Race Review: Chicago Spring Half Marathon

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I ran the Chicago Spring Half Marathon for the fourth time this morning (Saturday, 5/22) but this was the first time that I have run the race virtually.

The race started at 7:10am, right outside my apartment building in Fulton Market District. I ran two miles East to the Lakeshore path and proceeded North to Belmont Harbor, which was my halfway point, where I simply turned around and headed home.

The race itself, like other virtual races, was fun and fulfilling but also quiet and anticlimactic. No crowds. No official course. Just me, my Spotify playlist, and the open pavement. There were tons of runners on Lakeshore path, and I even saw a handful of other fellow half-marathoners, wearing the same bib that I was wearing.

Despite starting with cloudy, 60-degree weather, I would say 75% of the race was sunny, hot, and humid. I was running at negative splits, but I had to stop a few times during the 2nd half of the race to catch my breath and seek shade. Regardless, I am immensely proud of what I accomplished and props to anyone else running their race solo this weekend. It’s never easy racing, without crowds and other racers.

The race ended just before 9:00am on the Chicago Riverwalk. The last 0.5 miles felt like forever and upon finishing, I immediately bought myself an ice coffee as my own token of appreciation.

I also accomplished a few milestones today:

  • Today was my 2nd half marathon of 2021
  • Today was also my 18th half marathon in my running career
  • I’m also two weeks away from officially starting my marathon training, in preparation for two majors this Fall: Chicago Marathon and New York City Marathon; these will be my 8th and 9th time running a marathon

Props to Life Time, the sponsors (+the awesome runner swag), and the other runners for making this virtual race something tangible., Running today gets me so excited for in-person races this Fall.

 

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As a runner, I have 7 marathons and 15 half marathons under my belt since 2011, despite really hating the sport when I was growing up in NJ. Running was more of a necessary evil for other sports I played when I was young but now, running brings a sense of purpose, necessity, and meditation. As my full-time, day job goes, I work for a large, wholesale B2B chemical distribution company that is based in Downers Grove, IL. I lead a global team, responsible for building marketing automation capabilities across 19 countries. As for charities, I ran on behalf of ‘Open Heart Magic’ (a NPO that does bedside magic) for 7+ years before I started running for American Cancer Society last year. My wife and I reside in Chicago, IL, so you will usually see me logging my miles up and down the Riverwalk and Lakeshore path.

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