Chicago Marathon 2011.
Temp: 78-88F, warm.
My 7th year of running Chicago and this year was special as both my wife and my niece were running it as their first marathon. I flew into Chicago on Friday and it was great meeting mom who was with my sister in Chicago. Saturday the 4 of us drove into town to stay at the Congress Plaza (right at the start of the race). Picked up of bibs and spent almost all day at the Expo. Mallika had both her knees taped (kinesiology tape). One knee was hurting, but she had to get both done so they matched!! Crazy kid! Renuka go a mild massage and Nandu too got some tape work done. The weather forecast was mild to warm for race day. We skipped the Asha carbo load and settled down for a meal at our hotel. We (Nandu & I) had a few beers and we all had a good evening, walked around to the Buckingham Fountain and then settled in for a good night.
We were up early and off to the Asha Tent at the Charity village. This year they had pushed us further south and the walk was a good mile + from the village to the start. It was warm and only getting warmer.
We all started off together at the 14 min mile mark and before along we split up, with Nandu and Renuka running on their own and Mallika and I running together. Running with Mallika was fun, she rarely stopped smiling! She was just so relaxed throughout the race that it was incredible. We kept pace with the 5:15:00 group and the plan was to stay with them as long as possible. Around mile 16-18 Mallika’s knee started acting up so we decided to dropped back and stick with the 5:30 pacer. She was adamant that she wanted to beat the 5:30 pacer – no matter what! I had to talk her out of that and kept reminding her that it was her first marathon on a rather bum knee too…so relax and go easy. She eased up and continued on with her texting and smiling :-)
As we came upon the final mile she picked up the pace and then sprinted the last 800 meters!!! Good lord! That last burst of speed almost killed me, I hung on to finish with her :-). We waited till Renuka & Nandini finished and I then headed back to the tent to collect or bags. The hotel was kind enough to get me an extension to get in and have a quick shower. Nandu dropped me off at the airport and I headed home that evening. Another good Chicago Marathon...warm but well organized.
Thank you Chicago Asha for the superb arrangements and congratulations to all finishers.
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