Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chicago Marathon 2008

I volunteered for the Chicago Marathon today. I love this race. My only complaint is how the race has grown. Last year was a perfect example of how difficult it is to manage an enormous crowd. Thankfully Carey Pinkowski learned from last years mistakes and the race appeared to go very well.

For those who have never been to Chicago, (I know, I'm actually thinking someone I don't know is reading this blog :)) running the marathon would be a great way to see our city.

Congratulations to everyone who ran. It got pretty tough out there with all that fall sunshine beaming down on you but everyone proved they prepared themselves for whatever the day put in front of them.

Here are some pics of my great day .....

The clock reads 6:15. Caroline and I got down to North and Wells around 5:45. It took us a while to find street parking. You didn't think I was going to pay $10 did you? :)

While checking in we received our credentials. See that yellow dot. It means I got to work the Gartorade stations. O yeah! Me and my kids are gatorade experts. This was going to be fun!

We also got these very nice dry fit hats and also dry fit jackets. Unfortunately they only had large and x-large left in the jackets so I took x-large. I ended up giving my jacket to a very nice older gentleman who helped me put cups out and mix Gatorade when things got crazy busy. You would have thought I gave him the winning lottery numbers. He introduced me to his family and kept hugging me. It was pretty funny.

We walked down to Starbucks since I hadn't had my tea yet and then found a table and got to work.
It took us about and hour and a half to get the table from empty this to this....

See the boxes in front of the table? Caroline and I needed them to reach the 5th row of cups we made.

Soon it was 8:00 and all my friends who spent the last 18 weeks training began the final leg of their marathon journey. I was hoping I would see them but knew it probably wouldn't happen since I told everyone I would be near the O'Brien's sign and I was on the opposite side of the street. I was very excited to see Tom F.! I kept screamming at him as he ran by with a smile!

The guy on the left is from the Weather Channel. Wow, the race is making the Weather Channel!

The guy on the right is the captain of our aid station. He ran thru a list of what to do's and don'ts.

Here is the leader in the wheelchair division.

And this man to the right pushed himself with his legs. Very inspiring.

And then the professionals came. Making each step look like they were out for a morning jog. First came the men ....
and then the women ....

Our gatorade station closed right around 11:15. For as long as it took us to put everything up, what ever was left was taken down in a matter of seconds ....

And cleaned up in a matter of minutes. On the way home we laughed about how sticky we were from all the Gatorade that we either mixed on us, spilled on us, spit on us, and bounced off us. I guess that was a sign that we had done our job.

Now, do I run next year or volunteer?

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