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Bank of America Chicago Marathon Guide and Recap

Running the Chicago Marathon? You need this Race Review, Recap and overall Marathon Guide to get your though the weekend and have the best marathon experience possible! Join the Running Coaches Corner Link UP!

Wow, has it really been 2 years since my last marathon? I still remember it so vividly. In honor of the upcoming Chicago Marathon, I am reposting my race recap and race review so that any of the 40,000 runners who will run our fair streets this year might have some idea of what to expect. There are untold numbers of ways that you can get information on the marathon, and every person has their own story–which I think is pretty darn cool–this is mine, and my take on how things are run and managed. 

Running the Chicago Marathon? Don't miss this Chicago marathon race review and recap of the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon at

Bank of America Chicago Marathon Guide

Chicago Marathon General Information

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is one of the jewels of the World Marathon Majors, now sponsored by Abbot Global. 45,000 runners toe the line of the marathon, and entry is gained by lottery, charity, and qualification (I qualified in). Lottery entrants are notified in March.

Chicago tops the chart as a user-friendly race for elites, average runners and spectators alike with its looped course, stellar race organization and welcoming atmosphere. The start and finish areas are both in Grant Park, and staying in a downtown hotel makes it easy to walk to and from the race, with plenty of restaurants and bars close by for celebrating. Women’s Running

It is a great course for those that want to race for PR’s or those that want to take an incredible tour of an incredible city. You run through 29 of Chicago’s neighborhoods on a flat, fast course (save for Mount Roosevelt, lol, which is the bridge at the very end of the course). As someone who lives downtown, I loved this chance to get out and about!

Free Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat at the end of the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon for the finishers! Find out more about the race at

The race is not inexpensive, however, this year, the cost was $185 (or $210 if you are international). But you get a helluva lot for that money! A world class marathon, race shirt, Goose Island 312 (for those of age), and more. Scheduling of the race is great–it happens the second weekend of October, Columbus Day weekend, so many people have that Monday for travel. Plus you taper before everyone else starts to freak out!

Abbot Global Chicago Marathon Expo

The Chicago Marathon expo takes place at McCormick Place, the massive convention center about a mile south of the Loop (Central Business District) and Millennium Park and the Museum Campus. There are free shuttles from 4 locations from the Nike Store on the Mag Mile to the base of the Loop. This is a FANTASTIC service, and though they are not necessarily fast, they are much appreciated! Shuttles run every 15-20 minutes 8:30-8:30/9:30 on expo days (Friday and Saturday before the race).  

2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon official race shirt by Nike. Read more about the race at!

The Expo itself is very well organized and run, and they have some great new automated systems to help streamline the process. Nike is one of the major sponsors for the marathon, so they make a big presence and also have the official marathon gear. Other merchandisers are there, and they have fabulous booths as well, so don’t worry! You can spend as much or as little time there as you want, but as I mentioned yesterday, I suggest going early on Friday to avoid craziness.

Chicago Marathon Pre Race and Athlete Village

The race basically takes over Grant and Millennium Parks. There are tents for everything, and they run with military precision, which is very much appreciated, as there are people from every state and over 100 countries, all with their own language and all about to run pretty damn far. I was lucky to be a part of two groups with dedicated spaces: Chicago Endurance Sports had their race day resort right in front of Buckingham Fountain, and Nike had their club at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. There is also the Balbo Hospitality tent, but you need tickets for that.

There is security for the marathon–akin to Marine Corps Marathon or going to a baseball game. Make sure you review what is and isn’t allowed every year and plan accordingly to get to your corral in time. I probably got in line at 6:35 and it took me maybe 10 minutes. There is gated entry (4 gates in all) and only athletes are allowed in until a certain time (and still, non athlete admission is only in particular areas). 

Running the Chicago Marathon

A note on the weather:

So many people ask about the weather and the wind, and my answer is that this is an October race: weather is variable, but you have trained through the summer and should be ready for just about anything. This year the temps at the start were in the 60s (I had a throwaway shirt until the official start and (awesome narwhal) arm warmers until about mile 3) and peaked mid-70s to 80s. There have been years in the 90s and years in the 40s and 50s. Midwest weather. Note that if you are in the second wave, you are likely to get warmer because the sun will start to peak while you are on course.

Wind is the same answer: you get what you get. Chicago has variable winds–they are not necessarily always consistent, but this year were predicted around 10-15 mph. I personally had no problem with them–as one of my fellow coaches said: no one likes running in a vacuum. The sun felt warm (there was not a cloud in the sky), so those that were a little later or taking more time did have some heating problems. But as I will detail, aid and medical are plentiful. 

