Tag Archives: chicago marathon

Saturday Stories

It’s time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week.

Here are this week’s stories…

A post about how to adapt your training does not go according to plan

Tips about how to run downhill. 

If you are training for a fall marathon a post to remind you that you are ready for it. 

A story about an 81 year old who will run the Chicago Marathon for the 18th consecutive year tomorrow morning. 

Saving for Chicago


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.

The Popularity of Races

In case you needed more proof of big races today’s technical difficulties experienced by the Chicago Marathon serve as a good reminder. In case you have not heard, the race was widely expected to sell out within hours after registration opened today. However, demand caused the website to crash and registration is currently closed until those technical issues are resolved.

This is not the first time something like this has happened. You may recall that Boston experienced similar issues a couple of years ago leading them to implementing changes to the qualification process. We’ll see if this prompts similar changes in Chicago.

Here in Ottawa race weekend directors have not experienced opening day demand large enough to crash the website but the trend for the last few years is that the 10 km and half-marathon have been selling out earlier and earlier. Currently the marathon is also close to selling out.

If this trend continues we will see more of the bigger events selling out in record time and websites experiencing more traffic than they can handle once registration opens to the public.

Does this mean we will see more races implementing qualifying standards? Maybe more races implementing lottery systems like New York?

Marathon Profile: Chicago Marathon

Tonight I was looking for a fall marathon to profile and since it is taking place next weekend I came up with the Chicago Marathon.

Unfortunately, if you have not already registered for this one you are out of look since it sold out in a record 31 days when it sold out in March of this year.

The Chicago Marathon is obviously one of the largest and more popular marathons in North America. Part of the attraction is the fact that it offers a flat and potentially fast course.

However, don’t let the time of year fool you as it can still get hot in Chicago at this time of year. In 2007 the race was shut down due to the heat and last year the temperature reached into the 80’s.

While the possibility of hot weather could put an end to any hopes of setting a personal best the Chicago Marathon gives you an opportunity to go on a tour of one of America’s greatest cities. That reason alone makes it worth having in your sights.

As always, if you want more information on this marathon you can read more reviews here. 

This is one I could see myself doing if anything just for an excuse to travel to Chicago.

Have you run the Chicago Marathon before or do you plan to?