Friday, October 16, 2015

Pre-2015 Chicago Marathon: Shake-out run, Expo, and Team Dinner

Part 1 of 3: All things pre-race

FRIDAY - EXPO
I went to work for half of a day, soaked up all the good vibes from my colleagues, and went to meet John, who was my chauffeur extraordinaire for the weekend.  I hopped in our carriage and headed down to McCormick Place for the expo.

The expo was so in your face but somehow not overwhelming (at least for me - can't say the same for John).  All the bells and whistles were laid out and everything was decorated.  There were tons of photo ops and activities for the participants.

#OWNCHICAGO
(this sign is later transported to an unknown spot on the course)




My message on the letter "H" for Hoffman!


After saying hi to a million people and walking around the commemorative Nike section and NOT purchasing anything (not one item!), we decided to go home and get some rest before the team dinner.

This year's shirt, goodies, and an awesome poster



FRIDAY - TEAM DINNER
The American Cancer Society DetermiNATION team hosted a dinner for all participants and their family members.  There was a cocktail-and-sign-decorating hour prior to the buffet pasta dinner.



We received a few more goodies and ate dinner while listening to fabulous people share their stories. It was incredibly inspiring hearing from the director of the marathon, Cary, the owner of Fleet Feet Sports, Dave, and other members of the DNation team.



SATURDAY - SHAKE OUT RUN
Man, it was hard to get out of bed.  Our group training program officially ended earlier this week but our pacer, Jenn, and our team, Sara, Maureen, Megan and myself, decided to gather one more time for a little shake out run plus breakfast.  It's been a fabulous five months with these ladies!

Not a bad way to end training, eh?




SATURDAY NIGHT - PREPARING FOR THE RACE
I decided to treat myself by getting a hotel in downtown this weekend.  I didn't have to worry about waking up 1-2 extra hours early or battling traffic/public transportation to get to the race site.  I would also be able to get out of my running gear quickly!  We stayed at the beautiful Palmer House hotel, just a few blocks away from Grant Park.  They had the room keys changed to the marathon logo and also provided bananas for all of the runners! #amazing

Such a fancy hotel!












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