Marathon was an Adventure, I will remember for a long time. Through the excitement which had been building up during the last few weeks, while eating the pasta dinner and playing Antakshni – I could feel time moving towards my first marathon (tick-tock-tick-tock…)

The beginning – Good It was predicted to be warm (hot!) so I drank a little more water – started the run with Dinesh, Anand, NP & Santosh. We planned to do 11 min/mile to finish the marathon around 4:45. The gun went off while we were still in the line to pee. We managed to jump over the fence and get back with our pace group and started the run. It felt great running in Chicago

Temperature rising – Bad
We got separated within the first few miles at a
waterstop which was overcrowded. Rest of the trip I was mostly running with Santosh, though we did get separated in the middle at a waterstop, where I almost had to fight to get some water as there was no water at previous waterstop (Santosh had given me some from his fuel belt – thanks a ton buddy)

Ambulance Sirens – Ugly
Around mile 15 or so I started seeing runners fall and heard the sound of sirens. In the next few miles saw another person fall as he leaned forward to get wa
ter. Next water stop – no cups no water only a bucket with (probably!) drinking water. I picked up an used water cup from the ground and drank few cups. Spectators were spraying us with water from there garden hoses cheering us on – they saved the day !

Race Over
Few miles later, around mile 20 after I again caught up with Santosh who now gave me a salt tablet. We calculated ~4:00 hours into the race 6 miles to go – next 3 miles run/walk & all out in the last 3 miles. We’ll not be able to beat 5:00 hours but we should be around 5:10 or so. But – more ambulances, we heard the helicopters overhead and somewhere between mile 21 & 22 we heard “Race Over – Walk Don’t Run“. We (I) cursed walked the next few miles – by now totally drenched in the water sprayed by fire hydrants and the fire-trucks – and finally sprinted the last half mile to the finish line.

What I remember most

Sweet little kids handing out pretzels (salt), cheetos (messy salt) & Orio Cookies (better than gu).

How do I feel Now
Invisible – after all I managed to survive the Chicago marathon

Chicago marathon did end up being an odyssey I will remember forever – just not in the way I had expected.