We ran the Chicago Marathon. Despite less than ideal conditions, it rained half the day, we had a marvelous time.

Ate at Lula Cafe. A wonderful farm to table restaurant with a lovely six-course vegetarian tasting menu.

Race Report: Chicago Marathon

What a fantastic race. The course winds through Chicago giving you an excellent way to see many of its various neighborhoods. The course is almost fully exposed and basically as flat as they come. The only elevation change is for bridges over rivers and one small bump at mile 26.

Chicago Marathon Course Profile

Chicago Marathon Course Profile

Having completed various “big” races (Chicago, Berlin, New York, and The Original Marathon), I have to say, large events are special in their own way, but almost not worth it. The crowds are huge, the waits are long and it doesn’t have the same charm as the small races. The flip side of that coin is that there is something very unique about running a race with 50,000 people.

I must say, The Original Marathon is the best of the big races we’ve run. It is hard to understand the cultural importance of marathon racing in Greece. Because of that factor, The Original Marathon is still one of my favorites. New York is cool, but a bit overrated. Berlin was awesome but was hampered by the weather. That being said, Chicago was amazing.

The crowd was as enthusiastic as you can imagine. There were plenty of DJ’s and bands – including one rocking mariachi band. People were singing, dancing, shouting, ringing bells, giving out high fives, and blowing vuvuzela horns. It was as if the folks of Chicago were having a massive block party and a marathon happened to break out.

To make things even better, the runners were mostly friendly and polite. Despite the long lines and sometimes crowded areas on the course, there was none of the pushing, elbow throwing, and general lack of respect that was rampant at the New York Marathon. If you can’t make it abroad but want to experience a large marathon, I would recommend Chicago over New York any day of the week.


Race Website: https://www.chicagomarathon.com

Lowest Point: 580 feet

Highest Point: 612 feet

Approximate Gain: 243 feet

Approximate Descent: 242 feet

Annie's Finishing Time: 4:43:03

Scott's Finishing Time: 4:22:28

View all race results by clicking here.