"Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson US essayist & poet (1803 - 1882)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

We have met the enemy and it is us....

This has been a few days in brewing but honestly i gotta put the blame on the fiasco in Chicago on....

the runners.

As i watched the race from the inside, and never ran out of water at any waterstation, i realized that somewhere between me and Great Lakes Running Gal, there was a lot of water being taken. Too Much....

i actually felt like i was abusing the system cause for the first 1/2 i took one gatorade and one water at each pit stop. Looking at my Garmin i ran a good run for the first 16 miles. i knew my bodies limitations and felt like i understood the heat. For the first 14 miles i kept very cloe to my 7 mile an hour basic plan. i gave myself a walk break after 7 miles of 1:30. My 14 mile mark was around 2:05 but i took another walk break at the halfway point.

It was here that i started to notice a distinct change in the mood. This is where i noticed the number of discarded pace bands on the pavement. This is where a toe on my left foot gave me one of two problems.

1. keep running and it feels numb no pain, but the running....and at a marathon of all places
2. take a walk break and feel the white hot pain...what was this???? Should i stop and join the incredible masses of walking wounded, or not walking, under the medical tents....what if they lance a nasty ass blister and won't let me continue???? And really there are some folks under the tents with some REAL issues...i mean, really....i have a toe that hurts.

Anyway i swear i never missed water but somewhere around mile 19 there were tables set up with water, but no volunteers. That was weird.

Chinatown....wasn't this on the race course somewhere? i seem to remember it from last year....oh wait there it is.....yup.....marathons are a lot longer than remembered when you run them.

mile 23-24....heading north...with sun beating down on my back....i look up and see a marque for a little church with the time and temp....98....well, i think to my self, that's in the direct sunlight.....WAIT A MINUTE....I'M IN THE DIRECT SUNLIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!. i think about taking a walk break here, and do.

mile 25......Marked wonderfully with two of Chitowns finest....Standing in the middle of the street, saying something like....

"The race is over"
"Please Walk the rest of the way"
"The race is over"

Over....was it over when the germans bombed pearl harbor?"

Well, this really to me explains a lot about the oxymoronic implications of.....POLICE WORK.

So let me see if i understand??? i'm 1 mile from the finish, and you are directing me back to the finish/start area, where all my crap and bride is. Because the race is over. Well if the race is over, why am i here and i want to get going than so maybe to hurry things up i'll jog a bit of the way....ok???

And so i begin the last mile of my last chicago marathon for a while. It was so surreal. i got to the finish in a fairly uneventful manner except for the mass which prevented me from crossing the mat without waiting for a few seconds.

Funny observations:

At time of 3:30 i figured Nitmos had been done for a few minutes
i still beat Oprah
i got to finish....i feel tremendous empathy for those who didn't get to finish. But that's not me. From my experience, the marathon was well run. There was plenty of water, but i was through the gate less than two minutes from the start, so a lot could have happened afterwards.
i was stunned to hear about waterstations not having water, after seeing as much as i did.

Not so Funny:
As disappointing as it was to hear of a runner dying....it unfortunately wasn't too surprising. It's extrenely tragic

Sorry no pictures maybe later. This has been a difficult post to put together because the emotions are still lingering over the RunChi. But, and it pains me to say this....The experience, for me, was a good one.

thanks for reading


Anonymous said...


No Chicago next fall? perhaps I will come up to Detroit in the fall and we can run Detroit.

That was one aweful Sunday to run.


L*I*S*A said...

I'll miss you next year.

I'll also take all the water you were able to get freely this year.

L*I*S*A said...

How much did the race director pay you to blame the runners?

Tsk, tsk.

I took two cups at one aid station, so I guess it's my fault.


Nitmos said...

I have to agree with GLRG on this one. Runners taking multiple servings of water on a very hot day is easily predictable. I reserve judgment on the race directors though because we don't know what fully went on behind the scenes.

You finished!

Next fall, it's Detriot for me. But that was the plan all along. I still love the Chicago Marathon.

Bob said...

Mike I am glad you had an enjoyable day. The back of the packers were not so fortunate.

But honestly there is plenty of blame to go around on this one. Better I think to live and learn then to blame. All in all it was a sound decision to cancel the race. Did you say 98. OMG crazy.

Running Jayhawk said...

So YOU'RE the reason I didn't have gatorade until mile 10.

Thanks, punk. ;)

aham23 said...

nice report. it's crazy too think that i had water and gatorade but runners, some we know, only minutes behind me had none. what a crazy day. later.

Animal said...

Great time, Luki. Good for you.