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imarche

Chicago Marathon 2015

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did it last year; it's a very nice event though some sections were pretty boring (eg running thru part of industrial area, parallel to highway) but the rest was good - takes you through most neighbourhoods and the crowd support is superb (lots of people cheering - think most of route was filled with supporters even some of the "boring" sections; bands, singers etc).


not at the moment... marathon major......not easy to get in... u got it?

not true...most people i know got in

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I have a friend who did it past 2 years and he gave the thumbs up. But it's a long and expensive way there for a run.

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I have a friend who did it past 2 years and he gave the thumbs up. But it's a long and expensive way there for a run.

yes long and expensive so make it once in a lifetime worthy...... go for it..... heard its one of the flat race around in the USA

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Just did this yesterday and it was a great event! This is my first overseas race, one in a big city and major.

  • Expo event was huge and have many brands there (except Adidas, since this is a Nike event). Most brands have Chicago specific models like Nike Zoom Streak 5, Saucony Kinvara 6, shirts and such. There are shuttle buses to/from the expo from various locations from downtown. Definitely a godsend for travelers.
  • Start pen assignation is by your predicted finishing time during the lottery application or via submission of a recent HM/FM timing. I got a Corral B placement using my recent 2XU HM timing. No need for the submission race to be a certified course.
  • A clear drawstring baggage bag is given to all runners. Security will check and screen your belongings.
  • Pace teams go from 3:15, 3:20 and onwards. Pace groups for every 5min difference. They start in the relevant corrals, i.e 3:15-3:25 groups all start in Corral B, 3:30 in Corral C and so on.
  • Weather was in the low 10s (~13C) in the morning. It is really chilly with the wind chill. Things start to warm up a little after sunrise (~640am) but it's only in the high 10s. Start corral entry is smooth and I kept my gloves and extra shirt on until just before race start. Just throw over the corral fence for recycling.
  • Race course goes through many neighborhoods and downtown areas. The tall buildings can mess with GPS signal.
  • Course terrain is generally flat, nothing to be concerned about. Surface is mostly tarmac and can be rough, so watch for pits, manhole covers etc. The chamber of the roads might be a factor if always running on one side.
  • Hydration stations are HUGE! Gatorade first, followed by water for every ~2miles. There is more than enough time to grab a drink coz the long line of volunteers are almost never ending! Bananas, Powerbar gels, sponges were also provided at some stations. All stations line BOTH sides of the road, so you can easily choose which side to take from. I find it's easier for the right side since I'm right-handed :)
  • The lower temps can be an advantage for folks like us from the tropics, where the body doesn't have to work as hard to keep cool. However, I find that my arms and legs are quite numb due to the cold from windchill. Muscle contraction force can be lowered due to the cold. It was considered a warm, moderate level event @13-16C. If there is no strong wind, it would be fine.
  • The tall buildings can provide some shielding from the winds I do look to draft behind the taller folks since for 2 reasons: Easier effort and preventing my core from getting too cold.
  • While most folks love the wind and the shade, I try to look for the sunny spots where the temp is more comfortable. Sunburn can be an issue if you are not sun-friendly coz the UV level in temperate countries are many times higher than in SG due to lower cloud cover.
  • Spectators line both sides of the road for most of the course, cheering everyone and their friends. IT WAS A FRENZY!
  • I find it almost impossible to run tangents on the course due to the sheer amount of participants. I did ok on avg pace based on my training but race execution in terms of running the tangents was a disaster. I did ~600m of extra distance. :(
  • Post race items include a heat blanket, bottled water, Gatorade, bananas, Powerbars, protein shakes, beer, ice packs and chips from sponsor Mariano's. They give you a plastic bag and it's convenient to dump everything in and carry along. Oh yes, medal as well!
  • Photographers will take your finishing pic for sale on their website, together with all other photos of you from the course on Marathonfoto.
  • Split times provided every 5K in post race result, including HM and final timing. All using nett/chip time.
  • There is a post race party but I didn't join.

Overall, a fantastic event and I'd recommend giving it a try via lottery application. It's a long way to travel but definitely worth it.

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Yup, just ballot and then decide later if you want to really go for it. Registration was USD210. I think it's a very worthwhile event for a marathon major. I breakdown the 6 as follows:

Boston - Qualifier required.

NY - Ballot. Cold temperatures. More difficult course. Unpredictable weather season.

Tokyo - Ballot. Cold temperatures. Will be cheaper overall since its closer to home.

London - Ballot.

Berlin - Ballot. Flat course. Mild temperatures.

Chicago - Ballot. Flat course. Mild temperatures (read 12C-14C)

Of the 6, Chicago is probably one of the easier ones (together with Berlin) to do, not accounting for ballot luck. Moreover, it is also not a event where local runners will go frequently. Since you already had the experience of Osaka, you should try it. I felt I was taking a risk by traveling so far for my 1st overseas race in cold weather but I think that experience served me well going into the Osaka marathon.

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Cool report!

I am thoroughly convinced that run-cations are the only ones worth doing now for FM races! :thumbsu:

Did you get you some nice deep dish pizza? ;)

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This is a marathon major thus I think cannot compare osaka marathon to this.... I have not been to a major before but would think they shold be almost indifferent to normal runners like us...maybe only the elites will feel the diff

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This is a marathon major thus I think cannot compare osaka marathon to this.... I have not been to a major before but would think they shold be almost indifferent to normal runners like us...maybe only the elites will feel the diff

No difference whether major or not, just comparing in terms of going for overseas race.

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