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Chicago Marathon – Alison Jones tells of her 4th Major

Chicago Marathon October 2015

Off we go again, to Chicago this time, I entered the ballot earlier in the year for this marathon, and forgot all about it.  I also entered the Medoc Marathon in September, again via the ballot.

Would you believe it, I got into them both, so that was my autumn planned.

I won’t dwell on Medoc; 26.2miles, 22 vinyards, need I say more, well perhaps I should mention, I didn’t need an alarm clock to get up for this one, the thunder and lightning did the job, if you have never tried to run in fancy dress during a thunder and lightning storm, even with the promise of copious amount of free vine, I don’t recommend it.

What I did do at Medoc, was injure my toe, but it seemed to be okay when I got back, well it was okay up to about 16miles, so I thought even if it bothers me I can put up with it for the last 10 miles.

The city of Chicago, is really nice, it you ignore the fact that it has the most gun related murders in the USA that is. I left my gun at home just to be safe.

The great thing about the Chicago marathon is that it starts and finishes in Grant Park, which is in the centre of town, so no buses required, but still the middle of the night rising! But this is great for hotels etc as everything is central. In fact my hotel adjoined the centre where the EXPO was being held, so I just popped across for number pick-up etc, in fact it really was a great EXPO, lots going on so I visited it a couple of times and bought some locally produced running gear for my daughters (I can only hope they will be used for running and not as pyjamas, typical students)

Alison marathon Chicago

What I really liked was the beer bus. This was a bus where you entered at the back and you were given beer to sample (real beer sans alcohol) then you got off at the front with your drink, I did tell the guy pouring the beer, he had a good idea and I am sure it would catch on in the U.K. in fact I might have to start taking the bus again if it ever comes here.

The race it’s self was as good as New York for support, although I did smile when a lady shouted at me in the early stages; “You got this Alison!” I thought you must know something I don’t as we had only run two miles. Maybe she did know something after all.

The day ended up very warm but with plenty of water and sports drinks available. It amused me that the mesh coverings on the bridges has been carpeted, I wondered how long that took, no wonder it took me so long to get to my hotel from the airport if they were carpeting the city for my arrival!

Unfortunately this was a very flat course. I say that not because I am completely mad, you can be the judge of that, but since my toe started to throb at 16miles, (at least I am consistent), I would have loved some inclines to take the pressure off. The only small hill was into the park to the finish and I sprinted up that, people must have thought I was trying to get a pb or something, but it was just the relief of the pressure being taken off my toe.

Alison - Majors medals

We got more beer, again real beer, but could not take it out of the park (the law in USA means no drinking on the street) and I had forgotten to bring my brown bag with me, so I had a mouthful then walked back to the hotel in the sunshine.

A mature lady stopped me en route and told me I was amazing since I was obviously not a young woman any more, I am still trying to work out if that was a compliment or not, but I think she meant well, and I did look all of my 150 years!

For anyone who is interested in my time – an abysmal 4.24.06… I was going in the wrong direction, but another major ticked off the list.

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