4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

9 Days to the Chicago Marathon

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9 days to the Chicago Marathon!  And today will be a rest day from running, although I did have a great session with my personal trainer at lunchtime.  My set of sessions are done and now time to think about whether I want to pay the king’s ransom required to continue working with him.  It is so beneficial, yet so expensive.  Aaaah!

Sorry, but I’m going to be a little negative and complainy today.  Why not, it is grey outside, and being negative is very common in the blog-o-sphere.

I’m really looking forward to the Chicago Marathon.  It is a world class event, in a world class city, and will be an amazing event.  I will inevitably compare every last detail of the race, weekend, and events, with the NYC Marathon, which I have run 7 times.  I’m sure there will be some things that Chicago will do better, like starting at 7:30am, but many things that will be worse.  I’ll try to point them out as we go along.

My biggest problem so far is that I take umbrange with the marketing and informational language focusing on 45,000 runners.  There will not be 45,000 runners at the race, but far less.  Yes it is a HUGE race, but no, not nearly 45,000.  They take 45,000 applications for the race.  Of those that pay for the race, far fewer actually run and finish.  In 2009 there were only 33,703 finished.  In 2008, it was 31,344.  Those years were both advertised also as 45,000 runners.  Big races, but at least 25% less than advertised!  Maybe they started with 45,000 people back in April, but many of them will never make it to starting line due to injury, lack of training, or a change of heart, etc.  It is probably predictable how many people will not run, but I think it is disingenuous to advertise 45,000 when the number of runnres will not be close to that.

In comparison, the NYC Marathon, to my recollection, (which I guess could be faulty) always publishes numbers based on how many people they expect to start the race.  Who knows how many applications they have to accept to get to the 43,660 finishers last year, or the 38,096 finishers from 2008.

In summary, it may be a minor detail to some, but it grates me when Chicago talks about 45,000 runners, when in reality it is 45,000 paid applications.  It is kind of like the attendance numbers at my beloved New York Mets games.  No way they are putting 25,000 fannies in the seats these sad sad sad days, but yes, 25,000 suckers overpaid for their tickets!

OK – I feel better now…

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Written by SCL

October 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Chicago Marathon

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