2017 Chicago Marathon

2017 was the 40th anniversary of one of the most incredible marathons in the world.  It was a special year and I’m glad I was part of it.  This was supposed to be my redemption race after last years injury and surgery.  Sadly, I ended up running slower than last year but to be honest, I’m okay with it.  There were so many special memories from the weekend and having that medal placed over my head still is emotional.

I’ve always been an early bird to these races and the anticipation of the weather on race day was on my mind.  Thankfully, the morning weather was a bit chilly and learning from last year, I brought a throw away jacket.  I froze last year waiting to begin the race.  This year, I was so glad I brought a long sleeve warm sweatshirt that I knew would go to a good place after I was done wearing it.

I was sad that I didn’t get a chance to meet up with some out of town friends but with so many runners, it isn’t always easy.  I instead got into my corral to get my head straight and mentally prepare for this long 26.2.  The corrals are always so huge in this marathon and that makes it more exciting.  The fences of the corrals were painted with throw away jackets, blankets, and long sleeve shirts.

Not unlike last year, the course has incredible crowds and support, even with those of us near the back.  The volunteers were amazing as always and there were tons of them.  The individual neighborhoods  kept you motivated and while I appreciate all of the people on the course, there were a couple that just stood out.  Boys Town and Pilsen really do make this race special.  Everyone on the sidewalks had treats or drinks or candy for the runners.  They were supportive and the energy didn’t dissipate.  Though Pilsen is near the end of the race, I look forward to it and that second burst of energy.

While my running itself wasn’t what I hoped for, the experience made up for that.  Yes, I ended up going into the medical tent when my knee swelled up around mile 17 again.  After a little ice and rest and a shot of Biofreeze, I trekked back out there to finish.  Though I haven’t decided if I’ll run another marathon, if I do, Chicago is on top of that list.

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Yiannis Christodoulou

European & National Aquathlon Champion (Age Group), GB Aquathlon team captain, 2021 National Sprint Triathlon Runner Up (AG) Representing Great Britain in the 2022 World & European Triathlon Championships (Age Group)

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