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It really made a difference for me to be with the group out in
Chicago. I was set on my goal to qualify for Boston in this race--
more than you know! I sacrificed a lot of things I normally wouldn't
have and felt great through all the training. At dinner Saturday
night, everyone was talking about just having fun and not worrying
about goals. Tony saw the look of disapointment on my face and
said "well then you should still try!" And I kept his words with me
the whole time.
I was actually on pace from mile 5 to 20! And when I caught up to
the pace group at the half way point, I knew I was ahead because
they started in the coral way before me. Then the heat really took
it's toll and if I were to stay upright I knew walking through the
water stops was necessary. I was shocked when I crossed the finish
line with my 3:59--woohoo!! I did need the help of an aide, though
until he passed me off to Lori.
I have to agree with Claire at how awesome it was to be a part of a
marathon with such great support, and more so with you guys!
Now that a few days has passed, I'm starting to feel like I don't
want to waste all that training. How long do we wait to recover and
do well at an upcoming race? Who's up for Philly? :)
I thought you might like to hear a Rebel Runners' perspective of the infamous Chicago 2007 marathon! I
have had so many friends and family ask if I am OK, so I felt compelled to tell you my experience.
Boy, what a day it was. The most important thing for everyone to know is that all of the Rebel Runners
finished and are safe and healthy, with the exception of some sore legs, of course! But seriously, the fact
that we are all OK, is huge, and kudos to all of us for sticking it out and being sensible with our paces.
In the beginning, it was 74 degrees and 90% humidity. What fun. But everyone was in good spirits at the
beginning of the race. The spectators were great - so many of them and so loud!! The best were the
transvestite chearleaders!! The majority of us Rebels stuck to our planned pace for the first half and then
realized that was not sensible. Temps climbed, and a clock/temperature sign outside a bank we passed at
11.15am said 91 degrees. It was pretty crazy. I did not see anyone go down, but I stopped to help one guy
who was cramping badly at mile 23, and he was also not very "with it". I hope he was OK. The volunteers
were awesome I thought, with many of them providing unofficial water stops, and turning on hoses and even
having spray bottles to mist our faces. There was still enough water and Gatorade at the stops when I
ran past but they looked as if they could run short. I cannot tell you how much water I was throwing on
myself to keep cool - it was insane. This was the first race I have been in where absolutely EVERYONE
was walking through the water stops.
At the end, all of us were a little disappointed with
our times (except for Andrea with her PR - you go
girl!!!), but the disappointment soon turned into huge
relief when we realized that so many other runners had
required medical aid, and around 11,000 did not
finish, either by dropping out or by being redirected
off the course.
So, that was quite an experience, and one I do not
wish to repeat, and I feel very bad for those who were
seriously hurt from heat stroke/heat exhaustion, and
dehydration. But, as always, I still had fun on the
Rebel Trip to Chicago and am proud to be part of a
group of runners who are physically and mentally very strong.
And of course, now we all want redemption....discussions have been ongoing as to our
next marathon in the near future!
See you all soon,
These photos by Johnny Coco