This is part of a series of posts from my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states. Illinois was my 25th state. Half-way there!!!
Looking at half marathons for my one in Illinois, I was drawn to those in Chicago. I had been there once when I was in high school and had been wanting to go back, so I signed up for the 2012 Allstate Life Insurance Chicago 13.1 Half Marathon. It was in June and as one might predict, it was hot. Extremely hot. So hot that they put out warning flags at mile 2. I knew early on that I wouldn’t be getting a PR (personal record) at this race.
At packet pickup the day before the race, I got a blue technical material short-sleeve shirt and a matching blue rucksack. The race started along Lakeshore Trail near North Lakeshore Drive and only had a rise in elevation of 25 feet, so it was about as flat as half marathons come. Although it was a large race with a lot of runners, it was well-organized and had corrals so we weren’t on top of each other. There was some shade along the course for the first seven miles but after that, there was no discernible shade. The volunteers and aid stations were great along the course and afterwards.
At the finish, I got one of the biggest, heaviest medals I had received at a half marathon. There was also the usual food and drinks, but the best part was the proximity of Lake Michigan, where I cooled off my severely blistered toes and attempted to cool down. The heat slowed me down especially during the last 5 miles of the race so I was about 5 minutes off my goal. My finish time was 2:07:27.
Chicago is filled with all kinds of fun things to do. My family and I spent a week here just doing all of the touristy things like taking photos of ourselves in front of the “bean” at Millenium Park, going to the Museum of Science and Industry (highly recommend), checking out the Field Museum (also highly recommend), admiring the views from the Skydeck at Willis Tower, and my daughter had a ton of fun playing in the water at Crown Fountain. One way you can save money is to buy a Chicago CityPASS and you can save 53% off admission for up to 5 attractions.