In my books Chicago is a great place; it has everything I'd want in a big city if I were to move to one. This year I had a goal of doing a half marathon in under two hours. So, when I saw that there would be a Rock and Roll half marathon in the middle of summer in downtown Chicago with a course that doesn't just do a ton of laps of the same little loop, I was sold.
|Actual cycling infrastructure!|
The course covered a large part of downtown, which included a few sections of tunnels, or at least roads under roads. Very soon I realized that I wasn't going to be able to depend on my Garmin to make sure I was pacing fast enough (or not too fast). GPS kept coming and going, but at least every mile was marked. So, I had to do math between miles (dangerous, I know) to figure out my pacing. For the first few miles I spent most of my time thinking about my pacing and I didn't even realize until we got almost half way done that I hadn't seen or heard any bands.
If I had come to this race looking for an experience with a lot of Rock and Roll I would have been really upset. There was no music for the first half of the run (even though it looks like they had planned for there to be) and I think there was only one rock band, maybe two. There was a blues band, which was representing Chicago blues quite well. Then the rest were cover bands or just DJs playing some pop/dance music. My favorite, though, was when we went through a narrow road with the building creating a nearly cavernous feel and there was a DJ playing some old school Chicago house techno.
In a daze I walked through the finisher chute and picked up some free goodies (drinks, bananas, etc.) and made my way back to the hotel room. Later that night the official results were posted. My Garmin time was pretty close to the chip time (off by only one second).