For those of you who have checked this site recently and noticed the plea for funds at the top of the page, it will probably be no surprise that I ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.
At least, I tried to.
As news outlets have been reporting, approximately 300 people collapsed during the race on Sunday in record high temperatures, and one guy died. It was definitely a difficult day for such a grueling run. After 3 and a half hours, race officials canceled the remainder of the race, leaving those of us who had already completed the bulk of it and were willing and able to finish hanging out to dry.
On the one hand, I certainly understand that, hot as it was, and with many people collapsing, and with one guy dying, they really had very little choice but to call the race. But, and I want to make this clear, it was the lack of fluids along the race route that was responsible for so much of the hardship. Running, I did not see a real water station until at least mile four. Others reported not seeing one till mile seven. In any event, by the time I got to the mile four station, they were almost out of water. For the faster runners, this probably didn't even register, since they still had plenty of water when they went past. But for slow guys like me, it was a really big deal.
Now, I should point out that I was actually doing quite well. I had planned ahead, had a full water bottle, was given another water bottle by a bystander as I ran, and had power bars and gu in my pack. So, I was good to go. At mile 16 I was feeling good and looking forward to finishing, when they started telling us the race was canceled and we should walk. They didn't give us the option of completing on own, they just corralled us, forced us back to Grant Park, and then insultingly told us we were completing a "fun run." Fun run my ass! I did not train six months and give up almost every Saturday all summer long for a "fun run."
I was ready and able to finish that race. If it hadn't been for the ineptitude and incompetence of the organizers, I could have. They didn't have a choice to cancel the race, but they choices they made in planning made that outcome inevitable, and someone should lose their job over it.
However, on the bright side, I did run 16 miles, and I did raise $1,400 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. There's still time to donate too. If you'd like, just click this link, and donate whatever you feel is appropriate. And thanks to all of you who supported me. It means a great deal to me, and to the good people at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.