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Congratulations Chicago Marathoners!

What a crazy whirlwind of Chicago weather! The Chicago Marathoners did get rain, but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as predicted and the temp bumped up a bit too!

We had a great time at the Chicago Marathon Expo, meeting runners and their friends and family. It’s really heartwarming to see all the support these runners receive. We had our sweet vintage horse trailer mobile bar, and we were offering: free engraving on our Marathon Sparkling, and selling our new Marathon Sparkling tech shirts. Everyone loved the design! This was our first year at the Expo and let me tell ya, we got an ass whoppin. No matter how much info you get on an event, doesn’t it always seem like the really pertinent info is left out. We were really hoping to make a killing, so we could support even more small local charity runs next year, but that didn’t happen. So, to cheer myself up, I thought I’d share with you some tips I’ve learned, in case you’re thinking about taking on the Chicago Marathon next year, or planning to go and cheer someone on.

Chitown Marathon tips

  1. Hotel location is key. Book early. Decide where you want to be, what you want to do and then book. In Chicago during a major event, even a few blocks can take 30 min. Everything looks really close on Chicago maps, but looks can be deceiving. We stayed at the new Hampton Inn McCormick since we were working the Expo at McCormick. This is a new concept hotel that combines a Hilton, Hampton and Sheraton at one check out desk. We loved it! The hotel is gorgeous and there is an indoor bridge to McCormick. This hotel is located at 123 Cermack (Michigan and Cermack). This location also allowed us to easily sneak out of the city during the race, which could prove near impossible at other locations. 55 is right around the corner. Free breaky had nice choices and a great view for the race. The rooms are big and clean. Love the usb ports right on the nightstands. Walk in shower is my fav.
  2. Parking. schmarking. Get ready to pay the piper! Hotel parking is oh so painful. We parked at McCormick which was a tad less painful, but it may be worthwhile to try something like spot hero? Any other ideas to avoid hotel parking??
  3. Bring layers, rain boots and a hat. This time of year, you never know how the weather will turn. Better to be prepared than suffer. Sure you can always buy what you need, but yikes you’ll already be breakin the bank. I’m still waiting for babushkas to come back into style, because the city wind does permanent damage to my 3 superfine hairs, lol.
  4. Steakhouses book up for dinner on the weekends so make your reservations the week before. If you’re not picky, you can definitely always find good food in the city anytime, but if you have your sights on a particular stkhouse, beware.
  5. The Expo is open to the public and it’s free! Even if you’re not a Marathoner, they have great merch for even the casual runner. The displays are amazing and Nike had a professional DJ! It’s also a nice place to learn about different charitable organizations. Abbott had an insane mega size treadmill that timed you.  I saw a lot of people buying sneakers, so I think it may be a good place to see what’s available. Lululemon was doing custom onsite screen printing of the Chicago Skyline on their yoga pants and tech shirts. Quite a few exhibitors had free sign making supplies too!
  6. Our hotel had sign making supplies in the lobby with water bottles and fruit. I bet the other hotels do the same, so if you’re going to cheer someone on, be on the lookout.
  7. You may want to be a Bank of America VIP. there are some cool perks like bleacher seats to watch the finishers, restrooms, food etc.
  8. Bank of America Chicago Marathon App. download this tool and you can enter your runners name and watch them on the route, so fun!
  9. CARA (Chicago Area Running Assoc.) also has a VIP sich. Gear check, after race freebies and more!

One huge take away for me was that every color, race, religion, age, attitude, mental health status, physical health status was clearly represented. It’s truly inspiring to see people that look just like me, run in the Chicago Marathon! It almost makes me want to run…just kidding 🙂

If you are in your forties and want to tackle the Chicago Marathon, feel free to reach out to Dawn C. She completed her Chicago Marathon in 2010! Dawn C.  started running later in life, so I’m sure she has some great insights. dawnc@gratefulgrapeswine.com

There are great running clubs all over the continent to help you get your wings, do a little R & D. 

To celebrate the Chicago Marathon we are offering a free tech shirt with every Marathon Sparkling purchase!!

https://store.fennvalley.com/product/marathon-sparkling-wine/

Use coupon code: freeshirt

 

Being Grapeful

 

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