Man, did I have an amazing weekend in Chicago!
We landed early Friday morning and took an Uber to our hotel… during rush hour…
It took FOREVER.
Next time I land in Chicago at 8AM, I will definitely take the train.
We stayed at the Freehand Hotel. We chose the Freehand because it was one of the cheapest options at $250 per night. The room was small, but it was a really neat place. Airlines and hotels definitely hiked up their prices because of the marathon!
After we checked in, we went to the race expo. Abbott and Nike definitely know how to put on an expo!
I bought a lot things at the Expo, but my favorite purchase was thebff electric foam roller. This thing is AH-MAZING!!!
Ed had never been to Chicago before, so we did a little sightseeing after the Expo. We visited Willis Tower and The Bean.
I ran with Action for Healthy Kids, which is a nonprofit organization that fights childhood obesity, undernourishment and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places so kids can live healthier lives. We stopped by their Chicago office on Saturday afternoon. They provided a healthy lunch and I got to meet the rest of the team. It was so much fun and everyone was so nice 🙂The race started at Grant Park. We Ubered to the start line on Sunday morning without any problems. I met up with my friend, Katherine, her new fiance, Tom (congrats again, guys!), and some of their friends before the race.
The spectator support along the course was amazing. All of the charities set up a block party at mile 14. I was SO excited to see my boyfriend and the Action for Healthy Kids tent!
Chicago is known for being fast and flat, so I planned to PR this race. I started off really strong, but slowed waaaaay down during the second half of the race due to IT band pain (I had IT band issues during my training). I definitely didn’t PR this race, but I finished… and that’s all that matters.
After I crossed the finish line, I got my free beer from Goose Island Beer Company, a local brewery in Chicago, then headed over to the Runner Reunite area and the 27th Mile Post-Race Party in Grant Park’s Butler Field. It was a surprisingly long walk, including some stairs that I saw a runner tumble down. The Post-Race Party includes live entertainment and even free massages for runners!I definitely recommend going to the Nike store on Michigan Ave after the race. They put out merchandise that says “Finisher” on it, which is different than the merchandise you see at the expo.