The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

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Dstew
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The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby Dstew » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:56 pm

My plan was to submit my name to the New York City lottery and if I got in, great, and if not, there were a couple of fall marathons I could run. As there may not even be a lottery for the 2013 NYCM and if there is, extremely small chance of getting in combined with rumors about Chicago, 2013 would seem to be Chicago's turn.

I have heard generally good things about Chicago but what specifics did you like. Is there a hotel you would recommend? I would like to be relatively close to the finish and start, a couple of kilometers and to have the opportunity to do some sight seeing on foot or by boat, etc.

The one advantage is that there are a number of direct flights from Calgary, damn expensive, but direct so that is another plus.

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ian
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby ian » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:16 pm

Do it.

Of the three major US marathons, Chicago has (by far) the fastest course and is the cheapest trip from Alberta. When I went in 2009, I found a nice hotel (Courtyard Marriott) just north of the river by the Magnificent Mile where I was only a 15 minute walk to the race start. If you're willing to spend in the ballpark of $200 per night, you should be able to find something similar. The race expo is south of downtown but still walkable, especially if you can get that out of the way on Friday.

Some warnings:
(1) Given how the sellout time has gone from a few months in 2010 to a few weeks in 2011 to a few days in 2012, expect to sign up on the very first day in 2013 and possibly encounter a server crash or two.
(2) The weather on raceday has been a real wildcard. Some years are near freezing (2009 and 2012), in which case you will have a fast race but a less pleasant trip. Other years (2008, 2010, 2011) are scorching hot, in which case you'll have to dial back the race goals and enjoy the rest of the weekend more.
(3) Saturday night is, by far, the busiest day of the year for downtown restaurants (moreso than Mothers' Day or Valentine's Day, according to the waiters I spoke with). Either make reservations or try to drop in around 4pm well before the rush.
(4) Without wave starts, there can be a lot of congestion at the beginning, but it is not hard to get yourself into one of the corrals at the front with a recent 21K or 42K time. Look into the standards and plan your spring schedule accordingly.

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The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby purdy65 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:25 pm

The thing that makes this race great is the logistics

Andy, Sylvie, and I all stayed at the travelodge right across the street from grant park. And it was less than 200/ night.

The course is flat and fast with tons of support everywhere.

If I were to be totally honest, it is my favorite of the three majors I have done.

Go for it! :)

I also like that it starts early!
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby QuickChick » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:27 pm

Chicago is a fantastic race! I'd definitely recommend it. Great course, great organization, awesome spectators and lots of energy. It's also a big elite draw, and I don't know... I think it's cool to toe the same line as Paula Radcliffe or Meb Keflezighi. When I did it, I stayed in the ghe-TTO... it was something like $80 a night but I feel lucky to have survived. Not sure I'd recommend that, although it was a very easy Metra or subway ride into the downtown core.
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Dstew
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby Dstew » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:43 pm

ian wrote:Do it.

Either make reservations or try to drop in around 4pm well before the rush.
(4) Without wave starts, there can be a lot of congestion at the beginning, but it is not hard to get yourself into one of the corrals at the front with a recent 21K or 42K time. Look into the standards and plan your spring schedule accordingly.


I can live with $200 a night and for some luxury, $250 would not kill me.

I like eating at 4 before a marathon so that works out well.

From 2012, my Victoria time will be enough to get me into corral C. It sounds like registration will open before any spring races and that last bet was 26 - 70 hours to sell out so I plan to be first in line.

And I also want to thank the others for their input and I am now no longer disappointed about New York as it appear Chicago is the fall race for me in 2013. If others have comments, please keep them coming as I can never hear enough justifications and rationalizations for my decision to go to a destination race.

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ian
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby ian » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:51 pm

Dstew wrote:From 2012, my Victoria time will be enough to get me into corral C. It sounds like registration will open before any spring races

You can usually update your corral assignments well into the summer, but in your case, corral B would probably be a longshot even with a terrific spring race (so you're already set with the Victoria time).

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orleansrunner1962
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby orleansrunner1962 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:13 pm

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Chicago -- I definitely plan on getting back there some day......

Like Lisa said, we stayed at the Travel Lodge -- literally a few blocks from the start line.... not fancy, but VERY convenient.

The Expo is huge, the organization is amazing, the city is VERY welcoming of marathoners .... I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this event.

I was there in 2010, and it was VERY HOT.... however, it did make for very nice weather for sightseeing, and that scored big with Hubby..... so all around, a great time!!!

