2 men went with Mo…


…went with Mo to Chicago.

Sadly that’s where this part of the story ends, as we all know Sir Mo left us for dead and went on to win his first marathon, set a PB and new European record.

But the TWH goes a little different for the other 2 men. Myself and Richard Quartermaine popped over the sea to add another marathon/world major star to our collection.

Chicago is renowned for being the Windy City so it wasn’t a surprise we were delayed by over an hour due to a headwind (those pesky headwinds), so no doubt weather was going to pay a part in this trip.

First port of call when landed was to visit the expo, not quite the standard of London(my bias) but all the same, nice t-shirt, LE poster, another marathon pint glass to add to the collection, excitement and apprehension brewing. So with number collected it was off to my hostel I went.

Hostel was cheap, cheerful, good kitchen and lounge area, free breakfast, full of runners, not to bad a train ride to centre and start line. But I probably wouldn’t ever recommend staying in a shared dorm, unless it was with fellow harriers. Jet lag and party animals don’t mix! Oh well lesson learnt! Don’t be tight!

Also brewing that night was a fantastic rain and lightning storm, quite the spectacle and with it to continue on and off over the weekend.

Saturday started in a similar fashion, 5k delayed due to weather, thankfully I wasn’t running it. Instead I waited for it to brighten up before jogging round Lincoln Park to loosen up. The rest of day was spent exploring, boat tour(amazing) and shopping(a cool Nike pop up about women runners).

Sunday – race day. Woken at 1.30am by new guest, only 6hrs to start then. Chicago is actually a 730 am start time, not sure if that’s better or worse. Even so I kitted up added plenty of vaseline due to the wet forecast and joined a bunch of runners heading to start line. Arrived early in pitch black and hung out with mo and kevin hart(well I could see them warming up in distance).

The rain was falling again, wind blowing but humid?!, that shouldn’t bother me after Boston marathon, a breeze(headwind obvs). Race started dead on 730, i was in wave b so didn’t take too long to get across start line, slightly hampered by kevin hart stopping in front of me to set watch – amateur. I set off with 3hr pacers to see how I felt, although if it wasn’t for them in first 3 miles I’d have been worried about my pace. For those who know Chicago is renowned for odd gps readings in the central loop part of city. Anyway around 4 miles a fellow runner I met on plane caught me, so we paced each other for the next 10 miles. I was feeling fantastic and flying, helped by my girls message of support on a screen at mile 8, and a 6.13 mile(probably shouldn’t have) at 14, I still felt good through to 19-20. Still on for 2.57 and then a started to struggle, school boy errors started to creep in, and the constant rain wasn’t to dampen my race.

I still managed to finish my 5th world marathon major in a time of 3.17, and like mo at Pb, but for longest run 26.67 ha ha. It was great to hear Richard managed 3.30, not quite a Pb I hear but an equally impressive run considering the conditions.

If any of you fancy a US marathon or are attempting to earn your 6* world marathon series medal, this is a must marathon, up there with Berlin and Boston as a favourite. Amazing city, fantastic support and great course! Just don’t stay in a dorm! Oh and try to stay longer than my fri-sun, well worth exploring!

And don’t try to stay with Mo!

Bean(a famous sculpture reference)there done that! Until Tokyo 🙂
Cheers and well done to the team and harriers running Tonbridge, sorry I couldn’t have joined you.


Ross Woods