Last week I got a participant email from the Chicago Marathon. I LOVE getting participant emails from races. It feels like I’m receiving a super secret message from the cool kids club, or my Hogwarts acceptance letter!
Turns out this email was completely irrelevant to me, but it really made a whole lot of other people pretty mad.
Last year (and I’m assuming many years before that) the Chicago Marathon was set up with the Elite division starting first, corrals A-D (that you have to qualify for) starting next at 7:30, and everyone else starting in a giant mass after that, presumably through the start line by about 8:00. Aaron was placed in Corral B and I was placed in Corral C based on our recent half marathon results.
But, they are shaking things up this year.
The email said that corrals A-D would stay the same with a 7:30 start time. Corral E will consist of all charity runners and would start right after A-D. Then, at 8:00, the rest of the participants would start in corrals based on estimated finish time with everyone through probably around 8:15-8:20.
As mentioned before, this doesn’t affect me at all, but the most common arguments are that the slowest runners will be finishing even later into the afternoon. Also, the fastest of the mass finishers will be starting BEHIND the charity runners who may be running/walking much slower.
I think having to start a 6 hour marathon at maybe as late as 8:30 would be pretty annoying. I’m even slightly annoyed that the marathon starts for me at 7:30 (though Boston starts at like, 10:30). We’ve been starting our long runs between 6:30 and 7:00, ending after 9. By 9:00, it is miserably hot. Chicago weather in October seems to be a toss up, but apparently the last 4 out of 5 years have been really warm. (However, one of those 5 years it was 30 degrees).
I can understand the frustration.
We’ve been training in the mid-morning heat, mostly because of laziness, but also a little bit because regardless of start time, I will be running my hardest miles well past 10:00 am. I’d rather be miserable now and be prepared for whatever weather conditions get thrown my way then run comfortably now and not be able to handle the heat come October. And if it is one of those freezing years, I will have trained at much worse conditions.
Is the new start time a bummer for some people? Absolutely. But it isn’t anything a little extra preparation now can’t fix.
And because I haven’t done any Olympic updates yet…
Friday I came home to fish and chips and Boddington’s! I don’t think it helped our run at all on Saturday, but it sure was yummy. (Sidenote…apparently the gluten free topic came up on a #fitfluential twitter chat yesterday…I don’t participate in #fitfluential, but it looks like a lot of true Celiac people don’t appreciate non-Celiac people making their diet a trend since for them it isn’t a choice. It was kind of weird).
Overall I did like the Opening Ceremony, but I think it should have been shorter with more smooth transitions. It felt like 4 completely separate acts. I LOVED the Bond skit, and of course Rowen Atkinson, but some parts, like the giant baby were kind of weird. The Cauldron was incredible, even if no one in London could see it.
One thing I forgot to mention last week was that two Saint Mary’s basketball players are on the Australian Basketball team! So now I guess I’m cheering for them a bit too!