2015 Chicago Marathon Course

Click on the map to be taken to the PDF.

Click on the map to be taken to the PDF.

This course, as said before, is known for the only inclines being over bridges, and they aren’t kidding. You run a big loop (more like a wonky flower) in, out of, and through 29 of the city’s most famous neighborhoods, and you start and finish in Grant Park. Wheelchair athletes start at 7:20. The first wave starts at 7:30, with 5 corrals and the elite starting with corral A, not in their own start. Many of the big marathons are switching to this style in the effort to make it more inclusive, and to give everyone a shot ;D The second wave starts at 8. There are pacers in each corral (corrals are generally determined by qualifying or projected race time, so the pacers are distributed accordingly). And they do enforce the closing of the corrals, so be on time, or you move to the front of the next wave. The marathon starts on time.

Speaking of time, if you want to run the fastest one, follow the blue line–it is the official course marker and it designates the tangents!

Chicago, as much as it is an “easy” course, still as its measure of difficulty: it is so flat that many people fatigue their IT Bands because they don’t get their glutes engaged. Also, the first half is very deceptive: the wind (usually) helps you uptown, the air is cool, you are with many of the other pace groups, and the course is largely shaded. Plus, the crowd is very plentiful as you go through major neighborhoods and the city center. The second half of the course takes you out into some no-man’s land type of situations (there are still people, but far fewer), you get different wind conditions, and you spend much more time in the sun. 

“Mount Roosevelt” is literally a cumulative 20 ft vertical climb (if that), right before the end. Engage your glutes and power up that sucker!

Chicago Marathon Crowd Support and Course Aid

The Corral B Warden at the 2105 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. There are 12,000 volunteers! Find out more at

Then there’s this guy. I called him the Corral B Warden.

Let’s put it this way: 1.7 million spectators and 12, ooo volunteers congregate to cheer you on. Think about that. There is plentiful nutrition, hydration, medical and motivational support throughout the course (there are 20 aid stations in all!). Most of the charity organizations have cheering stations, Nike has 2 official cheering stations…. Chicago takes cheering at sporting events seriously, and this is no exception. Remember, after this, we pretty much go into hibernation! People tailgate the marathon like a football game (and this time, everyone’s a winner!), and this year there were 12,0000 volunteers, many of whom you might know! Thank your volunteers, people!

Matthew McConaughey Oscar Acceptance Speech

Headphones are optional. There is music, cheering, clappers, whatnot just about everywhere! Welcome to Chicago. We like to PARTY. There is music throughout and after finding my friend (see my recap), even after we split I never got out my headphones.

Chicago Marathon Post Race Party aka 27th Mile

It is by no means like the New York marathon, where you have to walk for miles, but it is not an immediate dump into the rest of the world. There is a decent walk after you go under the finisher’s arch and get your medal (!), but you get tons of food and a beer (age permitting), there are medical tents, and ultimately you empty out into the general admission area, where your family is. There you can meet up with people, enjoy more beer, buy more things, or simply sit on the ground and recuperate. Since I had my VIP options (sooooooo important, I am), I headed to those parties. I had planned on going to the Nike Club of Zoom, but Chicago Endurance Sport’s Race Day resort (which I talked about yesterday) was much closer and homegirl needed food and a massage ASAP. 

27th Mile post race party for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. See for full race review and recap!

The marathon organizers do the best they can, but remember, you are dealing with a bajillion languages, many have just run a marathon, and then you add in drinking and barricades, and well, you can imagine. 

Bottom Line

This is a race for anyone and everyone. Want to sightsee? There you go. Want to run hard? You are taken care of, too. There are unlimited places to watch, the Metro (“El”) provides transport around the course, and people are friendly and willing to help. Want to feel like an elite? People will cheer for you like it. You see all kinds, from people running their first to their 100+, and many of those 100+ have come back time and again, and that tells you something. Beautifully directed, the weather is as questionable as any other marathon around, and so much history. You will see famous athletes running with regular joes, and everyone is bound in the spirit of running–both for themselves and for others. Spend the money and do the race. I can’t recommend it enough.

Tweet to Share Your Wealth of Chi Marathon Knowledge!Click To Tweet

My 2015 Chicago Marathon Recap!

I explained my goals going into the marathon last week, but I just wanted to enjoy my race and run a smart victory lap of my city. That I did, even though I ended up working my ass of for it! Read my recap of the full race weekend!

Susie in Corral B for the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon! Narwhal arm warmers are a must! More fun and about the race at

Also, narwhal arm warmers.

