My cousin, who is much much much more a dancer than a runner, ran the Chicago Marathon today. Why? Because of a presentation at her church (to support World Vision). I guess it swayed her enough to run the marathon on behalf of that charity. (She said it’s the largest charity group at the marathon. Bonus for me because they had a post-race tent with burgers, brats and water – for the racers and their friends. At no extra cost. I was starving by the time she finished, I’m sure she was pretty famished too.)

Today was her first road race EVER, and it was 26.2 miles and like 85 degrees during the last couple hours of her running. Amazing. I went downtown to watch her – I saw her around 13.1 miles, since that spot is right by Union Station and my train got downtown a few minutes before she was supposed to hit that spot. When I spotted her I ran onto the course and hugged her and told her I would see her in Chinatown.

I did see some other interesting runners around 13.1:

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I would actually see these gals again in Chinatown

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This guy was really excited.

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That’s gotta be hard to run in.

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I blame Lady Gaga. Although … I would do the same thing. It gets you noticed!

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These guys had to have been super hot by the end.

After I saw her at the halfway point, I headed over to the red line and went down to Chinatown. It was a bit crowded down there.

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I headed down a block to 23rd street, where there were no barricades, and waited for her. It was hot. I could feel sweat dripping down my back and I was just standing there. These people were running 26.2 miles in this heat! I’m amazed.

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See! I told you I saw them again!

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I don’t remember if this guy was a racer – I didn’t look to see if he had a bib.

After awhile I finally spotted my cousin and jumped in.

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I can’t believe she ran the whole thing without a hat or sunglasses!

I ran with her until 33rd street (a total of 10 blocks) and jumped out because there was an L station there and I wanted to head to the finish line.

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The finish line was really barricaded off. I don’t even know how I would have gotten anywhere close to the actual finish line or the final yards leading up to it.

I found my cousin after the finish line in Grant Park. I wanted to get a picture of her with the city behind her.

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So anyway, in addition to my non-runner cousin running a marathon, The Sailor (aka my husband) said he would like to run a marathon at some point in his life. Just to say he did. So … I guess that means if he does one, I should do it with him. I’m not just going to sit there and let him do something awesome without me.

So stay tuned. I think for now, I’m going to stick to races that are 10 miles or shorter until I can finish a race at an 8:00 pace or faster. Once I do that, I’ll sign up for another half marathon. If I can do a half marathon at a 10:00 pace or faster, then I’ll sign up for a marathon. This may take awhile.

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