I. Love. The Chicago Marathon. They are a well-oiled machine, and once you run it puts most other races to shame.
They get the big things right:
· Expo – huge, lots of vendors, enough space to walk around and great samples/giveaways
· Shirt – design is better some years than others but it always fits well and have gender-specific sizing
· Course – Entertaining and well marked
· Course Support – the BEST I’ve seen. Signs let you know aid stations are ahead AND there are aid stations every mile!
· Crowds – Only to be rivaled by the other marathon majors, there is entertainment nearly the entire route. Love the different community support!
They get the little things right
· Aid Station Marking - water vs. gatorade is adequately marked by colored flags and cups
· Post-Race – stickers to keep your space blanket on! So small yet so important when you are freezing and the wind keeps trying to blow it off.
· Finish – perfect distance to see the finish with enough time to amp it up at the end but not so long you turn it up too early!
I’m lucky to have this race in my hometown. Hats off to the race directors for getting it right every year!