So the day started this morning when the alarm went off at 4:45 am. Whoah! We had breakfast at home and drove into the city before the sun was even up and the roads were covered in fog. After parking near Brett's office we hopped in a cab and got as close to Jackson Park as we could! With exactly 14, 847 people who ultimately finished the race, the registered races for the 5K and all the families, fans, and volunteers, it was a madhouse, but an organized madhouse. Brett and I were both a little overwhelmed as this was our first big race. We found the gear check table and then (of course) I had to go to the bathroom. After waiting in line for what might be the cleanest port a potties ever, we made our way to the start and found our pace group. The music was blasting and it was quite an experience. We finally crossed the starting line about 9 minute after the race officially started. By the time we hit mile 1, we were drenched. It was a little hotter and a lot more humid than either of us anticipated. The first four miles were through a more residential and commercial part of the South Side so there was plenty of shade. When we rounded the bend and ran by the harbor to get up to Lake Shore Drive, the sun was out and it started to get a bit warm. We made it to the turn still feeling OK (we briefly walked at mile 7 because I had a terrible cramp) but as soon as we headed back, there was very little breeze and the sun was just beating down. We had to walk several times which we hadn't anticipated and because of the heat we stopped at nearly every water table, something else we hadn't anticipated since, during training, we only stopped at one water fountain on our trail. I also was feeling blisters on several toes, again, something new! Even though we struggled the second half the important part is that we crossed the finish line - together, hand in hand. Literally! I can't wait until they post the race pics to see how both miserable and ecstatic we must look! The finish area was amazing...every five feet there was another table passing out more food and drinks. We got bottled water, Gatorade, water in cups, chocolate chip cookies, bananas, granola bars, cheese crackers, PB crackers, and almonds! I could barely carry it all. After finding some shade to relax we finally got up the strength to get our stuff and start back home. What an amazing experience this had been! The training and the race itself really taught me a lot about myself. About what I can and cannot do and what being part of Team Clancy means!!!
Oh yeah! We set a goal time of 2:11 and unfortunately finished at 2:23.51 and 2:23.52...we may have crossed the finish line holding hands, but I won...wink, wink!