This time of year, I always run a little more often and a little farther. Perhaps it is the flashbacks of running high school cross country. Maybe it is because this is Marathon season in Chicago. For those training, your Sunday run probably just included 20 miles. Soon, you'll be checking weather forecasts for the big day and praying that it isn't too hot (please Skilling, do what you can when conspiring with the weather gods).
Back in the day, I ran the Chicago Marathon. It has been crossed off my bucket list. While, I still enjoy running, I'm not sure a Marathon is in the cards for me anytime soon. However, if I were to run a marathon again, I might consider another Illinois option.
While I love many aspects of the Chicago Marathon, there are a few drawbacks to the race especially to a beginner. The Marathon as it has come to be known, is incredibly crowded and registration is pretty much full right after the first of the year. It also can be pricey with a nonrefundable $170 for a registration fee. Also, the race ends after 6 and a half hours which is a 15 min/mile pace. While these things won't stop an experienced marathoner, they can be intimidating for a novice. I mean who wants to commit to 26.2 miles of running while you're still hungover from New Year's Eve?
For a beginner, a walker, or someone who knows they might not make the 6 and a half hour limit of the Chicago Marathon, there is a great option near Peoria called the Screaming Pumpkin Marathon. Ok, ok, I know when you read South of I-80 you weren't thinking THAT far south. However, for someone new to running, this race has some great advantages. This race takes place October 26 and offers such features as a relay, a midnight deadline to finish, and it is a bit less crowded. For more information check out Screaming Pumpkin Race.
No matter what race you're running this year good luck!
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