Here are a few snapshots from the race expo:
|Brooks had their usual eye-popping displays.|
|It was awesome that Sargento was one of the sponsors this year!|
I thoroughly enjoyed the cheese sticks they were handing out.
|Met up with Xaarlin and Luis. Xaarlin and I decided to ham it up a bit.|
The night before the race, I went to my friend Jenny's wedding. I am so happy for Jenny and her new husband, Kenny!
|Jenny and me at the reception|
The next morning, I was back up and at 'em at the crack of dawn. Since I was in Corral 21, my plan was to minimize my wait time in the corrals as much as possible. I rode a Divvy bike over to Grant Park, stopped at gear check and the portapotties, then shimmied into my corral. Less than 15 minutes later, I crossed the start line.
The weather was very, very muggy. Thankfully the temperature was only in the upper 70s/low 80s - but that humidity was killer. It's usually not a good sign when you're already dripping sweat before you've even started the race!
The outset of the course included lower Randolph and other "lower" streets, affording some lakefront and river views, before winding through downtown. I was thankful for all of the shade and any breezes. I definitely wasn't shooting for any time goals so I took the pace easily.
I tried to absorb my surroundings as if I were a visitor. Gosh, the city and lakefront are beautiful! I smiled when I saw folks stopping to take pictures of things that I consider commonplace, such as the elevated train tracks.
The humidity kept wearing on me. By the time I got to about the 10K mark, I was already ready to call it a day. Some of the water stations were having trouble keeping up with all the runners taking the filled cups. I dropped down to doing run/walk intervals and was challenging myself to run as long as possible each time.
I tried to draw energy from the fun music being blasted at points along the course. There was a woman around Mile 7 who was shouting:
"There will be a day when you can no longer do this.
Today is NOT that day!"
Around Mile 9, the course included a half-mile out-and-back along Martin Luther King Drive. It was awful. I was very tempted to cheat and cut it out entirely. However, I grudgingly ran the whole thing. My biggest motivation was that I thought the race organizers might have a timing mat at the turnaround point. (It turns out they didn't.)
Thank goodness for the cold sponges that volunteers were handing out around Mile 11.5. The McCormick Place tunnel that followed was stuffy and claustrophobic, as always. But after emerging from the tunnel, we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of the Chicago skyline:
The day's humidity was definitely the worst I have ever experienced at any race. Along the course, I saw at least five runners down and being helped by medical personnel. I later heard that at least ten folks had been taken to local hospitals. Yikes.
Time for post-race fun! I met up with Xaarlin, Luis, Cristina, and CB. And I drank the most heavenly glasses of ice water in my entire life.
So ends the story of my 22nd half marathon!!!
As much as I enjoy summertime in Chicago, I am looking forward to running some fall races. Whew!
Linking up with April, Patty, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run, and with Jessica and Stacey for Race Recaps.
Way to push thru, Emily! That race is fun and I love the course but it's always so darn hot. I do love Chicago races as a way of touring all the great neighborhoods.ReplyDelete
Thanks Marcia! It's too bad the timing didn't work out for you to run RnR Chicago this year because of your European travels. Hopefully next year we'll be able to catch up there!Delete
Great job! That humidity was killer. I just love the medal!ReplyDelete
Thanks Wendy! I keep telling myself that running in this humidity will make fall running feel that much better, yes? RnR Chicago has really upped the ante on their medals, indeed!Delete
Great race recap! I agree that the heat and humidity was brutal but I still thought it was a fun race!ReplyDelete
Thanks Kim! Agreed - despite those challenging conditions, RnR Chicago is very well done. I always appreciate the fact that it's one of the few races that allow runners to run through downtown! And the view of the skyline at the end is always awesome!!!Delete
I would run for cheese, too! Yum!!ReplyDelete
Cheese, glorious cheese!!!Delete
Who isn't looking forward to fall? I don't understand people who LIKE running in the heat.ReplyDelete
Sounds like you did a great job!
Thanks Judy! I'm with you - I find it tough to understand folks that thrive in the heat and humidity. But hey, more power to them!!!Delete
Cheers to fall weather coming up in just a few weeks!
Great recap - it was definitely a hot one! I can't wait for fall running weather.ReplyDelete
Thanks Sara! You must be doubly excited for fall with Allie's arrival right at the outset of fall, too!!! =)Delete
Wow look at that bling! Congratulations to you!ReplyDelete
Thanks Tricia! The RnR race series has some really fabulous medals, indeed!!!Delete
Congratulations on a great race in nasty conditions. That is a nice medal. I have yet to do a RnR. I want to badly! You are as "fanatic" as I am with your 22 half marathons! Go girl!ReplyDelete
Thanks HoHo! The RnR race series has some wonderfully blingy medal designs! They've improved the medals over the years, too. I think you would really enjoy their races! Thanks for the "fanatic" reference but in reality it's taken me years to get to 22 half marathons. My very first half was over 12 years ago. =)Delete
I ran the R'nR Chicago last year in very similar temps/humidity. I'm not from Chicago, so I LOVED having the entire downtown all to myself for a couple hours...the architecture is amazing!ReplyDelete
I remember RnR Chicago last year - it was blazing hot and humid that day, too! It amazes me that RnR still hosts the Chicago race every year in July. Ah well.Delete
I am so glad that you enjoyed the race last year and that you like the architecture! Chicago is my home town so I am very proud of it. =) If you find yourself in Chicago again, let me know!!!
That was one of our first weekends of nasty nasty humidity!!! It's so hard to run in! I am happy you still had a good time :) Isn't it fun to see people looking at all the stuff we see as commonplace and wonder what they find so enthralling about it? :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Kim! It is funny how the timing works out for the humidity to hit at JUST the perfect moment, right? I do get a kick out of folks photographing things that are everyday to us. I'm sure that it goes the other way, too! Like in Europe - the folks there walk by some of those classical, centuries-old monumental buildings every day and probably don't think anything of them. But to us, we think, WOW, I must photograph everything!!!Delete
Great job on the race! Awesome time too. It's been two years since I've run it and don't think I will ever again. The hot weather always gets to me. I really wish they would move it to maybe August? My first half marathon was by LaSalle Bank (I think before it was bought out by RnR) and it was in late August.ReplyDelete
I am looking forward to fall races too. :-)
Thanks Zenaida! I'm not sure if RnR Chicago will be at the top of my list in the future, either. July is a terrible month to be hosting a half marathon. I actually would love if they moved it to the fall - September or October would be awesome. It sounds like you ran the Chicago Distance Classic, is that right?Delete
Yep, that's the one!Delete