Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy (Chicago) Marathon Morning!

The day of the Chicago Marathon is one of my favorite days of the year! It all starts a full week before the marathon, where you notice the sidewalks slightly swarming with runners wrapping up their MONTHS of training to accomplish this tremendous feat.

I love hearing the stories behind WHY people decide to run 26.2 miles. Some people just want to run, others are running for an organization/cause for which they are passionate, others are running for loved ones... I like to think of it as one of the greatest community-bonding experiences. Ever.

I arose bright and early this morning, hoping to hurry and get my measly 3 miler outta the way before the marathoners made their way through my neighborhood. Not only did I want to cheer them on (cheering is my middle name, after all!), I also just wanted to minimize having to deal with navigating the crowds on the sidewalk in the midst of dying through my run.

As I ventured out around 8:05 AM, I ran into some neighbors in my elevator who indicated that the first runners would be passing through my area (mile 13ish) by 8:15. Well, there was no way I was missing THAT. I headed out of my apartment building and got myself nicely planted on the sidewalk corner.

Right at 8:15, would you look at that?

Speed-ster. Central.

Check out how EMPTY the streets are except for these gold star marathoners! I can't wait to find out which one of them won!

Well, since I was out already, I just hurried and got my 3 miler over and done with. By the time I returned back to my area, I was greeted with a completely different sight. What a difference a mere half hour makes.

Runners, runners and more runners!

The crowds were in full swing as well! Talk about FESTIVE. You seriously get pumped up just standing amidst the cheering fans.

It was so touching to see marathoners locating loved ones in the throngs of cheering fans. I saw a running daughter spot her mom cheering away, and stop to give her a big ol' hug. I saw a mom running her heart out, stopping briefly to hug the daylights out of her two cheering sons. Sigh. And you KNOW that's just the tip of the iceberg.

How I love Marathon Morning. One of my favorite mornings of the year.

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