I've started watching course previews online and have had some great tips from friends, you (my blogging friends!), and countless others. Here are some of them:
- Stay within yourself for the first part of the race. There are tons of spectators and so much excitement along the course it’s easy to get ahead of yourself.
- Tangents are key
- Your garmin will lose satellite between the buildings and a pretty good side bridge overpass. Best to just rely on the time only at the mile markers. Yikes!!
- Beware of miles 21-25. The south side has fewer spectators. Pre-named "Porath's Pasture" (see post here, fast forward to the Cow pictures)
- If it's a hot day like 2010, there will be sponges. They weren't on both sides like the water/powerade when they have them.
- When you are running the bridges, watch out for these metal grates: http://goo.gl/maps/XryQB It's spaced wide enough for me to feel them through my shoes. They do lay mats over these grates on a lane one side of the road (right side if I remember).
- The second half of the course is supposedly faster than the first. Any veterans of the course that can confirm? It doesn’t have as many turns and you can take advantage of the straightaways.
- You’ll cross a river at half way which will be lined deep with people. It’s known as the “gateway” to the second half of the marathon.
- Just past mile 23, you turn on Michigan Avenue and it’s a straight shot to the finish line.
- The one block on Roosevelt before turning to the finish on Columbus is a "hill". It's just an overpass but it's at mile 26. Good to know it's there beforehand.
- As for getting around Chicago, it sounds like the subway will work well. Apparently there’s a 3 day pass, so maybe we’ll look into that.
- I've been told that Pizza Pot Pie is a place to check out - any other recommendations? Oh, gosh... I can't wait for that celebratory post-marathon meal!