Chicago marathon 2014

Time qualifier place accepted after a nervous wait.  The 3 working days turned into a week and I started to wonder if I'd missed something in the small print.  Just as well I got in as I booked the flights and hotel two months ago!!!!! image

The sixth of the six majors beckons at last!!!!!!!!!!! imageimageimageimageimage



  • How was Tokyo? Get bought any rounds by the local Big Man (note to readers: this refers to a generous gesture by a member of the public in Frankfurt rather than suggesting Caniggia33 has any "interesting" friends).

  • Just submitted my application for a time qualifier place. Now just the wait!! Caniggia33, what marathon did you get a qualifying time in?

  • Hell you two image

    Fido Tokyo was great.  What a fab place.  I heard someone describe it as New York in a foreign language and they weren't far wrong.  The strange offers were less forthcoming in Tokyo than Frankfurt and certainly not nearly as strange as the 'offer' at the goofy challenge last year at Disneyworld.  As I ran along this bloke shouted at me to 'feel the cougar' to this day I have no idea what he actually meant but a fondle of his wife was took my mind off my sore legs for a few seconds lol.  The marathon is pretty damn good.  I really struggle with heat and it was bloody freezing.  Not necessarily a visual blockbuster like Berlin or London but always something interesting to look at with a nice touristy thing to pass every couple of miles or so.  Not convinced by the on course entertainment.  After 10 miles of every band playing YMCA the demonstration of calligraphy at the 37km mark was one of the more unusual ways of keeping you going for the last 5k.  Its amazing how running well makes a race seem so much better.  I got round in 3:16:24 just inside the 1st 2000 home out of 34000 finishers and that was the 2nd fastest I'd ever been on foreign soil (3rd fastest if you call Manchester foreign as most of us folk north of the border would!!!).  I'd only been quicker by 26s in New York in 2008 and running seemed easy back then.  Marathon running, sightsee until you drop (including a couple of days at Tokyo Disney), long hall flights and jetlag just about killed me.  I need a holiday to recover from my holiday!!!!!

    Jamie I got my time in Manchester in the monsoon in 2012.  I ran 3:09 which given the carnage of the year before was a mild miracle and stopped me giving up completely.  A 3rd horrific PW in succession following illness in 2009 and 2010 would have seen me setting fire to my trainers.  Rather ironically I took mum and dad with me for that trip and sat musing on the tram on the way back to the flat we rented for the week musing about how unlucky I had been to run a Boston Qualifier for only the 2nd time just as they reduced the BQ from 3:10 to 3:05 and the run was a bit wasted after lots of muffed efforts to get a return trip to Boston.  I've still never got back there but it turned out by accident to be good enough to get into London last year after they gave blokes 3:10 rather than sub 3 for the first time in years and now a sub 3:15 time for Chicago.  I am a very lucky boy to be able to get in and be close to getting the full set especially when I think about how close I was to quitting completely. image

  • I got my confirmation today, hotel booked.

    This will be number 5 major for me

    Ran Boston last year and doing it again this year.

  • Nice of you to join us Jonah.  Congratualtions on qualifying for Boston 2 years running.  Just a wee bit (OK a lot) jealous I won't be there yet again!!!

    I jumped the gun when saw those qualifying standards coming out.  Thought I would dodge the post ballot booking frenzy.  Booked flights with air fungus from edinburgh via dublin and 7 nights in a place called De Witts.  What I save by dodging the tour companies can pay for a few extra nights and some extra sightseeing time.  Would be a waste to go all that way and not really see Chicago properly.

  • Thanks for the welcome

    only going to Chicago thursday til Monday , that's what I did for Boston last year, taking the wife with me this time and going for 2 weeks, driving across to Cape Cod and staying round there after the marathon.

