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    Feelin' Hot Hot Hot

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    By now, if you haven't heard about the eventful Chicago Marathon, you must be living under a rock! The weather on Sunday broke all kinds of records for excessive heat and humidity. Hundreds of runners were hospitalized and treated by race medical staff. Around noon, runners who had not reached mile 20 were advised to either stop racing or continue the course by walking because the race had been cancelled. Anyone finishing after that point would receive a medal, but not an official finishing time.

    For us, the weekend started off nicely with a visit to the Marathon Expo at McCormick Place for Mike and I and a visit to Sonny Acres (pumpkin patch) for G&G and Benjamin. Mike and I then met his cousin Patti and her friend for a viewing of a new movie, Spirit of the Marathon. The movie was premiering as an entry in the Chicago International Film Festival and thanks to Patti, we were lucky enough to get tickets. The movie was fantastic! I highly recommend watching the preview at Spirit of the Marathon . It is especially enlightening for runners and for anyone who is from or who loves Chicago. The filmmakers really make the city look awesome! Everytime I watch it, I get goosebumps!

    We settled in early Saturday evening in anticipation for the race, which got us up very early Sunday morning. There were many reports of how hot and humid it was supposed to be and it was on everyone's mind. Mike was ready to race, but nervous for what may lie ahead of him. We arrived downtown just before 7am and walked with the masses to the start area. Because of his Boston-qualifying time from last year, Mike was able to get a spot in the first preferred start corral, which also gave him access to a preferred gear check...kind of made him feel like a rock star! You could tell by looking around at the other runners that everyone was taking the weather very seriously. After leaving Mike, I headed to approximately mile 1.5, right across from the Chicago Theatre, where I met up with Mom, Dad, Benjamin, Aunt Mary and Uncle Roland. Last year we were able to get on the news because the ABC news studio is right at our spot. This year you could only catch a glimpse of me, Benjamin, Aunt Mary and Uncle Roland waving as the weatherman rolled his green screen down in front of the windows. Even at mile 1.5, you could see that the runners were being affected by the heat.

    Thumbs up!

    We went on to watch Mike at miles 14 and 16. He was way ahead of his predicted pace and looked strong, happy and healthy!
    Looking good at mile 14!
    We were hopeful to make it to mile 23 to see him again, but he was running too fast and we missed him. Mom, Dad and Benjamin headed home due to the heat, but I met Mike at the family reunite area.

    Jessica and Mike at the finish area

    He finished with a time of 3:13:49...over 10 minutes better than he was even hoping for. He said that he saw many runners go down throughout the latter parts of the race and that he was hot, but it was manageable. We had no idea what was happening throughout the course during those moments. We only found out after we had arrived back at mom and dad's house and started to read newspapers online.

    On Monday, we drove up to Milwaukee to see Erin, Dennis and baby Kelsey. Benjamin was soooo excited to see the baby. He had to know where she was at all times..."Where baby Kelsey!?" It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with them and to see their new house. We are looking forward to heading back down to IL and seeing all of my family at the end of this month for Grandma's 80th Birthday extravaganza!!!!