Mentally, I'm already on to my next race. But I said I'd have one more Chicago post and I'm a man of my word...
We've all discussed the situation ad nauseum. These are my final thoughts from the event:
- The Chicago Marathon is a great race. 2007 was a fluke.
- Obviously, the race directors weren't prepared for the heat and conditions. I have no idea what goes into race planning for this type of event but to say runners shouldn't have taken multiple waters at each station is ridiculous. This should have been an obvious (and predictable) reaction by runners in the heat. No excuses, please.
- Race directors all over the world just got a reality check about what can happen when you assume things are going to happen....and then they don't. This should be a good lesson and will benefit all races (and thus, us) in the future. Plan for the worst. Not the expected.
- Ending the race was the right call. The worst thing you can do is continue with a failed strategy once it has become clear it's not working (no political commentary here. I'm still talking about the race people!).
- I hold no grudge. Easy for me as I had water o'plenty and was able to finish. But I hear the issues and complaints and am sensitive to them. I don't think the race directors wanted or desired this result. I think they care very deeply about their race. I don't think something like this will ever happen again. I suspect they got trapped into thinking they could out guess Mother Nature and were burned. A human error. I make them all the time. If they don't learn from it, well, that's a problem then. I'm willing to bet the lesson was learned. Hard.
- The Chicago Marathon is still a great race! I'll be back one day. 2007 is chocked full of memories.
Okay, turning the page....
I'm busy making my plans for the 2008 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend now. I have 12 weeks to train after taking a week off from running. Normally, I follow the slow, elongated 18 week training plans. I'll be jumping into this with both feet 1/3 through the plan then.
For me, this will be a Fun Run (I know those words sting in light of recent events but, hey, we turned the page right? Let's reclaim the true meaning of those words!). Time does not matter. I need to be able to hump around the theme parks after the races with the kids so I will not be killing myself in the races. I may even stop to take a few pictures along the way this time.
I am signed up for the Goofy Challenge. This means I have a half marathon on Saturday, January 12th and the full marathon on Sunday, January 13th. I'll need to incorporate some back-to-back running days in my training. This is something I normally never do.
I'm looking forward to it.