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A 26.2 mile journey filled with mind games

Just completed another full marathon, which felt like the very first one that I completed. My legs went limp at mile 21, and my sugar levels dropped! While running on the streets of Chicago, I looked at every CTA train and the thought of hopping on it crossed my mind every single time. I also even imagined what it would feel like to hop on someone’s bike and ride off into the sunset (straight to the finish line), but the thought not finishing, after being so close to the finish would’ve been hard to cope with and I’m sure many would’ve asked me how the marathon went, and how do you answer that? Hmm, yeah! And to add a quote to that Sally McRae, who is a professional ultra-runner quoted that “The pain is not greater than what is at the finish line.” which is very true and something to remember when enduring the journey of running a marathon.

The marathon is a tough event while running it, but sweeter once you cross the finish line. From mile 1 to mile 26.2 there are live bands; a great number of funny ass signs, and cheering spectators along the course. The signs have humor, and sarcastic quotes that will keep you smiling while enduring the pain of the 26.2 mile journey on foot! Some spectators even give out goodies, such as oranges, bananas, pretzels, candy, and beer? Yep! Beer! Who in the hell would drink a beer, while running a marathon? You would be surprised, but there are some that do!

After taking a break to fuel with Gatorade, and bananas several times after the 35 kilometer mark (mile 21), I finally made it to that glorious place called the finish line; finishing another one of the many marathons that I have ran. I took a 30 minute nap, after I got my medal, and made it through the long walk inside the finish line area. Chicago Marathon has a fenced area once finishing the run that leads to a place called “Runners Village” aka the ‘Buckingham Fountain’ where you meet with your supporters, however it isn’t a quick walk through, plus I remind you that you just finished a 26.2 mile run, so you are mentally drained, but still must walk down this long stretch to the Buckingham Fountain. Some race course huh? It reminds me of running the Marine Corps Marathon back in 2007, and having to run pass the finish line just to turn around and run back up a hill leading to the finish line.

What I like about Chicago Marathon, is that it takes you on a tour through the 29 neighborhoods close to the inner city, giving you a feel of the many different cultures that exist within the city along with the view of the city itself. Yes, the parade is rough, but I always look forward to the next one a day after I finish.

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Written by Thomas Gouard

Im a military veteran; a full-time college student, and a fitness addict. Fueled by inspiration; God's word; endorphins and laughter!

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