Tips for running the Chicago Marathon (or any large race!)

Tips for running the Chicago Marathon (or any large race!)

Shout out to anyone who has a fall race coming up or if you have already completed one! Hopefully after race day, you’re not left with too many regrets or “I should have done this…” situations. Post Chicago, there are definitely some things I wish I would have done (#1!!) and some things that really helped me throughout the race.

Here are some tips for running the Chicago Marathon or any other large race:

  1. Put your name on your shirt! – This is my biggest regret of my marathon, because people all around me were getting cheered on because they had their name on their shirt. Especially with the number of spectators at Chicago (1.5 million+ !!), it would have been so fun to have had my name yelled along the way. I don’t care how you do it; iron on letters, duct tape + sharpie, an old race bib.. just do it!
  2. Get water from the cups towards the end of the table – there are going to be a lot of people who are trying to get water and they stop right in the beginning. Go to the end of the table and you’ll be way less congested.
  3. Have your spectators hold an object taller than everyone else – my amazing aunt walked around all day with a turtle balloon tied to her wrist so I would be able to spot my family quickly! The only tricky part was the wind, because she said sometimes the turtle wanted to smack people in the face… Other great ideas would be an open umbrella, a fat head, or I even saw someone tie a stuffed animal to a yard stick. Hey, whatever will get your attention right?
  4. Know where your family, friends, S/O’s are going to be – if I wouldn’t have known that my family was going to be at miles 4, 11, and 19, then I would have missed them in the crowds!  It’s also really fun to know where they’ll be, because then it gives you something to think about while you’re racing, which can be huge mentally. It is for me at least.
  5. Read all of the ridiculous signs and interact with the spectators – some of my favorite signs from the Chicago Marathon: “smile if you masturbate” “you’re hot… single?” “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 26.2” “let’s get drunk”. It is so much fun to not only read all the hilarious signs, but then to laugh and point at them which gets you engaged with the spectators. It’s nice to share a laugh or smile with someone when you’re basically not interacting with people for hours while you’re running.
  6. Wear sunscreen – Yes this is for any race haha not just a large one, but considering I forgot it seems important to add to this list. Now I am sporting a sexy tank top tan. Luckily it’s fall so no one will see…

Ok guys that’s about all I’ve got for you. I’m heading to the IU football tailgate tomorrow and then the Colts-Patriots game is on Sunday night! Have a great and safe weekend, I hope the weather is as gorgeous for you as it is here!

What are your tips for running a large race?


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