    Off out now for a sneaky 18 miles

  • That sounds like a fab trip Jonah.  I thought of hiring a car and going t'other way from Boston through places like Rochester, then Buffalo, Niagra Falls and finishing in Toronto.  It didn't look that far a drive but the price of getting home from a second country and problems with offloading a car in Canada completely killed the plan.  I just didn't have enough spare pennies.  I will just have to save up and go to Canada as a trip on its own some time.  It was probably a blessing I wasn't well enough to run a marathon even though I did.  A long drive may have finished me off completely!!!!

  • My plan is to do Tokyo next year then hang up my marathon trainers up and maybe do some more longer stuff and fell races.

    My original goal was to run all the world majors sub 3 it's still on but the enthusiasm is waning a little 

  • I think I have 8 left on my to do list.  Still really want to do marine Corps in Washington and to finish with the Dopey challenge at Disneyworld.  Not only would the bling be awesome but if I finish with a really ropey one at least I have the excuse that I have ran 4 races in 4 days.  If I finish with a sh!te one somewhere else I know I will think I can't finish like that and go on fighting time and probability for ever more.  After that I will come down the distances rather than up.  There are still lots of half marathons, metric races like the Berlin 25k and things that look awesome like the great Ethiopian run that I would love to do but have been on the backburner while I have been running marathons.  The prospect of fell running and ultra running doesn't really do it for me.  There are easier ways of filling a mid life crisis lol image

  • Have done the Berlin 25k - starts outside/ends inside the stadium and otherwise is kind of a mini version of the marathon, with less support. Any excuse to go to Berlin....! Medal was cool too. 

    Don't rule out Comrades - that truly is quite an experience, and there's a reason people keep coming back. And you don't have to do more training than for a marathon...In fact, it's a good excuse to spend half a year travelling round doing one or two marathons a month, at

  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭

    I am in for this one as well so can be added to the list. However time wise, will probably takes things nice and easy, take in the atmosphere and crowds and take loads of pictures!!

    But as Fido says, dont rule out the ultras, they are amazing and can definately recommend Comrades as a race you just have to do at least once. But if 56 miles isn't your thing then a more reasonable distance is the Two Oceans marathon at 35 miles. Billed as the most beautifull marathon in the world it certainly ticks that box. Going back there in three weeks to have another crack at it.

  • Sorry to drag things a little offtopic but Marty, I was wondering what sort of budget you have to consider for TO, as the flights etc are round Easter?

    Comrades I reckon if you take a cheap 2-changes flight and stay in a nice hostel, you can do for under a thousand, which probably makes it quite competitive, cost-wise, with some of the other WMM!

  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭

    Unfortunately Easter does through a spanner in the works re price for flights and hotels. I reckon its probably around £150 - £200 more to fly to J.burg at Easter than in June. I thought the flights may have come down in price but they seemed to stay about the same with most major carriers pretty similar in cost.

    And of course hotels in Cape Town aren't that cheap either, although the food prices and the exchange rate at the moment is at least in my favour.

    Just hope this time i manage to get up table Mountain and across to Robben Island. Praying for nice weather now.....

    Any other questions about TO just throw them at me here or on the Comrades threadimage

  • You are still not selling me on this ultra lark image

    Fido you are absolutely right any excuse for a trip to Berlin.  Its one of my favourite places to go and could go back time after time even though I don't tend to go back to the same place more than once.  Berlin is one of the few exceptions!!! image

    Marty how did you get on at the house of the mouse?  Did you get done with excess baggage to get 6 bits of Dopey challenge Disney bling back in the suitcase?

  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭

    I didn't do Disney this year C33, I had ran it the previous two years so thought i would give it a miss this time around. And what with Cape Town and Chicago, days off from work would start to become a little tricky.

    Why is it that all the most amazing races are abroad somewhere?

