Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sizing Up My Chicago Competition

I've been seeing a few press releases from the Chicago Marathon lately announcing elite runners who will be racing in Chicago.  The fact that I get to run side by side (okay, not side by side, more like hours apart) some of the world's fastest marathoners is a very cool feeling.  Hopefully, I at least get to have a glimpse of the runners before the race or when I stalk them at the expo.

Let's evaluate the competition shall we?  I might have to bump up my speed training in order to beat these people.

Russian Liliya Shobukhova:

Fun fact alert...the Chicago Marathon is the only world marathon major without a three-peat.  Liliya hopes to change that. She easily won the 2009 and 2010 Chicago Marathon woman's title and hopes to use the 2011 event to practice for the summer Olympics.  You know, just a quick 26.2 training run in under 2.5 hours.  And she has something to run for...the woman's winner in Chicago takes home a small $500K in change...I need a career change!

Winning the 2009 Chicago Marathon...holy quad muscles!
My patriotism would love for an American woman to win the 2011 Chicago Marathon, but of course history being made would also be pretty cool. Good luck Liliya, I'll be sure to look for you when I finish 2 hours after you.

American Ryan Hall:
Go America!  Ryan Hall is fresh off running a personal best in April's Boston Marathon where he ran 26.2 miles in 2:04:58...folks...that is my half marathon PR meaning this guy literally runs twice as fast as me.  He will also use this race to try and beat Moses Mosop of Kenya who wiggled by him in Boston.

Ryan is also a pretty nice guy and will donate any winnings at Chicago to his charity, The Hall Steps Foundation, which he started with his wife, Sara.  He also has a BLOG.

Evidently elite runners wear running sleeves...I need to get some ASAP.
Kenyan Moses Mosop:
Oh those speedy Kenyans!   Not really a big deal at all, Moses ran his FIRST marathon in Boston in April and became the new world debut marathon record holder with a time of 2:03:06...this is also the second fastest marathon time EVER.  If this doesn't prove that Kenyan's are born marathon runners I don't know what does. He will definitely be giving Ryan a run for his money...literally!

And now for the most important runners of the running partners!

Dr. Stace:
Stacey daylights as a physical therapist but please don't stop her on the course and ask her why your IT band is on fire.  I began running with Stacey back in 2008 when we were all tricked into running a half marathon with Katie and we haven't stopped since.  She ran her current half marathon personal record back in June and is primed for a sub 5 hour finish in Chicago.  You'll see her training until race day doing out and backs on a trail in Woodinville, Washington wearing her "nerd belt".

Kath McJoggerson:
Katie, aka Kath, is the woman behind all this running madness.  She was bored running all by herself back in 2008 when she recruited Stace and I along with a couple other ladies by promising a fun party in Las Vegas as long as we completed a half marathon first.  She has over 10 half marathon under her belt and is excited for the challenge 26.2 miles brings.  You will find her training until race day by running multiple laps around Greenlake and avoiding all hills in Kirkland since Chicago is a flat use in running hills!  Kath starts out any race slow and steady but don't let that fool you, she often picks up the pace toward the end zipping past uknowning race participants in an effort to just be done already.

Along with running with these lovely ladies and elite runners we have a whole group of friends and family coming out to support us!  I can't wait to have people along the course cheering me on, I know it will make all the difference after I hit the marathon wall I've heard so much about.

Question: Who else out there is running the Chicago Marathon?  How is your training going?


Raquelita said...

I loved this post! I hope to get a glimpse of the elites too! I had a crisis of confidence (related to finances) this week and almost decided to DNS Chicago, but after a long talk with my spouse, we decided that it is still a go. I cannot wait!

Xaarlin said...

Loved this!

I think the 3 peat would be cool. Sometimes I wish I was spectating the race this year instead of running it- to see how the winners unfold. What a duel between Moses and ryan!

I'll be there at the start following in Moses and ryans footsteps again. It is a cool feeling to share the course with the elites. My training has been plagued with problems, but starting today, it will get better.

Happy training to you!

Christine said...

woooo hooooo! can not wait. seriously! we should try to get a blogger meetup goin' that weekend. xoxo


Marathon Lar said...

I'm secretly hoping a local Chicago blogger tries to organize some sort of meetup!