2008 Chicago Marathon – It can’t happen two years in a row, can it?

Recently Jason and Laura Gulley, fellow Fairhaven Runners Racing Team members, travelled to Chicago to run the 2008 Chicago Marathon. Below is Jason’s report on how the race went.

Late last year my wife Laura and I, along with some friends watched the documentary, “Spirit of the Marathon”.  In that movie the directors follow 6 runners training for the Chicago marathon.  After watching that film I became obsessed with running the Chicago marathon.  So, after a few months of harder training, Laura and I were off to Chicago.

Ryan Hall at the pre-race expo

Ryan Hall at the pre-race expo

   Before a marathon everyone seems to worry about the weather.  We had good reason to worry after last year’s race, (90 degrees and humid).  But those type of things don’t happen two years in a row.  The joke was on us!  The forecasted temperature kept creeping up from the mid 60’s eventually to the low-mid 80’s…ouch.  During the few days before the marathon we had the pleasure of seeing Deena Kastor, Ryan Hall, and the Spirit of the Marathon crew.  This provided that last little bit of inspiration needed.

    After promptly emptying my bladder, doing pre-race rituals and listening to the national anthem, the race was started.  The race starts on a 6 lane road heading downtown.  After 1/4 of a mile the road enters a 1/4 mile long tunnel, this was interesting being so close to the start.  Soon after the first few miles were ran, I realized I was going out too fast.  This has been my achilles heel in every marathon I have ever ran.  Oh well, guess I had better enjoy the beginning of the race, because the end is going to hurt.  During the first half of the marathon you are directed through downtown, the gold coast and the liberal neighborhoods.  I really don’t remember much about these areas except for almost getting hit with a rifle by a dancing gay pride ensemble.  After the half marathon point the race travels by the Sears Tower.  If you have not seen this building, it is HUGE.  It is also the point of reference for the rest of the

A view of downtown Chicago

A view of downtown Chicago

race, as you can see it as you run away from it during miles 14-18ish and return for the finish in Grant Park.  The most memorable areas that I ran through during the second half were Pilsen (little Mexico), and China town.  Chicago truly is a city of culture.  Also during the second half is when my speeding through the first half came back to bit me in the butt.  I began my walk/run at mile 23.  This continued on and off until mile 25.  At this point I had to “suck it up” and finish.  I was happy with my finishing time, considering the heat.  Laura was a bit upset by the heat, as she was in near Boston Qualifying shape.
  Would I run this race again? yes.  Would I recommend it to others?  yes, just hope for cooler weather.  Overall, it was the big city marathon I thought it would be.


Filed under Races

2 responses to “2008 Chicago Marathon – It can’t happen two years in a row, can it?

  1. Wow! Congratulations on the great job! Next year I will come down and cheer you on! Yay!!

  2. ezmiles

    Thanks for the encouragement Kelly. Jason and Laura both ran great and had a fun time in Chicago. – Steve

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