2013 Chicago Marathon

13 Oct

Blue skies, 100% sunshine, and cool morning weather were the setting for the running of the 36th Annual Chicago Marathon. And what a marathon it was!

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As usual, Chicago rolled out the red carpet and set the stage for 45,000 runners to merge in a glorious and seemingly unending flow of courageous humanity.

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@craignewman

My house is on the race route, and every year I make certain I am up early enough to marvel at the wheelchair competitors, who this year finished the race in less than 2 hours.

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Then came the elite runners, always focused and so determined.

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This year, Ernst VanDyk of South Africa won the men’s wheelchair race by one second in a photo finish.

Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune

Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune Photo

Dennis Kimetto of Kenya won the male division with an unofficial time of 2:03:45, breaking the previous record set last year of 2:04:38. (Chicago Tribune Photo)

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Rita Jeptoo of Kenya won the female division with an unofficial time of 2:19:59, just missing a new world record. (Chicago Tribune Photo)

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I love reading the t-shirts of the competitors – so many countries, cities, cultures and charities represented proudly. And today, I think I saw almost as many Boston Strong t-shirts as I did Chicago Marathon ones. We stand together.

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Of course, there were the usual costumed runners. Hey, whatever it takes.

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What I always love about the Marathon, besides the incredible runners, are the supporters, estimated today at 1.7 million. Yes, million! People lined the streets of the diverse neighborhoods along the race route, showing their support in so many ways. And our neighborhood was no different.

At one end of my block was a live band. In the middle of the block, “We are the Champions” blared from a loud speaker. And just down the block, a DJ accompanied a very vivacious group of well wishers who were dancing, singing, cheering, offering high-fives and many words of encouragement. Such energy and so many smiles!

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Although there were 45,000 runners, I spotted two friends that were running, and even managed a photo of one who was running with a torn rotator cuff. Way to Go, Bob!

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So many neighbors out cheering and enjoying this fabulous day…

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For so many runners, it’s not about the time, but the finish. Long after the elite had passed, a few brave souls, weary from head to toe, and even lagging the ending time car in our area, trudged on, much to the delight of the crowd.

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To all, and especially those at the end of the trail,

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Put an exclamation point on that! And thanks to all for a wonderful day.

Chicago, you rock!

Ciao,

Judy

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