Monday, October 18, 2010

Chicago Marathon 2010: Race Report

A long over due post and race report, but it was the last race of the season and I was enjoying my off season. The 2010 season is in the books and it ended on a high note with a personal record (PR) at the 2010 Chicago Marathon. Just barely setting a new PR with a time of 2:45:02 I beat my previous PR by a mere 43 seconds.

The race was awesome there were 45,000 registered runners making it one of the biggest marathons in the USA and in the world. The volunteers and staff did a great job of organizing the race from start to finish. Getting over 45,000 people were the needed to go all at the same time must have taken quite an effort so thank you to all who were involved. I was fortunate to be able to start in Corral A which got me ahead of about 44.500 people which really helped. When the gun went off I did not have to maneuver too much around people, everyone around me seemed to be moving about about the same pace, which made the start quite exhilarating. You seem to always get that stamped effect when running in a big race but this was the biggest one yet.

We started in Grant Park and headed north winding through the city and popping out to the lake front from time to time. I think my favorite part of the race was running through the downtown areas, where you were surrounded by skyscrapers, it made you feel very small. Though I didn't really know where I was most of the race it was great to get to see so much of the city. Minneapolis truly does not compare with Chicago in its size especially its downtown areas. The crowd support along the way was fantastic, because we were in the city the whole time there was always people cheering along the way. My cousin and her husband, who I stayed with, got a great spot just after mile 8 and it was motivating to get to see them. Usually I don't have any fans cheering specifically for me so that was fun to see them out. I also go to see a few other friends from my run club as well which was very nice surprise around the half way point.

Overall I felt really good throughout the whole race, I went out a bit more conservative and tried to just maintain a solid pace throughout the race. I didn't feel like I did at the Minneapolis marathon where I felt like I was holding back the first half and I actually went out way too fast. I came across the half way point at 1:21:40 which is about perfect, I felt pretty strong through the second half and only slowed a bit the last few miles. Because the course is very flat it was very easy to keep a consistent pace throughout. It was also nice to have plenty of other runners to run with from start to end. Some of the smaller races get too thinned out and you end of having to run a lot of the second half without anyone around you which makes it tough for me to maintain my pace.

I will say that my cardio did not feel as strong as it did for the Minneapolis marathon but my legs felt great throughout the race and even after the race they were not really that sore. It did help to get a massage right after the finish though. All in all another great race and another good season. I improved on my PR and had a great time running the Chicago marathon for the first time. I will definitely be back to run it again at some point, but it may have to wait a year to so.

As for next year, I have my sights set on continuing to improve on my marathon time, but might concentrate more effort on some ultras next year. I trying to find a good 100 mile race to jump into, I have a few in mind so we'll see what 2011 holds.


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