2016 Chicago Marathon

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Report by: David Kent

Leading up to the race the weather report was all over the place. At one point it was projected for a high of 60?and cloudy. Then it went up to 68?and sunny. But come race day it ended up being a high of 66 with morning clouds.

I was expecting it to be a lot colder in the morning then it was (it was only in the mid 50s) and so I bought some throwaway clothes and throwaway arm warmers. The throwaway clothes were good to have had but I definitely didn't need the arm warmers.

The race went off without a hitch though I have to say I'm not crazy about operatic singing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Like any marathon it gets pretty boring running the first half. And I just wanted to get that over with.

Nyron and I started together and I hung with him through mile 14 1/2. The last few marathons I've done I've crumbled in the last 6 miles of the race and I didn't want that to happen here so I backed off the place five or so seconds a mile and let him go.

I never really felt like I was fatigued which was a pleasant surprise. I guess all the training I did paid off. In the high teens we started to get some headwind and my pace dropped to between a 7:15 and 7:30. I wasn't really happy with that but felt like I couldn't go any faster at the moment.

At about mile 20, I noticed the thinning crowd had broken down into two groups. Those that could, and those that were going to fight like hell. And while I was passing quite a few people, I was also being passed by a few. But, I was really just trying to run my own race. Two things that I kept thinking about at that point were trying to cover Mike's spread (2:30) and could I still do a 3:05. I knew the 3:05 wasn't possible anymore so I was just trying now to stay under 3:10. As the miles continue to click off more and more people were limping on the sidelines. It was painful to see because we've all been there, or been very close to that. And we know how painful it actually is (mentally and physically).

I never really felt completely fatigued like I have in some recent Marathons. So my plan was to wait for mile 25 and then give it all I had left. At mile 24 I saw the 3:10 pace leaders just in front of me. I was trying to figure the timing out and I was hoping they were ahead if pace (they were). Because of all of the tall buildings my Garman was off by about half a mile since early in the race. About mile 25 1/2 I decided it was all or nothing. Picked up her face decided I'd try to catch a pass at 3:10 pace leaders. (They only seem to have one or two people following them at this point). I'll try to put this as tactful as possible. But just before mile 26 I smelled something that wasn't pleasant. Chicago does really good job with their signage. And they have a sign at 800 m, 400 m. And 800 m to go I saw him when I will have been smelling. There was a guy whose lives were completely brown. Although I had already be going as hard as I could I reached down to go a little bit faster so I could pass him and the smell. I also passed the 3:10 pace leaders. We made that last left turn with about 500m to go and all I could think of was "it's just one lap!"

A few seconds later I cross the finish line. I was so happy to be done. I found Nyron and we walked the mile back to our hotel with a little bit of stiffness. I remember asking Nyron, "how is it so hard for us to walk this mile when we were just running so fast".

Overall it was a good experience. I don't think there's anything I could've done differently to have improved my performance today. So now I'll rest up for a little bit and then it's time to start training for the next one.

- David Kent

Average Finishing Time: 3:21:44
Averge Per Mile Pace: 7:41.7
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