Latest reviews by Erin Gosser

(2017)
"No shade, lots of lake"
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Most of the 10K course has you running along the lake, which is different than the half, as it has you running through the streets of Chicago. I love running along the lake, but it is HOT; very little shade. As a Chicagoan, one park I never noticed was that devoted to fallen firefighters. As you run between McCormick Place and the lake, there are gardens, plaques, memorials, etc. It puts life in perspective...and doesn't make the six miles seem so bad. :)

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(2015)
"Chicago: A good marathon for beginners"
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Granted, I've only run one marathon, but I doubt that you'll find a much flatter course than Chicago. Everyone had prepared me for the hill at the end (Mt. Roosevelt), so I knew it was coming, and it did not feel as bad as I anticipated.

Weather was gorgeous, albeit a bit too warm. What are you going to do? You never know, with weather (in Chicago). The warmer weather brought out the spectators, and there wasn't a quiet spot on the course. Again, I couldn't imagine running for this long without all the cheers and funny signs from spectators.

My one gripe was my pace group. They were way off. I knew that my marathon pace would be faster than my long run training pace, but we started off and it just seemed WAY too fast. I kept it up, though, until mile 9. My husband confirmed: we were going 10-15 seconds faster per mile that we were supposed to.

Starting out too fast (aka, breaking the cardinal rule of running) really was detrimental for me. I should have listened to my body and left the pacer right away, instead of waiting until mile 9. This complaint is more for the pacers (sorry Nike) than for the organizers of the Chicago marathon.

If I *ever* run a marathon again, I think it would be Chicago for the flat course, huge spectator support, and just knowing what to expect.

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(2015)
"Rock you like NOT a hurricane"
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I knew, going in, that Chicago had really restricted live music being played in the early morning hours. But like another runner said, there were hardly any bands, and the whole race theme *IS* Rock n' Roll. They did have employees running with speakers playing music, which was better than nothing. That really picked me up a few times.

The biggest con: aid stations. Enough water? Yes. Enough volunteers? Nope. At some stations, there were literally lines of runners waiting, or runners filling up their own cups. You shouldn't have to stop running through an aid station.

The biggest pro: fairly shady course. With the high heat and humidity, this was key. When I ran in 2010, it felt as if half the race was out in the open on Lake Shore Drive. This year, they really kept us downtown in the Loop for awhile before heading south. The shade really did make such a difference. And it's Chicago, so very few hills.

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(2012)
"Not-so-Hot Chocolate"
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Hoodie = awesome. Everything else...not so much. The expo and race management were so bad that every 2012 participant got a letter in 2013, apologizing for how the previous year's race was run. If you don't really care whether you run or not, then you won't mind that it's crowded. But they ran out of hot chocolate. At the HOT CHOCOLATE race. I mean, c'mon guys.

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(2010)
"Rock n Roll Half, 2010"
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I ran the R&R half with my husband and several friends. I loved that there was live music at every mile. It really gave you something to look forward to!

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