Chicago Marathon: The Heat Was OnOctober 10, 2010 - 7:01 PM | by: Ruth Ravve
“You people are crazy!” read one sign held by an observer of today’s Chicago Marathon. A lot of people might agree, as it was a searing hot day to be running 26 miles down the pavement of the Windy City. Temperatures soared close to 90 degrees. Out of more than 38,000 runners who took part, about 60 people were treated for “heat issues”, which is not uncommon for many marathons.
Organizers were taking no chances this year though, after several people suffered heat related problems, and one runner lost his life (apparently due to a heart ailment), in 2007. The start time this year was moved up 30 minutes, there were many water and Gatorade stands at every mile, water-soaked sponges were handed out and dozens of medics combed the coarse. Despite the fact that it keeps getting referred to as “unseasonably warm weather”, its the third time in recent years the Chicago Marathon day has been such a scorcher.
Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru was first to cross the finish line at an amazing 2:06:24. Which means he averaged about 4.8 minutes per mile…despite reportedly losing training time due to a stomach virus a few weeks ago. Its the second time he’s won Chicago.
On the female side, Russian Liliya Shobukhova came in ahead of all the other women, at 2:20:25.
First time marathoner Michele Porter called today’s heat “brutal”, especially because there was no shade during the last ten miles. “I really had to work for it today! Quitting was not an option” she says. A lot of people were forced to slow down or even walk at times because of the heat.
Marathon athletes Mike Tobin (who also just happens to be a Fox News correspondent) and Mal James (who also just happens to be a Fox News photographer), blazed the heat of their first Chicago Marathon to come in at just under 5 hours (4:58). Tobin, who approprietly describes the two of them as “fat forty something ex-jocks” says “I felt like a champ in the first half and was keeping good time. But because I didn’t get in enough long runs, I expected parts to hurt in the second half, and the pain didn’t disappoint. I was suffering between miles 20 and 26, but when I made that turn into Millenium Park, with the cheering crowd and the big finish banner, I forgot all about my dogs barkin’.”
James, who flew in from London to hit the pavement in the Second City, says “There are five classic marathons in the world; London, New York, Boston, Berlin and Chicago. This was my third classic, and New Yorkers will be annoyed when I say the Windy City is a better crowd…today it proved why it is the largest in the world”. Of course James points out that he finished just slightly ahead of Tobin, thanks to his “cunning strategy in the last 200 yards”.