Be sure to be at the keyboard when registration opens (early Feb if I recall correctly).....
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ceileigh
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby ceileigh » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:18 pm

Given the mess of NY this year, the fact that ITP's do not look to have a guaranteed entry for 2013, and the cost of it all, I am thinking of Chicago instead of NY in 2013 as a 3rd try at a first marathon.

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fingerboy
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby fingerboy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:32 pm

Chicago is the best


what's the rumor for 2013? that it will sell out faster?

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby dgrant » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:49 pm

Super fun race... great atmosphere and good logistics.

Definitely stay within walking distance of Grant Park/Millenium Park. Primarily because you'll then have zero pre- or post-race hassles, secondly because there are many nice hotels there to choose, and third because it's where most of the good tourist stuff is anyway. If you like history, the architectural boat cruises are great.

Most importantly, above all else, understand that deep dish pizza is no joke and despite all intuition one slice is enough.

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby Dstew » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:51 pm

fingerboy wrote:Chicago is the best


what's the rumor for 2013? that it will sell out faster?



There are rumors floating on the net that because Berlin sold out so quickly that instead of days, Chicago will be hours to sell out. It was six days in 2012.

The other rumor is that because of the demand that race officials are looking at instituting a lottery like New York. That is just a rumor but if it is true, there is the potential the 2013 race could be last time it is first come, first serve.

I have signed up for the email updates and will be sitting on my computer the second registration opens just in case.

The problem with rumors is that enough people believe them to be true, then it could become a self fulfilling prophecy.

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby Dstew » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:53 pm

dgrant wrote:Super fun race... great atmosphere and good logistics.

Definitely stay within walking distance of Grant Park/Millenium Park. Primarily because you'll then have zero pre- or post-race hassles, secondly because there are many nice hotels there to choose, and third because it's where most of the good tourist stuff is anyway. If you like history, the architectural boat cruises are great.

Most importantly, above all else, understand that deep dish pizza is no joke and despite all intuition one slice is enough.



Fun race, good.

I love architecture and my wife does not so I get to go solo.

Deep Dish Pizza sounds great.


Although "Grant" park does sound a little suspect. :D

Three more reasons to be ready to go when registration opens.

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby trixiee » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:11 am

MiniT and I stayed here: http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/illinois ... kfast.html
It was recommended by BMan. It's way off the beaten track, but a three block walk, a bus ride and the El will get you there PDQ! If you want to get the real feel of the streets of Chicago, I would recommend this place. And yes, the deep dish pizza is da bomb!
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby oink » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:13 am

I'll have to give Chicago two thumbs up as well......as someone who has travelled extensively thru the US, I get asked a lot which is my favourite city? You can keep your LA, Dallas, NY, Boston..... Chi-town is my top followed by Sedona (Arizona)

Plan to enter again for 2013

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby alexk » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:13 pm

I highly recommend Chicago too. I've run it twice and had a super experience both times. I've also run Boston and NYC and Chicago was least stressful of the 3. There's something to be said about walking to and from the finish line :). I did find it a bit congested w/ the corrals, epecially the second time. I was in one of the first corrals but had to get my friend to her corral first (near the end). I got to my spot w/ just seconds to spare but it ony took me about a minute to cross the line.

Both times, I stayed near Michigan Ave (Maginficient Mile), once at the Hyatt (I think) and the other time at an Embassy Suites. The Hyatt was closer to the start (10 min walk) which was much better, especially after the race.

The city is amazing - I also did the boat cruise - and great for other activities besides running (like shopping, if you like that kind of thing :)).

I'm also thinking about going in 2013. I want s/t flat and fast - we'll see :).
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby ChrisL » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:01 pm

I did NYC in 2011 and Chicago in 2012.

Both have their good and bad points.

Both are great races but should be seen in different lights.

Staging and organization: Both are well organized but I found that Chicago is much better organized than NYC. One possible reason is that Chicago is a loop race while NYC is a point to point race much like Boston. So there needs to have two staging areas for NY and only one for Chicago which increase complexity. Getting to the start of the race in NYC is a PITA. For Chicago, there are tons of hotels within 2 km of the start.

Cost: Chicago is cheaper; mostly because of accommodation. It is also easier to get downtown Chicago by metro than NYC. Everything else is pretty well equal.

Expo: Both expos are great, large with a lot of vendors.

Course: Chicago is as flat as a marathon can be, so if you want to do a PB, that is the marathon for you. NYC sot so much. I also found Chicago less crowded. NYC was very crowded.

Sights: NYC hands down. I loved running in NYC through the neighbourhood. Chicago is one boring course with little to see.

Activities: Chicago is good, but nothing beats NYC.

