Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chicago Spring Half: Complimentary Entry

In May of 2010, I participated in the Magellan Development Half Marathon for the first time. It was a nice flat fast 13.1 miles out and back course on Chicago's lakefront. It was the first time I ran that distance since the AIA Half Marathon two years prior. My guide, Michael Crissie, boyfriend of one of my long time dear friends from college, volunteered to be a first time guide in the event. His twin brother, Brian, came along too excited about getting out there. It was fun to be flanked by two very accomplished former high school running stars. Both were supportive and encouraging throughout the race. The miles flew by so fast that I beat my personal record for a half marathon by thirty-three minutes. I was so thrilled and grateful to both men for helping me. I was also grateful to Colin, the event organizer, who helped me throughout the registration process to ensure all went well for my guides and me. When I first contacted him, he said I would be allowed to run with a guide, but he apologized that the event did not have a blind/visually impaired division in which I could compete. I laughed and informed him that I simply wanted a chance to run. In fact, I am probably one of the few individuals who would much rather be categorized by my gender and age as oppose to any disability. I would much rather be judged as a person who succeeds or fails based on my merits over anything else. Race volunteers were wonderful as were fellow runners cheering us on as we passed. One participant even claimed to recognize me from an online video which she said was making the rounds. I did not believe said video was of me, but she insisted it was.

Entering 2011, I was excited about returning to run the event again so I asked around to see if anyone would be available and interested, but no one volunteered. I chalked the race up into the category of "I guess not this year." Then, last week, a local running store, Universal Sole, had a status update on its Facebook page that anyone who would press "like" or comment on said status would have a chance to win a complimentary entry into the Magellan Development Half Marathon. I made a comment and discovered a few hours later that I was one of the winners who would receive entry. Once more I asked around and this time, Michael Crissie stepped up and said he wanted to run it again with me. His brother Brian was also wanting to return to the event. Tonight, I signed up and am ready for the event which takes place on Sunday, May 15 at 7a.m. I will get another chance to run the course and hopefully, shatter my personal record for 13.1 miles again.

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