  • They are probably equally good in Britain but we are all just looking for a convenient excuse to go on lots of fab holidays!!!! image

    I have to say Germany and America are my two favourite places to run.  I think if they had a tiddlywinks competition in the city square of most german cities they would come out in their 1000s to watch.  Americans are just ludicrously OTT in their support.  It doesn't matter whether you are first, last or an average tryer  like me in the middle of the pack you still get cheered on all the way round like you are a superstar.  Boston in particular was just silly on that score.......but I liked it. image

  • Just checked my application and seen it now says approved, so I guess I'm in!! Do they send a confirmation email or let me know directly that I've been approved? What's the process now?

    Sorry for all the questions, this is my first overseas marathon!

  • JF - I got a an e mail off them a few days after it had been approved, you will get an email off them on the 14/04/14 asking for payment.

    12 mile MP run last night HR as low as its been for ages and hit my target pace easy

    Looking good for Boston

  • Cheers jonah8. Gives me a bit of time then to make sure 100% that I can make the trip before having to pay for it.

    Out of interest, where is the best place to look for hotels in close proximity to the start/finish?

  • If you go on the Chicago web site there is a link to all the hotels within a certain vicinity of the start and finish areas.

    Me and my mate have booked into the Intercontinental Chicago it's 0.6 mile from the start, no deposit required and you can cancel up to the day before without any charge.

  • Just found that list jonah8, thanks. That's good that you can cancel without charge and no deposit.

  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭

    Thats quite right C33, any excuse for a holiday eh?image

  • Hi folks,

    I'm not staying right on top of the finishing line.  I'm a few metro stations north and right on the lake in a place called De Witts.  I'm staying a week and found the hotels near the start pretty expensive.  The place I have got is pretty much a self catering apartment which is fab for me.  I like home comforts.  I'm not known for travelling and running well and tend to do better when I can create life as close to being at home.  Having a flat where I can hide from the world, eat my favourite tea and have a normal brekkie on race day can make my mind play a few less tricks when the running starts.  It is costing me £600 for 7 nights which is a bit pricey but nearly as pricey as most other places in Chicago.

    If there are a few of you travelling have a look at airbnb.  I've booked with them a few times and was looking at Chicago I just couldn't get anyone to take a booking at the time I was looking.  There were only a few flats that were in my price range as a single traveller but if there are a few of you it could save you a fortune as the cost of a 2 or 3 bedroom flat would be a lot less than 3 hotel rooms in the same area.  Airbnb rents out private flights and is pretty like Hoseasons if you haven't heard of them before.  I've gone with them a couple of times in different places and they have all been OK so far.

  • Ballot and chance to guarantee your place in the race ends at about teatime our time on Monday.  If you are still swithering out there its now or never.  Go on you know you want toimage

  • 71000 applications for 45000 places minus charity and tour firm places that can be filled after the ballot.  why do think the odds of getting through the ballot even with those factors will be a lot less than 50:50!!!!

  • All paid.  I'm officially 100% in. imageimageimageimageimage

    Good luck anybody waiting for the ballot results. image

  • I managed to get a place in the ballot for the second year in a row.

    I let my place lapse last year but am fully paid up this time around and looking forward to it.
  • I've got a place in Chicago too! V excited as it's only

    my second marathon and I've never visited Chicago before!!

    Myself and my boyfriend are staying in a hotel in the city centre

    called The Raffaello but I've no idea how close it is to the start having not been there before!.....Not over excited about the thought of all that training

    again but no pain no gain!!!!!
  • Nice of you both to join us swoosh and rosanna and congratulations on getting into the race. image

    Race time for me next week.  I'm off for a wee weekend in hamburg and a cheeky wee 26.2 miler while I'm there.  Its fair to say I'm not right up for this one.  I was expecting to be rubbish in Tokyo and to try to have a real crack at this one.  I ran a stormer in Tokyo and my legs have never really recovered. image   Here is hoping for a drizzly morning.  If the sun comes out to play I'm screwed!!!!! image

  • That's boston out of the way, staying here for another week, going to cape cod.

    beat last years time by 1 second and hit halfway at the exact time 1.27.15

    now full steam ahead for Chicago 

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