I lived in Joliet, Illinois for a couple of quasi adult years. Earned my BS in Community Health Promotion (minor in Health Ed.) from NIU in DeKalb, nearly 70 miles away. Drove it twice a week and genuinely enjoyed the country drive on HWY 64. Through Sycamore, which still hosts its annual Pumpkin Run 10K, a race I got my ass handed to me in over 20 years ago, it still smarts.
Both Joliet and DeKalb are in the Chicago suburban area. A lot of good stuff in that city. I’m a forever Cub fan and the 1985 Bears still make me smile. Still call Central Illinois my boyhood home, a lure and call always existed up North a couple hours.
My favorite running memory of Chicago is not my own 1985 effort. That sucked (3:38:xx after a 1:17:40 first half) and remained my personal worst until Lincoln a couple of years ago.
In 1984 Steve Jones set the World Record of 2:08:05 on the streets of Chicago. I watched him run it on television, yeah they used to broadcast races back in the day. I was pretty jacked as my own marathon career was fledgling, hardly over a year old. Decided I would run the WR course the next year, painfully cited above. Jones would win again (2:07:12).
I first met Jones personally in an elevator at BIX. In the midst of explaining to the captive crowd that he did no upper body work “because you don’t run a marathon on your hands”, he offered me a cold one from the well traveled wheeled cooler in tow. We’d meet up again a couple of times in the early aughts at the Gruene 10K in Central Texas. He could still run. And still drink a beer.
Andrea Rich (3:30:00), Jen Viehrig (3:01:46), Dylan Wilson (3:50:59), Shy Vithanage, Kaci Lickteig (2:49:20), and Mike Reilly also ran in 2010. Kayte Tranel (2:53:43), Bridget Easley (3:12:44), and Brian Wandzilak (3:07:17) also represented my old club in 2010, one of the hottest Chicago Marathon’s on record. Lisa Baumert of Fremont ran 2:41:17 that day, caught my attention.