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Learn : Marathon Story  

Note from Editor: The 2007 Chicago Marathon was canceled mid-run due to the heat. Below is a first-hand account from one of the runners who was forced to stop running. To learn more about what happened, read this AFP news story.

Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself a beginner runner and I primarily run for fitness. I decided to run a marathon because I grew up in the Chicagoland area, and I always wanted to run Chicago. I wanted to prove to myself that I could complete the challenge.

Training:

I didn't follow a specific training program. I did train for 5 months, and I averaged 35 miles per week.

The best advice I received during my training was to listen to my body and to know when to get injuries looked at by a professional.

Race Day:

I still don't know how to feel about the 2007 Chicago Marathon. I am disappointed that I was not permitted to finish, and with the day in general.

What frustrated me the most was the race director repeatedly saying there was enough water on the course. While there may have been more servings of water provided, I did not encounter any water at all for the first 3 water stops (about 6 miles) of the course. I was with the 11 min/mile group, so I wasn't even at the very back of the pack.

After 10 miles or so, the race started to look like a war zone - people were fainting, vomiting on the side of the road, and dropping out left and right. After awhile, all you could hear is ambulance sirens.

Stopping the race was the right call, but I remain disappointed that my first marathon experience was so negative.

The one bright spot was the spectators on the race course - people were providing ice, water, Gatorade, and other supplies that were not provided by the race itself.

I signed up for the 2008 Chicago Marathon - and I am going to finish.

Recovery:

My recovery was pretty rough. I drank plenty of fluids, and kept my torn-up feet bandaged as much as possible.

Running Gear Recommendations:

ASICS Gel Nimbus 9
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BodyGlide
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Be sure you respect the distance and put in the training...if you can do that, go for it!

Plans to Run Another:

I am going to finish Chicago - no question about it.

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