Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicago Marathon

This past weekend Laura, our friend Jared, and I went to Chicago for an awesome trip to see the city. We left the Twin Cities Friday evening and after a little detour through the sprawling metropolis of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, we arrived safely in the suburbs of Chicago. Saturday morning we all went for a run through the McMansions outside Chicago and enjoyed a delicious crepe breakfast.

Then, it was time to go into the big city. I hadn't been to Chicago since I was seven and Laura had never been there, so we went downtown to see some of the sights. We were thinking of going to the Shedd Aquarium as it was free for Walgreen's employees and their guests. Brittany's kind of a big deal at Walgreens, but the line was long and we weren't sure we'd all get in for free. Instead, we enjoyed a Chicago-style hot dog and watched the occupy Wall street (I guess occupy Chicago) protesters marching around.

After walking past Soldier's Field along the waterfront, we participated in yet another running-related activity. Sunday was the Chicago Marathon and we figured it'd be fun to get some free crap at the expo. The expo was probably twice as big as Twin Cities' and rivaled that of Boston. We enjoyed sampling Cliff bars, Chobani yogurt, Gatorade, and all manners of health food. We then walked a couple miles across the city to cram some Gino's east deep dish pizza on top of our quasi-nutritious "sports" food. Two words to describe the pizza: yum (don't tell me how to count).

Naturally, the next moring we decided to get up early and watch the Chicago Marathon. What's more fun the waking up early to watch some elite marathoners and thousands of athletes we don't know run through the streets of Chicago? It was actually really cool seeing Moses Mosop, Ryan Hall, and several other elite marathoners fly down the streets of Chicago at sub-5 minute mile pace. I also got to see a friend from Minnesota Running Wild who now lives in Chicago. He flew through Chicago to finish in 2:47--whew!

It was exciting and motivating to see all those runners stream through the streets. It was also exciting climbing a fence so we could go underneath a street. We had to get to the other side of the runners to make it back to the train station. I was so pumped about the fun weekend with Laura, Brittany, and Jared that the first thing I did when I got home was put on my new Hattoris and go for a run.

This weekend I'm continuing my quest for PRs at the Big Woods 10k. Laura left me for the weekend to go to some wedding in California, so I'm on my own driving down to Faribault. I also have an excuse if this post is riddled with typos since she's not here to proof read it. Enjoy the pics from our trip.

Gino's East (Jared's really excited):

The lead pack at the half:

The lead pack around 16:

Uh oh, Hall's fallen back:


Walking under a bridge:

Posing at the halfway point:

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