So the Bingham family played a pretty huge role in filling out the team. They brought their families along for the event and all stayed at a hotel not far from our's. So we left our bags in their room and headed over to McCormick place to pick up our race packets and bib numbers. That place was huge, but there were so many runners coming and going they easily filled the whole place up. Jarad picked up a new pair of running shoes.
We headed back and got checked into our place. Then met up with Jarad and Ellen (the other officiant at our wedding!) and their kids Abram, Obed, and Bella. We went for deep dish pizza at Pizzeria Due. Totally awesome, but the kids were all so tired out they were passing out at the table.
Sunday morning was the big day. I got up at 5:30 although he only slept a couple hours anyway from being nervous. I walked over to Jarad's hotel room under a beautiful moon and clear skies. Pretty cold, but not terrible. Terry and Jarad and I walked over to the race start line as the sun was coming up. So many runners! the sidewalks were just packed full. No cars to speak of, but more people than you can imagine. Security was pretty tight, so you had to go through metal detectors and a bag check.
Once inside, we collected ourselves for a short prayer to remember who we were running for. All of the WMer's who need a cure and Terry's grandson Judah who is suffering with a brain tumor and chemotherapy (and only two years old).
Here we are:
We started in Grant park and headed north. There were so many people cheering along the way. It was like the whole city was giving me a big hug the whole time. So many people cheering, for hours, for complete strangers. I couldn't believe how many people would come out to stand in the cold and cheer. It was really an amazing feeling to know there are so many great people out there in the world.
Here are some of my short cheerleaders (Jarad's kids) all in there Waldenstrom's Runners shirts:
I made it to mile 3 in pretty good shape and got some high fives from Don Brown and Dave and Cathy Perrin. Thanks for coming out guys! Seeing familiar faces in the crowd was so special. All of the cheering strangers was nice, but seeing people you know was amazing. And they had on my shirts!
I didn't really know how I would do, my goal was mostly to run until i couldn't run, then walk until I couldn't walk. I did manage to actually run until mile 6 which surprised me. I walked a little, then got back into running. Up in Lakeview my coworker Lauren was there with some of her friends. Great to see them, i really needed some help at that point to keep going. They got a quick pic of me.
Then the course turned south back to the city. I went back and forth between running and walking but managed to keep going. Then at mile 11 were Don and the Perrins again! This time I needed hugs and got them.
This whole time I had been looking for my family and I finally found them at mile 12. That was the best cheering of the whole race! High fives and hugs from Arthur and Gridley. That definitely got some pep back in my step, although I really wasn't sure how much more I could give.
From there I made it another mile to mile 13 but had to give up. My spells of walking were much longer than my spells of running. And the walking parts actually weren't any better than running. So rather than completely tear myself apart, I went over to the sidewalk and sat in the sun for a little while. I headed back to the hotel to meet up with my family. I stopped into a Starbucks and they gave me my coffee half price.
Here's an awesome picture of Jarad!! He doesn't look tired at all.
The rest of my team did amazingly well. Billy fully intended to finish the race and did so in 3:29:29. Jarad (running in brand new shoes which I thought was a terrible idea) finished in 3:42:57. Amazing! he wasn't even sure he would finish at all. And also had two big beers and deep dish pizza the night before. Running books be damned, pizza and beer will power you through anything! Terry finished too in 5:07:44. He was the most experienced of the runners, but also the oldest. He surprised himself and said he had "a God day". No pain or soreness, just kept running and running until he crossed the finish line. He even went to the field museum with his grandkids afterward What a guy! Here's Billy:
That night we all got back together at one of my all time favorite restaurants, Quartinos. Team photo!
I got this email from the race organizers. They had people with cameras all around the course and then a computer figures out who you are by your bib number. These are pictures of me looking EXTREMELY tired. not sure it they actually think I will buy these photos.