The last four years I have travelled out of town to run a fall marathon. After having a good time in Philadelphia last year I was hoping to be able to do that again this year. For a little over a week now I have had my sights set on the the option I want to do in the fall.
My decision was made after the Chicago Marathon announced its registration process for this year. While many people have been debating the choice to opt for a lottery another aspect caught my eye, direct entry via time qualifier. According to the new process, men can gain direct entry if they have run a sub 3:15 marathon on or after January 1 2012. That means my time here in Ottawa qualifies me for direct entry.
My wife and I have nit been to Chicago before and it was on our list of cities to visit and now we have an excuse to go this year. It is also one of the major marathons in the world and of the American ones Boston is still a work in progress for me and New York might not be attainable given the tighter qualifying standards and cost involved with running the New York City Marathon.
Chicago will be an amazing experience both in terms of running and visiting. There will be plenty to see and race day will be equally as impressive. Both times I ran the Philadelphia Marathon The first thing I ate after I finished was a cheesesteak. In Chicago I plan to find the best place for deep dish pizza and make that my first stop after I get showered and changed.
Of course Chicago will not be a cheap trip either, considering we will need to pay for airfare and accomodations. That means I will have to find a way to finance the trip. Starting now I am saving all of my change and rolling it. This money will go into my Chicago fund that I will cash in before the marathon in October. Hopefully between now and then I will be able to put away a decent amount to help pay for the cost of the trip.
Now that I have identified my plan to run the Chicago Marathon I would be interested in hearing any feedback you may have both in terms of running the marathon and visiting the city.