Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicago 10-10-10

Not quite at BUI level but not enough time to get plastered before returning to work in AM.

I'm not sure when my youngest cousin Eric, (yes, you're YOUNG) told me he decided to pursue the full marathon. I think it was even before he ran his first half at Carlsbad in January, and I met him there to run the full. I think it was my idea to recruit him, cousin Roger from Fairfax, and my brother Steve to run Chicago 10-10-10. Steve, being the busy 3rd year med student and father of 2 bailed fairly early on. Roger injured his foot 3 days before the race, so despite having bought a plane ticket and trained for months, decided last minute not to come. So it was me & Eric.

Eric looked in good form; he has taken up boxing. Like actual punching and being punched out, jumping ropes and doing knuckle pushups in grey sweats in some overheated gym in LA where the jocks push their renal function to the limits. We went to the expo to get our packets and met up with my old friend Chris Z from Forest Park whom I'd met in Barcelona and last seen over 3 years ago when I lived in Chicago and we ran the Downer's Grove 5 miler together. You've come a long way, baby!

The Chicago marathon is huge, with 45,000 runners; I think it is only behind London and New York in size. It filled to capacity 6 months in advance this year; that's how many crazy people there are. I think it was because it was 10-10-10, a magical date on which thousands of Chinese are undoubtedly eating spicy food or having C-sections hoping their child will be born lucky. (SPC, I know it's not as cool as yeven yeven) The first time I ran it, I had just moved back there from Boston and it was my first non-bandit race. The 2nd time, it was 42 degrees and I was going for time. The 3rd time I was just trying not to die, it was 92 degrees and they shut the course down early due to heat, the day before I moved to Seattle. This time, I realized for the first time how scenic Chicago is...

It was projected to be 83 degrees. That is Chicago. I advised Eric not to do anything new race day, have your usual long run breakfast and wear your usual long run clothing. That mean steak, eggs, pasta, and salad! Unfortunately, that also meant a 9 minute pit-stop at the Golden Nugget (how poetic is that). Code Brown barely averted... for what was apparently the most exquisite #2 in marathon history.

We plowed along, and I was transported along memory lane. When I worked at Rush and went to Moretti's after. Eating at Golden Nugget with K2 and Kristina, the Germans from the OA lab. 16 years ago! An undeserved sense of kinship with the Koreans beating their traditional drums at mile 20? A sighting of the Eiffel Tower at mile 16? Vive la France...

Met up with Chris after for photos.
Eric & I had planned a stop at White Castle after, but he said he only wanted healthy food. What's up with that?

Congratulations, boys. Anyone up for Amsterdam October 2011?

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