Although I applied already in spring, I really didn’t plan to run this marathon this year. I decided only 10 days ago to go on and go to Chicago. And boy, it was a good decision.
My plan was always to run below three hours this year. I knew this will be difficult, as i didn’t do as many kilometers as last year. Therefore, my goal B was just to re-confirm my Boston marathon qualifying time. For 2015.
Impressions of the Chicago marathon are very good. Organisation is excellent, bib pickup is fast and efficient.
Security at the start shows its powers. Only runners are allowed to the park. Porta-potty lines are again extremly long, while doing your stuff behind the tree is discouraged. However… nobody wants to miss the start.
I started in the corral A. That means, right after elite. And that was good. We didn’t wait long in the cold (it was not really THAT cold) and off we went. At first the route winds its way around downtown and that completely messed up my garmin. After some 5-6km it finally gets out of the shade of skyscrapers and finds it satellites. The route is nice, and after a few kilometres we are already running through Lincoln park. Crowds are big, especially downtown that we pass again around the mark 20-21km. Afterwards the route gets a bit boring, but OK. Last 3-4 km are a real motivation killer. You can see the skyscrapers at the end, but they are coming close very slowly. I keep my pace until km 30. Afterwards I start calculating the time needed to safely bring this marathon home under 3 hours, and i slow a bit (approx 5-10 seconds per kilometer). At the end, my calculations go terribly wrong (including my mistake and the confusion with remaining miles and kilometres), and only 400-500m to the finish i figure out that i have terribly miscalculated last few kilometres. And the ramp, some 300-400m before the end almost kills me, as i try to sprint it. At the end, i miss my target by 6 seconds. Although my body was able to run even faster, my mind was stoping it. Average heart beat at the end was 164 bpm, peaking out at the end with 179 bpm.
rank: overall 897 gender 809 category 113
time: 03H 00’05”
5 km 00:20:40
10 km 00:41:23
15 km 01:02:13
21,1 km 01:27:56
25 km 01:44:33
30 km 02:06:10
35 km 02:28:15
40 km 02:50:26
pace: 00:04:15 per km
To sum it up… great and really fast course, and only 30m of total altitude difference… huge crowds. All in all very runners friendly (unlike NYC marathon). To be repeated again some day.