Chicago Marathon 2012

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21/04/2012 at 14:17

Anyone from the UK running Chicago this year? What about people who have already run Chicago? Post your questions and comments here about the event.

For me, I'm trying to figure out the best time and day to fly over, to minimise/get over any jet lag. Any seasoned marathon travellers able to share their tips on how to handle long flights?

21/04/2012 at 14:27

I'm running Chicago this year. It'll be my 9th marathon, but first time running Chicago.

I fly over from Glasgow on the Thursday. I've ran the Disney marathon in Florida twice having flown over a couple of days before the race with no ill affects. It's an early start for the marathon, so jet lag shouldn't be too much of an issue. In truth you don't want to shift too much from UK time as you'll be up early to eat pre-race anyway.

Travel tips. Wear your race shoes on the flight. Put as much of your running gear in your hand luggage that you can. Drink plenty during the flight to stay hydrated.

21/04/2012 at 14:54

That's a very excellent point you raised, Eggyh73. I just checked the starting time and it's 7:30 a.m. I'm more used to later starts myself, e.g. 9-10, plus the marathons I've normally run outside the UK are in continental Europe with a +1 hour difference to the UK. So I think I'll probably arrive in Chicago 2-3 days before race day, i.e. Thursday or Friday.

Also have you found any reasonable accommodation in Chicago, preferably one that is close/walking distance to start and finish line?

21/04/2012 at 15:05

It's an early start and as you'll be up early to eat before it I think arriving on the Thursday or Friday and having a couple of early nights and early starts will set you up well for the race day.

I checked out the accomodation as soon as I knew the date for the marathon. I've booked a one bedroom apartment, which is fairly close to the start at Grant Park. The apartment is near Navy Pier. I booked it using www.vrbo.com. I got a good deal on that, but I did notice the hotels in that area are very expensive for the marathon dates.

21/04/2012 at 18:54
Okay, I checked out the Chicago Marathon website, and the cheapest accommodation recommendation is the Allerton Hotel (199USD per night), which is just over a mile away from Grant Park. I've just made a reservation there for 2 nights (Friday and Saturday).
21/04/2012 at 19:45

That's not too far from where I'll be staying.

What sort of time are you aiming for in Chicago?

21/04/2012 at 20:45
I just ran 3:08 at Paris last Sunday which gives me good for age in London next year. I think I'll go for something under 3:05 at Chicago, which would be a Boston qualifying time. Would love to go sub 3 hours, but I think I need more training time to get that time. And yourself?
21/04/2012 at 21:21

I was in Paris last weekend too. I ran a 3:49, which was a PB and beat my target time by ten minutes. I'm currently thinking of aiming for a 3:45 for Chicago.

I did do a google for the Chicago profile and apparently it looks something like this:

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21/04/2012 at 21:26
Wow, small world. Yes I heard Chicago is flat and fast, but also carries unpredictable weather conditions. Some runners have said Paris is flat and fast, but it was anything but flat.
22/04/2012 at 09:04

I liked the course in Paris. It did have lots of gentle inclines and declines, but no real hills in it. I'm used to running on far more hilly terrain.

I've heard the weather can be unpredictable for this one. I hope to strike lucky twice this year as the conditions last weekend were pretty much perfect for me.

22/04/2012 at 15:30
I'm running Chicago as a first marathon, running from coral D aiming for 4 hours, was planning on thursday to tuesday with hotel booked around 4 miles from the start but right next to an el train stop
22/04/2012 at 15:35

Gary - Should be a good race for a first marathon. I'll be in Chicago Thursday to Monday, then heading down to NYC for a few days.

22/04/2012 at 19:29
Thanks some good tips on this thread already, have been to Chicago before, its a lovely city and wanted a big race as a first marathon, when's everyone starting their Chicago training proper?
22/04/2012 at 19:58

I'm currently planning on doing an 18 week training plan, so begining of June for me.

I've been to Chicago before, but it was 1997 so I'm sure it's changed a bit since then!

Edited: 22/04/2012 at 19:59
23/04/2012 at 09:28
sdf
Edited: 23/04/2012 at 09:39
23/04/2012 at 11:30

OH and I did this one a few years ago and it was a blazing hot day, the previous year it had been snowy, so the weather can be very unpredictable.  It is a wonderful event.

The jetlag will work in your favour!  You will be jumping out of bed ready for brekkie while the locals are bleary eyed.  Just make sure you stay hydrated on the flight.

The course was very enjoyable and the support amazing.  Chicago really embraces the marathon and I don't think there were any dull sections of the course.  Memorable highlights were the 'military fairies' and drag queens dancing and singing in Boystown, college students offering beer, margaritas etc in the student district, the many many houses with music blasting out and parties happening outside. 

If you want to turn it into a two centre holiday, also worth thinking about the trains.  Chicago is the main Amtrak hub and we booked a sleeper train to Washington after the race.  Amazing scenery, good food and interesting company - the train went through Pennsylvania, so quite a few Amish travelling.  Pretty reasonably priced as well.   We are planning to do Chicago again in the next few years and will do the sleeper train to Sacramento afterwards, to make it an even more adventurous break! 

23/04/2012 at 11:53
Rosemary - Thanks for the report, sounds like you had a great time. I'm really looking forward to this one after having a wonderful time in Paris last weekend.
Edited: 23/04/2012 at 11:54
23/04/2012 at 16:46
Eggy,  you'll have a great time, I'm very jealous.
06/05/2012 at 14:06
Hi guys, is there anyone on this thread who has run Chicago before? I am thinking about signing up for a place through the International travel partners but am a bit concerned about the weather (heat/humidity). Have only done one marathon (London this year) and will be out there for around 4 and a half hours, more if it's very hot. Not sure whether to just go for it and hope for a cool day. Any thoughts anyone?
06/05/2012 at 18:24

I've not ran Chicago before, but the weather is really pot luck. Looking at recent years they've had both extremely warm days and bitterly cold days on the day of the marathon.

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