It has been a while since I ran in the Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile run. As a matter of fact, if memory serves correctly, I ran in the first one and up until Saturday haven't participated in the event since.
Saturday served a lot of purposes for me. First, I added 10 miles to my goal of racing 500 miles for The Pathways Center in Glenview. This was Cubicle Dad's longest race to date and I was running with him to help him reach his goal of finishing the Chicago Marathon, I was running as a part of the Fleet Feet Sports Media Challenge and I needed a good workout. Lots on my plate.
My race prep. falls under the do as I say, not as I do category. My wife was out of town all week, so I was Mr. Mom, couple that with the fact that I was on antibiotics and had a temperature and I probably shouldn't have been out there. I trained not one minute last week, unless of course you count the running to the bathroom to dry heave.
Race day morning, I forgot to charge my Garmin and only realized that it was dead on the way to the race. I am a bit of a feedback junkie, so the thought of running 10 miles without knowing my time or pace, made me crazy. Luckily Christine Garcia PR Goddess jumped into action and was able to snag me the new Adidas MiCoach, which turned out to be an immediate chance to test out a new technology, which by the way is pretty awesome (more on that later).
So my fitness level was shot, my gear wasn't working, not how you want to prep. for a race. Do the opposite of all that and you will be aces.
Being a part of the "media elite," you get to hang with the other media types at events like this, they are all healthy, into the sport and sadly faster than me. Amy Freeze FOX TV, FOX TV, Michelle Gallardo ABC7, Liz Plosser Time Out Chicago and Amy's husband Gary who is a drop dead stud, 6'5" man machine. I think the Media Challenge was to see if you could beat Garcia and Sower's who took off like a rabbits on Jolt cola or try to out stud Amy's hubby, very cool guy. No wonder she is always smiling on TV., ABC7, Julie Hammer Time out Chicago- BEST NAME IN RACING, Chris Sowers
Anyway, back to the race. A lot has changed since the inaugural race several years ago, all for the better. It used to be that most of the running was in the Lake Shore Drive trail, both South bound and North bound, which made for a congested race. The beginning of any race is always a little congested, but this year they were able to shut down two lanes of Lake Shore Drive heading South, to open things up and make room.
It was while I was running on Lake Shore Drive that I realized that I was running on Lake Shore Drive and later I would be running into Soldier Field! The idea of the logistics and planning that must go into this single event kept my mind wandering for several miles. How in the world were the people at Fleet Feet Sports able to pull this off? When you think about it, it's amazing. Can you imagine the phone call from Dave Zimmer at Fleet Feet to the Mayor's office?
Dave- Mayor Daley, what's up, how's things.
Mayor- Good, and you?
Dave- Great, small favor, can we shut down part of Lake Shore Drive so people can run down it on a Saturday morning, during a holiday weekend?
Mayor- I'm sorry, what did you say?
Dave-Oh, and I want people to be able to run all over Soldier Field and use the Jumbo Tron and security and sanitation and medical personnel and police, is that cool?
You get the idea, when you break it down it sounds insane. I'm not
sure how they did it, but I am glad they did do it. Even when the heat
spiked and the officials were running around the course, trying to get
people to stop, they did it with a style and class that have come to be
the benchmark of a Fleet Feet event.
As mentioned earlier John
Garcia won the media challenge with a time of 1:11:28- which BTW is
fast. The mens overall winner was Jeff Jonaitis 50:46, which BTW is
wicked fast, and for the ladies Katie Mcgregor came it with an equally
impressive time of 55:51.
For me The Soldier Field 10 mile was another step in my journey towards 500 miles of racing for charity, 485 miles to go! Next stop 100 miles of biking in the Udder Century.