Whooo, what a weekend! Unless you've been on a week long expedition in the wilds of the outback, I'm sure you've heard about the Chicago Marathon. I had over 400 runners participating in the event [[Chicago Endurance Sports|http://www.chicagoendurancesports.com%5d/]] and for me, it was like letting your kids go play in the middle of Death Valley in July. I couldn't help but be concerned for everyone. Outside the troubles with fluid on the course, it was an absolute brutal day to run a marathon. 70 degrees is considered hot for a marathon and running a marathon is hard enough without the heat. It was 88 degrees, 90% humidity!
I've crewed for a friend at the Badwater Ultra-Marathon which is 135 miles in Death Valley in JULY. The temperature at the start is typically near 130 and it is unbelievably extreme. So I knew people could tackle the distance successfully. The difference is that many of the runners at Chicago weren't acclimated to the heat and the humidity was at its highest -- a deadly combination. The only way you can get through it is to throw out your plan A, B, and C, and go with the Doomsday Scenario. That may sound negative, but running the marathon Sunday was all about surviving the heat. And our runners did just that.
They carried their water bottles, they brought money just in case and they slowed their pace. I am pretty darn proud of them. Although they are quite disappointed they didn't finish 26.2 miles (some did but slowly) they did finish the event on the day. Although it wasn't a traditional race, it WAS a marathon of an event.
So for those who ran or attempted to run the Chicago Marathon just remember this...
A marathoner is not made in a day.
A marathoner is made like a fine wine.
From long runs on the weekends and fartleks during the week.
From weeks and months of preparation and early Friday nights.
You were all aged to perfection and ready to run.
What makes a runner a marathoner is the will to prepare and the courage to show up on race day.
Hold your head high. There are plenty of marathons to tackle.