Marathon 21

Chicago Marathon (Chicago, IL)


Finish Time: 4:00
Pace: 9:10
Temp: 57 degrees
Conditions: Rain, Overcast and Wind 
Run For: Lauren


Yesterday was the Chicago Marathon and this time I wouldn’t be running alone. Not that I have been running all these marathons alone, but this time I was going to be out there on the streets of Chicago with an awesome group from my Team Challenge Family! There were 73 teammates out there running 26.2 and together raised over $150,000 for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. A lot of them were running their very first marathon and they absolutely crushed the course on what was a rainy windy day. I started in the first wave and by about mile 5 the rain started to come down pretty good. I felt great and my legs were feeling good, so with the rain and cooler conditions I was able to cruise along at a decent pace. This course is really flat and personally I like some variation with elevation, just to change it up and keep from running in the same “treadmill like” running form. Running a big race like this with over 40,000 people, was a nice change from the smaller ones I have been doing.

I really didn’t run into any issues during the race and also didn’t hit any rough patches mentally. Around mile 19ish my legs were definitely getting tired and most likely feeling the two marathons from the previous weekend. I played it smart and listened to my body, letting how I felt dictate my pace. I slowed and backed off the pace I was running and just kept moving forward knowing there are still 5 more marathons to go.

This marathon was run in honor of Lauren who lives in Chicago. I first met Lauren when she became the manager of the Team Challenge Cycle Team. Right from the start I knew we were going to become great friends and that is still so true all these years later. Lauren has been through a lot with this disease and even during one of our cycle seasons she was sick and not feeling well. She is strong and tough and never ever gives up so when taking on this 26 marathon challenge I knew I wanted to run one for her. It was only fitting to come to Chicago and run this marathon in honor of her in her hometown.

I have seen Lauren battle and persevere through sickness and I’ve also seen her start her family despite having IBD. She met her husband Mark and together have two sweet little kids, Alice and two week old Teddy! I know they were my biggest supporters out there yesterday and I definitely thought about all that she has gone through and there is no questioned it help my get through those 26 miles without problems.

Sharing these stories is my favorite part about 26.2 For You, aside from the running. Even though I have been friends with Lauren for many years there were parts of her story I didn’t know. Awareness is so important and sharing these stories is helping raise that awareness. I am so thankful for Lauren’s friendship and her willingness to allow me to share her story. I know a lot of others reading who are battling as well can relate to a lot of what she has gone through. My hope is that they read it, can relate and draw some inspiration knowing that if Lauren can fight though it and still live the life she wants to live, it will give them the hope to do that same!

Thank you Lauren for being my inspiration and for all that you do for the foundation. Being able to run for you and have you play and important part of this marathon journey makes me so happy.

Congrats to all those who ran 26.2 for Team Challenge yesterday and I’m so impressed by all of you. It was great to meet so many new friends and be a part of such a great group that raised so much money for the foundation.

Marathon #21 is done! Yesterday’s 26.2 was for you Lauren! 26.2 For You!

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