Redemption in the Windy City: Chicago Marathon Race Report

On Sunday, October 13th, Lauren Ross, Glenn Kasin, and Liz Anjos represented Rose City Track Club at the Chicago Marathon. Kasin went into the 2020 event seeking redemption from a harrowing experience in 2016. Read on for his full race report.

Chicago 2019: The year of redemption. I raced Chicago in 2016 injured and suffered through the last 10 miles with what turned out to be a large pelvic stress fracture. Fast forward 3 years and 7500 more miles in the legs. Went in healthy, but very nervous and stressed out a scary big goal for me. Couldn’t have asked for better conditions at the race start 40 degrees and a light wind. Went out the 1st half very conservative aiming for 1:23 and came through at 1:23:30.  Mind you GPS does not work well at Chicago due to all the buildings and so you really have to go by feel and HR. The marathon doest start until mile 20 and so, I kept telling myself to stay calm and wait for 10K to go to start to close. Unfortunately, my body and the Windy City had other ideas. The wind picked up dramatically mile after mile all the way to the finish and demoralized me. I blew my hydration and sodium intake and paid a price for not drinking enough. My Hip flexors got tighter and tighter and my stride got shorter and shorter. I saw my brother several times on course and he kept yelling that I was still on pace, but my body and mind would not cooperate. I had several big goals and the last one was to make sure to go under 2:55 to qualify for Berlin Marathon 2020 and I started to panic if that was fading away as well. With 200 meters to go I could see the finish clock for the 1st time and see that I was not that far off from my B goal and gave it one last surge to the finish. As I did the math I realized I had run 2:51:02 which was a 5 min PR and less than 2 min off my B goal. I was somewhat dejected as I walked through Grant Park and got my medal, a beer, and some salted peanuts. As I started to feel better again, I realized it was a solid PR and made Berlin, so it was bittersweet. As runners, we put so much pressure on ourselves for PR’s, Time goals, Top 10 AG finishes, that sometimes we lose sight of why we run marathons in the first place. Running the streets of Chicago with 45,000 other runners and the community in front of  hundreds of thousands of spectators going crazy whether you are first or last. What a feeling! As bad as it hurts, there will always be another one.

I have to say thanks to all of Rose City Track Club for their support, but especially Liz Anjos for Sauvie Saturdays to do Long runs at MP, being the marathon whisperer and just being a great running buddy and friend. Thanks to my biggest supporters, my parents and brother for all their help. To my cheer squad, Katie, Thailyr, and Krysta for always motivating me and keeping me inspired and to continue grinding. Time to pay it forward.

On a weekend, that saw a man run 1:59:40 marathon in Vienna, Austria, a woman set a massive new WR of 2:14 in the same race as me in Chicago, it motivates me to continue striving.

As Eliud Kipchoge put it: No Human Is Limited.

I’m coming for you Berlin 2020!

GK

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