Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The Chicago Marathon
Its all about experiences. I'm a firm believer in this when I travel. I'm not the kind of person who would take dangerous chances when traveling but in general I'm usually open minded about getting out there and seeing whats going on. This weekend was my first experience as a spectator at a marathon. Being a participant is something that will NEVER happen but I thought the chance to watch someone I love run a marathon would be a great experience. Kim was out of town on business so I decided to go to Chicago to watch Vince run the Chicago Marathon on its 30th. anniversary. As the course would run very close to Kim and Vince's home it was easy for me to maneuver around the city to see much of the race. The weather for the day was a runners nightmare. At 8:00a.m. when the race started the temperature was already 79 degrees with full sun. Vince had planned to run the race in four hours but the heat was not going to let that happen on this day. I decided to forgo the start of the race and the hordes of people make it nearly impossible to see anything. I was however standing on the corner of Adams and Peoria as the Kenyans came through and then the start of the elite runners and those who were using this marathon to trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It was at about 2.5 hour mark that I saw Vince coming by with a smile on his face, he was soaking wet from the heat and humidity but looked great. I saw him again at the 17.5 marker and I was certain he looked well enough to finish although by that time the temperatures were near 90. After standing in the hot sun for nearly three hours I was starting to wilt a little myself but headed the couple of miles I would walk to get down near the finish line to meet up with Vince after the race. I stopped to pick up a bottle of water and was talking with a policeman on my way to our meeting spot near Buckingham Fountain and he indicating that they were stopping the race as the risk to the runners and the participates with the weather was just too great. I was still confident that Vince would finish as he should have been close to the finish line by the time the announcement was made. Vince finished the race with a time of 5.20 which would have been a disappointment if one hadn't accounted for the weather and the over 10K people who didn't finish. I was so glad to see him walking toward me after he received his metal, to know as others were wondering around trying to find out information on their runners as to their health and race status that Vince had come through and finished what he had trained so hard for. It was indeed a inspiring experience.