Sun, 14 Sep 2008

Chicago Half Marathon 2008

Interesting conditions today for the 2008 edition of the Chicago Half Marathon, a race I have now done in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 which is a personal record in itself.

While the weather story of the weekend is obviously the aftermath of hurricane Ike in Texas and neighbouring states were millions of people are still without power, we were also hit in a surprisingly hard way here in northwestern Illinois. According to the Tribune all of Chicago had a rain record day and the Chicago River crested causing evacuations. Not pretty.

The new race organisers (who had acquired the race since the 2007 event) were standing steadfast and guaranteeing the race 'come rain or shine'. Participation looked decent -- word was of a record turnout of sixteen thousand runners though I am sure some stayed home given yesterday's rain and the forecast for today. Given all that, it turned out to be not that bad. While we had steady rain the whole, it rarely rained that hard. Shoes and socks did get wet towards the end, but it was tolerable overall. I had been worried about the gross humidity we had yesterday --- but today was much better with temperatures in the sixties and little wind.

As for the race, I went out somewhat fast but managed to hang on. The Garmin had every mile split below 7:00 min/mile, and I came in at a new personal record of 1:30:51.52. My GPS, an old Garmin 201, also showed the course long at 13.4 miles; a few other runners I talked to had it as correct or long by a lesser amount. The leaves the pace at 6:56 min/mile (or, for Christian, at 4:19 min/km :-) if the half marathon course length was in fact correct, and at 6:47 min/mile (4:13 min/km) if my Garmin had it right.

And from now on it's all tapering for the the next big one in two weeks!

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