Overall: If you only reason to go there is to run, I would say that Chicago is better. But if you want to do other things, NYC all the way.
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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby oink » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:07 pm

Yes NYC is all hyped up like all major cities with a huge population, but I'll have to disagree about there not being things to do in Chicago.

There are tons of things to do in Chicago, just depends on what you are in to.

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby fingerboy » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:57 pm

So...NYC rips you off and steals your money, gives away your hotel, and tells you to go screw yourself... how is that better?

sounds like runners were hustled by the city of hustlers.


Chicagoans were extremely nice and receptive.

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby orleansrunner1962 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:18 pm

fingerboy wrote:Chicagoans were extremely nice and receptive.


I have to agree with this -- from the minute we arrived at the airport, there were posters EVERYWHERE saying "Mayor XXX welcomes you", and everyone we went, everyone was so welcoming and helpful.....
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Mar - Around the Bay 30 km - Done
May - Sulphur Spring 100 miler - DNS
Sept - Army HM
Sept/Oct - 50 miler
Oct - Pace Bunny - Toronto Scotia Waterfront
Dec - Reggae Marathon in Jamaica

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby dgrant » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:23 pm

orleansrunner1962 wrote:
fingerboy wrote:Chicagoans were extremely nice and receptive.


I have to agree with this -- from the minute we arrived at the airport, there were posters EVERYWHERE saying "Mayor XXX welcomes you", and everyone we went, everyone was so welcoming and helpful.....


+1... There's something in the water there. People have so much pride in their city.

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby Dstew » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:50 pm

At midnight on a day to be announced, I know what I will be doing. Signing up for the 2013 Chicago Marathon.

This does seem to be getting crazy. After Chicago, Big Sur and that one looked like it took about a month or so to sell out so have to mark that in my calender as well when that registration opens in July 2012.

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby oink » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:37 pm

Dstew wrote:At midnight on a day to be announced, I know what I will be doing. Signing up for the 2013 Chicago Marathon.

This does seem to be getting crazy. After Chicago, Big Sur and that one looked like it took about a month or so to sell out so have to mark that in my calender as well when that registration opens in July 2012.


Don't you mean July 2013? :lol:

The poster at O' Hare international with the Mayor welcoming you, that is always there though :D It is a city we frequent due to the family we have there. The wife was able to take in an Oprah show last year before she wrapped up

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby Dstew » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:57 pm

oink wrote:
Dstew wrote:At midnight on a day to be announced, I know what I will be doing. Signing up for the 2013 Chicago Marathon.

This does seem to be getting crazy. After Chicago, Big Sur and that one looked like it took about a month or so to sell out so have to mark that in my calender as well when that registration opens in July 2012.


Don't you mean July 2013? :lol:

The poster at O' Hare international with the Mayor welcoming you, that is always there though :D It is a city we frequent due to the family we have there. The wife was able to take in an Oprah show last year before she wrapped up


Yes 2013 but how silly is it that one has to plan to register in July 2013 to run a spring marathon in 2014. I think anyone faster than 3:48 should have first crack and then all of those joggers can register.

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby jamix » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:32 pm

Dstew wrote:
oink wrote:
Dstew wrote:At midnight on a day to be announced, I know what I will be doing. Signing up for the 2013 Chicago Marathon.

This does seem to be getting crazy. After Chicago, Big Sur and that one looked like it took about a month or so to sell out so have to mark that in my calender as well when that registration opens in July 2012.


Don't you mean July 2013? :lol:

The poster at O' Hare international with the Mayor welcoming you, that is always there though :D It is a city we frequent due to the family we have there. The wife was able to take in an Oprah show last year before she wrapped up


Yes 2013 but how silly is it that one has to plan to register in July 2013 to run a spring marathon in 2014. [b] I think anyone faster than 3:48 should have first crack and then all of those joggers can register[/b].


I think anyone faster than 3:46 should have first crack and then all of those joggers can register :wink:
2013 GOALS:

- Compete in the "Early Bird Sprint Triathlon" in May
- Run a 5km pb during the "Bushtukah Canada Day Road Race"
- Complete an Olympic distance triathlon
- Cycle > 33 km / hr during the cycle portion of a Sprint Triathlon.
- Stay healthy and happy

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April 28th: Manotick 10km (40:16)
May 18th: Ottawa Early Bird Sprint Triathlon (DNF)
June 8th: Riverkeeper SuperSprint (2nd overall)
July 1st: Bushtukah Canada Day 5km (18:37)

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Re: The Chicago Marathon - thoughts?

Postby lorei » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:53 pm

Does anyone remember when the registration opened for Chicago in 2012?


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