I started towards the back of Corral B with plans to run 9 minutes splits, but when I started, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen (in a good way), so I just listened to my body and ended up around 8:30. With everything that I had told my crew about not starting out too soon, I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous. Corral C’s lead pace group (3:30), caught up with me around mile 3? in River North, and I saw my friend and fellow coach Walter who was pacing that group, and let him head on. I’ll be honest, my legs felt good, but I was already getting in my head about not knowing how I was going to be doing, already thinking about nutrition and distraction, and just not focusing on the enjoyment that I so desperately wanted to be attaining!

Susie's race day outfit for the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Nike Zoom Elite 8, shorts, Feetures socks, Lululemon Run Swiftly tank, Brick Betty Bra, Flipbelt, Headsweats visor, and Target sock arm warmers. Read her race review and recap at

Around mile 5(?) I looked up and recognized a friend singlet, and knew immediately that it was my friend, and training partner from this winter, Wendy. We both ran our long runs at the same pace (letting the fasties go up a bit ahead of us), and so we are a great match, and it was amazing to see a friend. She had started in Corral C, but was looking to do a sub 3:30, and thus ended up slightly in front of me, thus how I saw her. I joined her, and before I knew it, we were doing 7:45! I HAVEN”T RUN THAT PACE SINCE SHAMROCK. Besides a few sprints at Sweat with Erin. But I wasn’t going to slow her down, I wasn’t going to run alone now that I had found her, and girl kicked my ass (in a great way) and we entertained each other like the old days for 15k (seeing friends and parents along the way) until she just had more step than me, and I let her go, and I made a pit stop, and then jumped back in, somehow at the same pace!

I took quite a bit of nutrition and hydration, but thank goodness for Sport Beans–they keep you occupied. I ran the last 8ish miles myself, and let me tell you, there were a few times in those last 4-5 that I would flag. At one point, I actually was chanting to myself about my glutes and making them work for it. I sh*t you not. I also used my I am Capable mantra! But I realized with about 10k to go that I might have a sub 3:35 in me, and that was all I needed to drag myself up and forward.

Susie's full race results from the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Another BQ on a tough race day! More details and race review and recap at


Those last two miles, though. Legs were DEAD. But I gunned that booty and powered up Mount Roosevelt–I was passing people left and right! Silly people without your glute activation πŸ˜€ and seeing that finish was everything. And seeing Wendy waiting for me right after was awesome. She bitchslapped her goal, and I floored myself with a time /1:10 shy of my PR and 15:00 better than my A goal! Final time was 3:29:58.

Wendy and Susie at the finish line of the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon! Both hit and surpassed their goals! Read Susie's race recap and review at

Yup. We #ownchicago. Congrats to all!

Susie's 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Finisher's Medal with its engraving. What an experience! Read about it at

Thank you all again for all the support, good lucks, cheers, stalking me on the participant update. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I also think it goes to show how you can train in a myriad of ways, but being gentle to and listening to your body is what pays off in the long run. Now to rest, get RRCA certified, and (I hope) share my knowledge and experience with even more people! I will also be back for Winter Warriors with Chicago Endurance Sports!

Have you ever run through your hometown?

When was the last time you BLEW YOUR OWN DAMN MIND?

Do you run alone or with people or make friends on the course? Cough, Erica.

Join the link up and Running Coaches Corner for more great running advice and content!

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I am linking up with myself, RachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

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  • Reply Michele @ paleorunningmomma

    Love this recap and congrats on an incredible time! That’s pretty awesome you ran with your friend for so long, wow! I want to run Chicago some day, but I’m really excited to run NYC, still can’t believe it.

    October 13, 2015 at 6:03 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m so excited for you to run NYC. One day I hope to do the same!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:12 pm
  • Reply Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    Congrats again. You really awesome awesome! I don’t have much experience with races, but I will say that I LOVE the medal. How awesome that the time gets put on it too. I haven’t seen that before.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Crab Spaghetti with Watercress and Tomato by DanniiMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 6:04 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      This is the first that I’ve gotten engraved! Now I want to get the others engraved, too!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:12 pm
  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    I did the Rock n Roll Chicago a few years ago in July and holly crazy humidity! I was definitely not ready for that. An October trace would be much more pleasant. I’m glad this race went so well for you!
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Smile With Confidence With Smile BrilliantMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 6:09 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m not going to lie, I kind of can’t stand that race, it is always miserable! Defintitely run in the fall!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:13 pm
  • Reply Pam and Christine

    Congrats on a nearly perfect race. It’s amazing what the human body will do and you clearly have great mental strength which is so key for racing a marathon. I love your details about the Chicago Marathon. This race is on my list for 2016 and I will be picking your brain left and right next year.
    Pam and Christine recently posted…Friday Five: My marathon motivators!My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 6:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You definitely know that I love to have my brain picked! Thank you so much!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:13 pm
  • Reply Marcia

