Tomorrow is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. It brings back memories of when I ran it with my husband in 2005 and 2006.
Tomorrows weather is going to feel like summer with highs expected to be in the 80’s! In 2007 the race was actually cancelled during the event because they ran out of water and people were dropping like flies because of the heat and the humidity was super high. Before I ran in it, I have been a spectator many times and I’ve stood out there when it was so cold you could barely feel your feet, or just wearing a t-shirt, so you never know what kind of weather you are going to get.
In 2006, the marathon was moved back to October 22nd and the weather was in the 30’s most of the was with 40 mile an hour winds! That was not fun. I remember seeing my sister, Mom and niece at China town which if I remember correctly was mile 18? There were people there who were actually cheering “You’re almost there!” Ummmm…..no I’m not!
My husband and I did not run alone, we trained with TEAM in TRAINING for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We ran along Chicago’s Lakefront starting with the early birds in February, and continued every Saturday until the race. We met some awesome people. One family we met, Mimi and Doug had 3 kids, 2 boys and a girl, the same ages as our kids. Their middle son Keenan was diagnosed with cancer when he was just 6. Their daughter who was the youngest, was also ill. She was born with a rare genetic disorder, and wasn’t expected to live past the age of 4 or 5. But with all that going on in their lives, they showed up just about every Saturday thanking us for coming out and raising money. I pretty much choked up every time she talked. But it also made me grateful not only was I able to run (well, jog slowly!) I had 3 healthy kids and a healthy husband and that I don’t have any room to complain when others like Mimi and Doug were going through so much.
One of the mentors of the group was a woman named Lesley Spencer. She’s a veteran of marathons and she always took on a big group and made it seem like we would be able to accomplish this! She is a very accomplished composer and producer, and movie producer and she made an awesome movie profiling 3 runners who were running the marathon for Team in Training called “Why they run”. Go to this link to watch the movie free on your computer. In this movie, you’ll meet Mimi and Doug and their son Keegan.
I wish I had a happy ending to their story. Their daughter passed away at the age of 3 and their son Keegan passed away at the age of 8 after a bone marrow transplant. Mimi still raises money and is still running even after all of that!! She still amazes me!
If you’ve ever contemplated running a marathon, or half marathon, or triathlon, I can’t speak more highly of Team in Training. It doesn’t matter what your level is (I was almost always last!) but the trainers and mentors would always be there during the race as well as waiting for you at the finish line.
I will not tell a lie, I did cry both times after finishing! Mostly because I was happy it was over and the other was wrapping my head around actually finishing!!
I have several friends who will be running tomorrow – best of luck to you guys!!
Have you ever finished a marathon or would you like to??