid available hurts the worst. To not have water at the second water station was alarming, to say the least. For many of the runners in our group who were first timers the emotional challenge that this presented was equal to the physical challenge that we were already facing.

    The bright side of this were the wonderful throngs of Chicago residents who stepped up to help us along the way. Kudos to those who opened their homes and their hearts, who brought water to people they didn’t know and will never see again.

    I am proud of my personal achievement. I trained for more than a year to reach this point and lost 80 pounds in the effort. I just wish the people who so willingly took my entry fee in January would give me (and the 1,000s of others) the credit that we have earned.

  • Barry

    I’ve done biking endurance events before, so I know how important it is to stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes balanced.

    On some poorly planned events, they did run out of water/sports drinks at times, so we’d just stop at a convenience store and buy our own. No way were we going to let ourselves become hyper- or hyponeuremic just to save a few minutes.

    Did runners think to stop at convenience stores, drug stores, grocery stores that are all along the route? It sounds to me like people were pushing themselves too hard and ignored their bodies’ warning signs. It just doesn’t cut it to blame it all on the event; you have to take responsibility for your own health.

    At least some of the 10,000 registered runners who didn’t show up understood that the event was too dangerous for them to do on a hot day.

  • […] could muster in .19 seconds).  There’s a kid w ho has run 17 Marathons, a guy who compiled selected blog posts from last year’s race, one who wrote a funny and really true post about being a Jekyll and […]

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