    I’d say you bitchslapped CHI as well! Best tour of the city, hands down! Congrats again! Soooo awesome to see you cruise through!
    Marcia recently posted…Balance? What Balance?My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 6:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Goodness, just the anticipation of seeing you and Erica, and Em, and then seeing you right after seeing my mom carried Wendy and I through quite a ways!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm
  • Reply Heather @Fit n Cookies

    You’re incredible girl. Congrats on such an awesome race. I am so proud of you! I love running through Pittsburgh when I do the half, though I think it’d be fun to go somewhere not so hilly πŸ˜‰ Those bridges kill you!
    Heather @Fit n Cookies recently posted…Baby Brown 40 Weeks: A letter to my little oneMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 6:48 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      My bum hurts just thinking about it!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    You. are. amazing. “Nuff said.

    Next time, I’m wearing narwhal arm warmers.

    October 13, 2015 at 6:51 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Can we please wear matching arm warmers? In everyday life?

      October 14, 2015 at 5:15 pm
  • Reply meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles

    LIke Michele said, I would love I think to run Chicago one day but NY may have to come first for me. But wow, what an awesome race for you! Way to power on through. Great recap. I really need to get to Chicago though one of these days!
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…A Fun 5k WorkoutMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 7:27 am
    • Reply suzlyfe


      October 14, 2015 at 5:15 pm
  • Reply Danielle@T-Rex Runner

    Congratulations on your fantastic race! I hope I can channel some of that glute power here in a few weeks!
    Danielle@T-Rex Runner recently posted…Magnificent Muscat and I Met a Celebrity at a MosqueMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 7:32 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Just get your mantra in there, or have me call you mid race and I will remind you πŸ˜€ Thank you love!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:15 pm
  • Reply Ruthie@She'sWickedHealthy

    Sounds like an awesome race experience – way to rock those glutes, girl! πŸ˜‰ I still neeeeed to get to Chicago!!!
    Ruthie@She’sWickedHealthy recently posted…Friday Favorites – It’s Feeling Like Fall!My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 7:33 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And when is this going to happen??

      October 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm
  • Reply Kimberly G

    Congrats again!! I loved reading your recap. One day I hope to run the Chicago Marathon.
    Kimberly G recently posted…Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Race RecapMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 7:35 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, and thank you for cheering me on! It meant so so much!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    You blow my mind. You seriously rock!
    Annmarie recently posted…Meatless Monday: Coconut Creamed Spinach {Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo}My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 7:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We would have issues if we were able to spend more than a certain amount of time together because of the simultaneous mind explosions

      October 14, 2015 at 5:11 pm
  • Reply Bri

    AMAZING. You’re a rockstar Susie!! That’s awesome you busted out ANOTHER BQ! So proud of you girl, and love that you just ran your heart out.
    Bri recently posted…So I ran another marathon without training…My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 7:53 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I definitely did, Bri. And the best part is that I wasn’t expecting it!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:11 pm
  • Reply Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie

    I loved reading this! The Chicago marathon sounds like one that I need to add to my goal races. That’s if I can ever convince myself to stop running the Disney marathon every year…
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…Weekend Recap: Lil’ PumpkinsMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 7:55 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      hahahaha and the likelihood of that is….

      October 14, 2015 at 5:10 pm
  • Reply Laura@ Fit Running Mama

    Simply AMAZING!!! Way to go– I told the Hubby I wanted in next year for the marathon!! I ran Chicago in 2006 and 2010 so next year would be 10 years since my first– I really want to make it happen!!! Your post just makes me want to start training now! πŸ™‚ Congrats!!
    Laura@ Fit Running Mama recently posted…Currently… OctoberMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 7:57 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      hahah I think you’ve got at least a few months before you start training, but I’m right there with you–I don’t want it to stop! And that would be so cool to do it on your 10 year!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:10 pm
  • Reply Maddie @ Dixie Runs

    Congrats girl!!!! You crushed it, but I knew you would. I really want to run the Pittsburgh (my hometown) marathon in May. I feel like it would give me a whole new view of the city I already know so well.
    Maddie @ Dixie Runs recently posted…The Late Weekly Recap and the Run I NeededMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 8:06 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I definitely think so! And that one will give your glutes a serious workout–no worries about activation there!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Curry in a Hurry

    YAY!! Love this. Great work out there, girl. Here’s to doing high knees every mile and not even caring who sees them πŸ™‚ You owned that last 10k. Damn, you just kept getting faster. Way to go!

