“Catch the blue line” takes on a whole new meaning in October


For Chicagoans, grabbing the blue line usually means you are catching the “L”, or the train, to O’Hare. The blue line train has various stops throughout the south loop and extends through UIC all the way to Forest Park on the south end. On the north end, it goes all the way to O’Hare Airport.

But in October, the phrase “the blue line” takes on a whole new meaning. It appears about two weeks prior to the Chicago Marathon. This year it appeared on the morning of September 29th. Social media posts arose galore as runners woke up to the bright blue line painted on the city streets that signifies the fastest way to navigate the 26.2 on October 10th.

For most of us, we will end up with 26.4 or 26.6, but for those few that stick to the line, they will get the pure 26.2.

The blue line does more for runners than provide the speediest route. It stirs excitement for the big day. It’s our Christmas eve as we await Santa Claus. Ok, maybe not AS much enthusiasm as the night before the big guy arrives, but seeing that line creates an eager anticipation as we await the chilly morning of darkness, waiting for the sun to come up, as we are packed in our corrals getting ready to cross that start line.

Well, Chicago Athletes, it’s here. The line has been painted and your fate has been sealed. The city awaits and you are ready.


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Mandi has been running for over 25 years and has participated in the Chicago, Detroit, and Boston Marathons. Mandi regularly competes in regional events and enjoys being a part of several running groups including CARA and the Badgerland Striders. She is a co-host on the Ten Junk Miles podcast and looks forward to hosting the Chicago Athlete Podcast. An RRCA certified coach and Les Mills certified instructor, Mandi is also a coach with Chicago Athlete Coaching. Mandi is a local government attorney by weekday and race warrior by weekend.


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