I may be getting too excited, too early, but I can't help it. I feel good. My legs feel good, I'm in a good place to start training for my first marathon. Here's a little history about the event:
The First Race:
The Chicago Marathon is widely recognized as one of the best and largest marathons in the world! WOW!! pretty impressive! It is on of the FIVE CITIES (along with Boston-of course, London, Berlin, and New York) that make up the World Marathon Majors, dedicated to advancing the sport among elite racers. Usually held in mid October, the Chicago Marathon's frild is now limited to 45,000 runners. It is not unusual for 1.5 MILLION spectators to pack the streets of the Windy City to watch the event.
The Boston marathon had established an annual 26.2 mile run in 1897. Soon after that, on September 23, 1905, The Illinois Athletic Club organized the first Chicago Marathon. The first race with [only] 15 runners, began in Evanston and finished at Chicago's Washington Park. In a surprising upset, spectators watched Rhud Metzner come from behind in an amazing late race move to win from the favored Louis Marks. By the 1920's, the economic conditions sidelined the Chicago Marathon. It wasn't until the 1970's, when running began to become popular, that the marathon returned. In May 1977 (I was only 3 months old), Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic decided to try to make Chicago into a world famous city for runners. To show he meant business, Bilandic turned five miles of an old horse path along Lake Michigan into jogging paths, creating a scenic course that today, stretches for 18 miles.
The Chicago Marathon now recognizes it's first race, the Mayor Daley Marathon, named after the late Richard J. Daley, as being held on September 25, 1977. Initially set up with a $5 entry fee (holy crap! pales in comparison to the $150 I forked out on 2/2/12) and an 8 a.m. starting time, the race required 700 volunteers to officiate and help guide the more than 4,200 runners who turned out.
Throughout the years, the Chicago Marathon has seen some exciting race finishes. One of the most famous and dramatic happened in 2006, when Robert Cheruiyot, a runner from Kenya, slipped just before breaking through the finish line tape. He fell down onto his back hitting his head on the pavement and causing a concussion. As he fell, he slid forward, pushing his timing chip over the finish line and making him the winner!!
In 2007, the 30th anniversary of the Chicago Marathon and the end of a 14 year sponsorship by LaSalle Bank, the race started with 36,000-plus entrants. As the temperatures and humidity soared into the 80's, organizers were forced to halt the race after 3.5 hours, for the first time in history. For their own safety, runners were sent to Grant Park and instructed to stop racing. Only 25,534 were able to officially finish.
In 201l, Amber Miller felt contractions just minutes after crossing the finish line at the Chicago Marathon. A few hours later, she delivered a baby girl, at 39 weeks pregnant.
I hope this training season is healthy for everyone! Lots of good, healthy training vibes for everyone who is running!!