    October 13, 2015 at 8:10 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You were out there doing them with all this energy, and I was like..errrrrrgggggggg. But dude, it worked! Thank you for kicking my ass!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    Absolutely amazing!! It’s so cool that you guys found each other and pushed each other to PR’s! Loved your race info! I really enjoyed running this race!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…30 Minute Kale Tortellini SoupMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 8:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am so glad that i looked up and saw her! GAME CHANGER

      October 14, 2015 at 5:05 pm
  • Reply Gretchen | Gretchruns

    Yay Susie!! Loved reading this recap, and your review is amazing. Since I watch Spirit of the Marathon before every half/full, I’ve been really wanting to run Chicago one year. The price is a bit redic in my opinion though..I wish races offered a lower price if you skip out on some of the perks. I guess that’s what you have to expect for a huge race though (40,000 + runners?! What the…!!). Maybe one day πŸ™‚
    Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…Towpath Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 8:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      They just have so much that they have to do–and I will say that I think that the crazy price is actually worth it, in this case!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:05 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    Great recap! You crushed it! I went out slower for maybe too long of the race, but who knows how I’d be feeling by the end if I went out a little faster. I love Chicago and this race and want to run it all the times lol.
    Lauren recently posted…Chicago Marathon 2015 Post-Race Check InMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 8:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is exactly how I felt–and then I remember that I was having my ass kicked the whole time, lol. Can we do this again next week? And this time run together??

      October 14, 2015 at 5:06 pm
  • Reply Becki @ Fighting for Wellness

    Congrats! I totally laughed out loud at the “silly people without your glute activation.” πŸ™‚
    Becki @ Fighting for Wellness recently posted…2016 Boston Marathon with BIDMCMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 8:22 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Seriously, I felt badly for them πŸ˜€

      October 14, 2015 at 5:06 pm
  • Reply Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    Woot, congratulations!! I thought you were going to be taking it “slow”, is that considered slow?? :). I’d love to Chicago one day, I still haven’t made it to the marathon distance…hoping 2016 will be the year!

    October 13, 2015 at 8:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I thought I was going to as well! I blame my friend! Let me know if you ever want some help πŸ˜€

      October 14, 2015 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    HUGE congrats!!!!! You truly are a rock star. Great job!
    Michelle recently posted…Prairie State 2015 half marathon race recap!My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 8:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Michelle!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    Congratulations on such a fabulous race!!! You’re awesome lady! I had a “holy shit” feeling when I finished Boston last year – mainly because conditions were absolutely horrible and I finished 10 seconds off a PR on a much more challenging course. It’s amazing what can happen when we let go the stress of expectations! Hope you have a fabulous time celebrating πŸ™‚
    Jamie recently posted…Running FastedMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 8:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I don’t know how any of you all finished Boston this year. I totally would have been in fetal position. And thank you, you know I had a magnificent time celebrating!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:08 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    Amazing time, Susie, and great recap! Another BQ woot woot! Chicago always sounds like such a fun race, even with all those crowds.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…6 Best Types of Cross-Training for RunnersMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 8:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much! I boggled my mind! Yours will come soon enough–you’ve definitely got it πŸ˜€

      October 14, 2015 at 5:08 pm
  • Reply Angie @ Pace with Grace

    Congratulations on an amazing race!! Wow, you rocked it and it sounds like such an incredible experience! Would love to run Chicago!
    Angie @ Pace with Grace recently posted…I Survived the Haunted House + Rest is HolyMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 9:00 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much! I definitely recommend Chicago–you will love it!

      October 14, 2015 at 5:09 pm
  • Reply Sara @ Lake Shore Runner

    Yayyyyyy way to go Susie! I am getting the itch so bad to run/race again after reading all of these recaps. I know I need more rest though πŸ™
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted…Friday Favorites: TGIFMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 9:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You do. But I think that you are doing the right thing, and if you came back, you would just be miserable again. But I know the struggle that you are going through.

      October 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm
  • Reply Mary Beth Jackson

    What an awesome review, you left no detail out! congrats on such a fantastic finish! I do run a couple runs each week by myself but love to run the longer ones with friends- they know how to pull it out of you! Great story :)!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…The Power of Pink and so much more!My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 9:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Seriously, I have no idea what I would have done without her!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm
  • Reply Lesley

    Great job! I watched the race online since NBC Chicago provided a live stream. I missed the beginning because I didn’t get up in time, but it was fun.
    Lesley recently posted…The Showdown 5kMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 9:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It is an uncivilized hour, is it not? lol.

