Ron Weckerly from Roscoe, Illinois (Male)
Occupation: Retired Teacher
Age on race day: 60
2007 Chicago Marathon - Chicago, IL
This was my 5th marathon and I finished in 5:14:44.
I consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for hobby. I decided to run the Chicago Marathon because I had never run it before, I heard it was flat, had great support, and the race ran through culturally diverse neighborhoods.
I followed Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Program. I trained for four months, and I averaged 35 miles per week.
The best training advice I received was to be consistent in training, do not skip days, they cannot be made up. Also, do not run more miles than your program calls for...it will not help you in the end.
The 2007 Chicago Marathon was worse than expected. The race was like out of a movie. People collapsing, throwing up, no water at aid stations. It was tremendously hot. I threw off a sixty dollar shirt at mile five. People were pushing and shoving for water. Supplies were low. I drank out of a dirty cup and scooped up some Gatorade. My daughters and wife were at certain points to help me with liquids. I shared some with fellow runners who did not have any.
At mile nineteen I was told that the race was called off. All I could hear were sirens and observe choppers hovering above. Chicago's fire department was great. They sprayed us with water and encouraged us to finish. I met some great people who were disappointed in the race not finishing. One was a doctor, another a vet from Iraq. It was nice to see people of various occupations trying to finish the race. At the end, it was nice to get a medal and be home safe. It was sad that one person lost their life. One is way too many. I do not think races should be so large.
My recovery wasn't bad. I drank a lot of water, slept, had a rub down and took medication!
You can do it! With hard work, proper training and nutrition you can reach your goal. Running will help you in many phases of your life. At work, setting and reaching goals, as well as physical, mental and spiritual.