Marathon…err…I mean fun run

Hello fair readers!

On Sunday Chicago celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Chicago marathon. In the past the marathon is usually a chilly, exciting Fall event. This year it was slightly different.

This year there were record setting high temperatures, leaving the marathon organizers to be some-what unprepared.

Stefan and I rode our bikes down to meet up with a friend of ours who was running the marathon for charity. I was then going to run as her support for basically as long as I could take it.

The heat was overwhelming. By the time we were at our meeting place, it was becoming evident that something was slightly off. A girl came up to us in tears asking if she could use our cell phone. Volunteers were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, yelling about not having anymore water.

And I noticed that people looked…well…kind of awful. People looked tired, exhausted. And barely anyone was running, which I found strange since this was a marathon and all.

Still there were certainly scenes to see. Like the people in costume…

He had a sign on his back that read “Go go Mr Testicles”. Ha!

But most people dressed up looked completely miserable. Like this poor fellow

I do have a hard time feeling sorry for this guy. Who wakes up on the morning of a marathon, knowing full well that it will be 90 degrees outside and thinks “gee, I should put on this heavy, warm chicken costume”. Seriously.

Then things began to get kind of ugly again. I overheard angry runners, cursing at the volunteers without water. And some people were just stopping.

Unable to take anymore of the heat.

But from that point on I put the camera away. I’m fairly sure that angry people who are dehydrated and bordering on exhaustion do not appreciate their pictures being taken. I didn’t want to run any risks of pissing off overheated marathoners.

Then a woman comes out with a bullhorn announcing “The marathon has been canceled because we have run out of water. It is now a fun run. You will be routed to Grant park“. It wasn’t too much of a surprise. But I did find the choice of words here to be oddly inappropriate. I certainly wouldn’t call that a “fun run”. More like a “hellish run”.

However shortly after that they started forcing everyone to walk and a helicopter was over head announcing “Due to extreme heat, the marathon has been canceled”. The opened up fire hydrants so people could cool themselves. Eventually they started loading people onto buses, no longer even allowing them to walk.

We found out they started taking these drastic measures with pretty good reasons. 300 people ended up in the hospital. They ran out of ambulances and water. One guy even died. Kind of chaotic.  And sad.

Fortunately our friend Heather was just fine, despite the fact that she couldn’t finish the race she had been preparing for for months on end. Hopefully the organizers will learn from this experience and try to not run out of something that runners need a whole lot of….water.

Have a lovely Tuesday everyone. And stay hydrated. 😉

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