      October 14, 2015 at 4:56 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    Look at that negative split! You’re such a consistent runner. Incredible. I have never done a negative split in my LIFE. Great race recap, congrats again, and I’ll be there one day running that mama of a race!
    Suzy recently posted…Anxiety: Part Six of a ZillionMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 9:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hahaha. I love me a good negative split. The only issue is that it makes you have those “what if I had gone just this much faster”? But then I might have burnt out!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:55 pm
  • Reply run colby run

    I AM SO PROUD OF YOUUUUUUUU!!!! I am amazed at your ability to kick ass! I’m hoping some of that narwhal magic rubs onto me….xoxoxooxox
    run colby run recently posted…Taper ThoughtsMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 9:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Go to Target, get the socks. Sending you good juju because you deserve to kick this marathon’s ASS

      October 14, 2015 at 4:52 pm
  • Reply Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Amazing job!! Those are the best races- when your body surprises you. Congrats on an awesome race and new pr!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…TRX for Runners WorkoutMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 9:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much! I was pretty darn happy!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:51 pm
  • Reply Sandra Laflamme

    Super speedy time! This sounds like a great marathon although I’m not sure I could handle all of the flat living in hilly NH. I loved your race day outfit. Bright colors and fun patterns are always the way to go. Huge congrats!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…The North Face Endurance Challenge Utah Pre-Race Recap (Part I)My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 10:00 am
  • Reply Sarah @pickyrunner

    SO FREAKING HAPPY FOR YOU. I can’t say anything else. You rocked this race.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Newport MarathonMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 10:04 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m so happy for both of us. SO HAPPY!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:50 pm
  • Reply Kaella On The Run

    You’re just AMAZING!!! So proud of you for absolutely KILLING it!!!!!!!! Now, I want to run Chicago … or, at least come visit! I should probably run a marathon first πŸ˜‰
    Kaella On The Run recently posted…Thanksgiving Weekend in ReviewMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 11:33 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! And you totally should. Not even a question. And bring London!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:49 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    Congrats on finishing! I had a friend run chicago a few years ago and I got to tag along for all of the festivities and it was a blast. what an awesome experience!
    Kristin recently posted…Nothing Beats a Good SunsetMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 12:20 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much! I loved the race–and it is organized beautitfully!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:47 pm
  • Reply Shannon @GirlsGotSole

    Awesome info and race recap! I don’t plan on doing another marathon after NYC on 11/1, but if I did, Chicago would be on the list. I definitely want to run a half there though. Sounds like a fun race and place to be!
    Shannon @GirlsGotSole recently posted…Weekend Spa Day at the Hyatt Regency OrlandoMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 12:28 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You should come and visit, regardless! I might know a few people.

      October 14, 2015 at 4:46 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    Nice job, girl! You are one speedy lady. Congrats!!!
    Rachel recently posted…Half Marathon Recovery: Week 1My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 12:48 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:46 pm
  • Reply Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat

    As usual I am in awe of you. And so thrilled you had such an amazing race. I don’t think there is any better feeling than when our body surprises us beyond what we thought capable. Hope you are enjoying some well deserved recovery!
    Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted…Braving the ElementsMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 1:13 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You are so sweet. It has taken me a very long time to get to this point. I am so thankful to be healthy and happy. Cheers to that!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm
  • Reply Rae

    YEAAAAHHHH, GURL! Amazing.
    Rae recently posted…Manic Monday – 10/12/15My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You know I had some fun with it!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm
  • Reply Ashley @ A Lady Goes West

    You are totally amazing Susie! What a great time, first of all. And second of all, doing it in your own City! I love it! You make me want to be a runner!
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…Up your daily protein with “Protein Pantry”My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 2:51 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Ashley! And if you ever want to get started…. just saying!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm
  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You really are a rock star!! (Anyone who runs a marathon is!) BAM!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Safe Supplements For A Happy TummyMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You know that I agree that all who go out there for any running rock! Thank you!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:43 pm
  • Reply Ange @ Cowgirl Runs

    And a negative split to boot! Way to go, friend! You’re seriously amazing.
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Race Recap: GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half MarathonMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 4:20 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It fell good. It hurt a bit, but still felt good. lol

      October 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm
  • Reply Mar @ Mar on the Run

    WOW. that’s pretty much all πŸ™‚
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Fueling the Long Run with Meals on the RunMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 4:56 pm
  • Reply Tricia@MissSippipiddlin

    What a great recap! You killed this marathon! It has me thinking I just may be able to survive mine, survive I said, lol! Great job!
    Tricia@MissSippipiddlin recently posted…Weekly Wrap #10 – Cajun Country FunMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Remember the mantra–I am Capable!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:43 pm
  • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

