16 October 2009
Marathon weekend in Chicago is a blast. This was my second year as a spectator, and I have to say it's truly a great weekend to be in the city. Apart from having to wake up so early on a Sunday, the event basically gives everyone a chance to view the city as grounds for a scavenger hunt. The 26.2-mile course covers 29 different neighborhoods, reaching as far north as Addison Street near Wrigley Field, and as far south as 35th Street near U.S. Cellular Field. Each mile marker is surrounded with people cheering on runners. Many viewers have friends or family running, and some just like being part of the crowd.
This year I was lucky enough to be able to track my cousin Julia and Uncle John, who live in St. Louis, as well as my friend Brian, who lives in Kansas City. This was Julia and John's first marathon, and their training efforts really paid off for them. It was so cool to see such a look of well-earned accomplishment on their faces. Brian, who has been a runner longer than I've known him and who has run this marathon more than once, finished with a 2010 Boston Marathon-qualifying time. Amazing. I'm so proud of them all.