Race Report by Brian Boyle
This marathon is quite possibly on a level with London. The. Expo number pick up was a breeze, if you got there early, the race itself was near perfect.
Starting at Grant Park on the shore of Lake Michigan, in the dark and wet conditions didn’t feel like a great choice at 6:10am, for the 7:30 start. But, as I was in the first wave I didn’t have too long, and one thing that sets Chicago apart is the bonhomie between people, not just the runners, everyone is chatty. We were warned that our GPS devices would throw a wobbly because of passing under the train tracks and in downtown the building just block the signal. Mine had me going for a swim!?
The course goes through 29 boroughs in 26.2 miles and really gave you a fantastic taste of the city and suburbs. Yes it rained, but it was very welcome alongside the humidity. There are drink stations every 1.2-1.5 miles, almost too many. Chinatown (where my hotel was) was easily the best supported part of the route, there were some quiet bits, but on the whole a very well supported event. After crossing the line I managed yet again to not notice Paula Radcliffe handing out medals!
I thoroughly recommend this race, and the city as a whole.