    Sounds like an amazing event and run! My friend that was running finished it just after you by a 3 minutes or so. You could have partied together and didn’t know it πŸ˜‰ I’d love to do a BIG race like this one day….add it to the list πŸ™‚
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…Valley Harvest Marathon 10k Pace Bunny RecapMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 5:33 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I wish I had partied with YOU!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:42 pm
  • Reply Emily

    Wow, that’s so AMAZING that you blew your ‘A’ goal out of the water!!! So happy for you Susie!
    Emily recently posted…Thankful Tuesday: The Many Faces of MemoriesMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 5:38 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so, so much, Emily!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    You killed it!! I’m excited to run through Baltimore next weekend…we run through some rough areas that I would never run on my own, but you really get a taste for the different parts of the city. Chicago sounds like a great race. Congrats again!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Route 66 Marathon Training Week 10My Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 7:54 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I would be all about that–a pretty cool opportunity!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm
  • Reply Jill

    Ahhhh this is amazing! I can barely wrap my head around running a full marathon and here you are running 3:28!!! My God Susie you are astonishing! Come to Baltimore and coach me when my leg gets better!
    Jill recently posted…11 Things I Learned Traveling SoloMy Profile

    October 13, 2015 at 8:35 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I would love to! You would be a dream to coach!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm
  • Reply Courtney Bentley

    Congratulations on completing a marathon in such an amazing amount of time! You go girl xo C

    October 13, 2015 at 11:39 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much! I was really proud of my time!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm
  • Reply

    Awesome re-cap Suz! Loved the detailed description of everything going on before the race too. For me, running around my own city, Glasgow, I can understand how much you loved running around this one, seeing the sights you don’t get time to see when you’re in a car. recently posted…Quick Healthy Chicken StewMy Profile

    October 14, 2015 at 5:56 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Neil, it was so much fun! Like when you did the Glasgow race–you totally understand!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:34 pm
  • Reply Nicole@TheGIrlWhoRanEverywhere

    I’m so proud of you! I haven’t caught up (yet) on the post where you shared what your goals were for the race. I remember that when you started training for Chicago- you were in coach mindset and not “bad ass runner who breaks her goals by 15 minutes” mindset. So to see you race like you did this past SUnday gives me sooo much joy! I can’t wait to see you in Boston!!! I loved this recap!! My girlfriend ran it on Sunday too and she has done a few Boston’s. She said that even though the crowds were good in Chicago-the support in Boston is bigger. I still want to run it someday because it sounds like such a phenomenal race. And plus..World Majors, DUH.

    I love your engraved medal πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Nicole@TheGIrlWhoRanEverywhere recently posted…Since we last spoke…My Profile

    October 14, 2015 at 7:31 am
  • Reply Shawna

    ahhhhhhhhh holy goodness, love, you are amazinggggg! i love that you blew your own mind and rocked your A goal and totally had the race of your little life, in your hometown. i’m so so so so happy for you!! HOMETOWN HERO, whattttt!!
    Shawna recently posted…Mohawk Hudson Marathon Recap (aka the best day ever)My Profile

    October 14, 2015 at 10:57 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am so happy for YOU! You had a fantastic race yourself, and I love how much fun you had!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:32 pm
  • Reply Linda @ Veganosity

    Like I told you in my last comment, you inspire me. I’ve made up my mind and I’m going to run for charity in next’s year’s marathon. I haven’t been running that much lately but I went out and did six miles yesterday and it felt good. Time to get a running schedule together! Thanks for the great review. When I looked at the map I though, it’s really not that far, hahaha! Silly me.

    October 14, 2015 at 12:33 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      How far is a marathon again? lol. I think that you definitely should–that gives you plenty of time to make the time and get all your ducks in a row!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:32 pm
  • Reply Allyson Brandt

    I don’t know that I will ever run a marathon, but if I do, Chicago would be at the top of my list. It looks like an amazing way to see the city! I run a 10K through my home city every July 4th, and it’s my favorite race of the year. Congrats on your finish!
    Allyson Brandt recently posted…ToTR: Running is Really a Balancing ActMy Profile

    October 14, 2015 at 3:38 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      One of these days, i want to run the Peachtree Road race (the big race where I am from). I got to do the Atlanta half last year, but maybe one day I’ll do the marathon!

      October 14, 2015 at 4:31 pm
  • Reply Jess @hellotofit

    You are mind-blowing *mind-blown sound effect*.
    This race seems so inclusive for EVERYONE!! Enjoyed reading your re-cap πŸ™‚
    YAY for straight ROCKIN’ your race time!!

    October 16, 2015 at 7:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much! I thought they did a great job–you are so right–it is truly an inclusive race for all!

      October 16, 2015 at 10:57 am
  • Reply Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Great job on your time! We started about a minute apart it looks like. It really was an awesome race. So well organized, even the chaos of an expo was controlled. While I was hoping for cooler weather, it sure was an awesome day for the after party!! And I agree about the flat course being deceptive. It’s not easier. I was trying to explain that to my running partner this morning. It wears on you quite differently. I welcomed that last hill honestly!
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted…Fall Into Fitness for FreeMy Profile

    October 16, 2015 at 8:46 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I was so impressed by the organization of everything! They did an amazing job, in my opinion. And you are so right–perfect day for the after party!
      You should have seen my running partner and I–we were doing buttkicks and high knees all over! Can’t wait to read your recap!

      October 16, 2015 at 11:00 am
  • Reply Eric

    Hey! I just read this article with my morning coffee on training the brain to push the body, it was a really cool read (after the parkour stuff they have scientists and medical professionals comment on some research). I thought I should share it with the runners here, definitely applies to us:
    Eric recently posted…Another Day, Another PR!My Profile

    October 20, 2015 at 7:47 am
    • Reply Eric

      Also, I commented on Facebook but not here. You did awesome, I was blown away when your min/mile started to drop during the race like a rock. Way to go, kicking butt and taking names!
      Eric recently posted…Another Day, Another PR!My Profile

      October 20, 2015 at 1:55 pm
      • Reply suzlyfe

        Thank you so, so much!

        October 20, 2015 at 3:08 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’ll definitely check it out! Thanks for sharing!

      October 20, 2015 at 3:25 pm
  • Reply patty

    Great recap and info! Thanks for linking up today!
    patty recently posted…Bucket List Race | Tuesdays on the RunMy Profile

    October 4, 2016 at 6:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you for hosting!

      October 5, 2016 at 2:25 pm
  • Reply angela @ happy fit mama

    I was at Chicago 2 years ago! I was registered to run but didn’t get to do it because I was sidelined with an injury. I hope to go back and actually run it someday. All my friends rave about it!

    September 13, 2017 at 5:31 am
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    A few of my friends are running it this year. I will pass this along. Looks like a great race to spectate as well

    September 13, 2017 at 6:23 am
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    What a fun experience! I loved doing Chicago as my marathon. I picked it because it was flat, big city and at the time didn’t have a lottery. I think I ran the last year before they implemented that.

    September 13, 2017 at 7:16 am
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    A few of my athletes are running Chicago this year, so this is helpful!

    September 13, 2017 at 7:26 am
  • Reply Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real

    I volunteered at the first water station for three years in high school and watched a family friend run the Chicago marathon another. You’re so right when you say Chicago takes cheering at sporting events seriously. There was never a lack of cheering at either of my experiences. I would love to run this marathon one year. Maybe one day!

    September 13, 2017 at 7:36 am
  • Reply Marina @ Happy Healing

    Such a great recap – and congrats! Looks like you had a great race! I’ve never been to Chicago but I really want to go… destination race in my future? πŸ™‚

    September 13, 2017 at 8:09 am
  • Reply Laura

    I’ve heard such awesome things about Chicago! If I keep running marathons, I’d love to run it someday. Right now I go back and forth between feeling like I’m done with distance running vs wanting to run ALL the races!!

    September 13, 2017 at 8:44 am
  • Reply Annmarie

    If I was going to run another marathon, I would definitely want to run Chicago! <3

    September 13, 2017 at 12:37 pm
  • Reply Kimberly Hatting

    Chicago definitely is its own party, and the marathon looks killer fun. Hmmm….maybe some day. There are no 26.2’s in my immediate future right now LOL

    September 13, 2017 at 1:57 pm
  • Reply Debbie

    It’s been 3 years since my last marathon! Time flies, as they say. I really would love to run Chicago some day. Guess I’d better hurry. πŸ™‚

    September 13, 2017 at 5:56 pm
  • Reply

    Wow I remember when you ran the Chicago marathon. Has it really been that long since you did it? 2 years? No way. Where has the time gone?

    September 14, 2017 at 4:49 am
  • Reply Mary

    Thank you so much for the detailed recap Susie. I’ve always wanted to run the Chicago marathon and now I feel like I know what I’m getting myself into. Congratulation my friend:)

    September 15, 2017 at 12:08 am
  • Reply HoHo Runs

    I DNS’d my first Chicago marathon and fell in my second (last year). Chicago and I have some unfinished business. Congrats on that killer finish time!

    September 15, 2017 at 12:41 pm
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