Tricia and Paige: Chicago Marathon 2023, Day 3
Race day! A lot of stuff happened at the early part of the day, long before we even got up and got started. Kirt drove Tricia and Paige down from O’Hare, and got to Grant Park a little before 7AM I think.
I got a voicemail from Kirt, warning us that a lot of downtown seemed to be cordoned off. I’d been looking at the various road closures, but it sounded like more roads were blocked off than were reported.
There’s a small parking garage, near where Liz used to work (and near where Kirt also used to work, incidentally). Our plan was to park there, but Kirt’s message warned me that Wabash seemed to be fully blocked off.
For his part, Kirt was in his truck and headed North… to try to catch Tricia and Paige in the Lincoln Park area. Katie and Tim were assigned Mile Marker 15, and were setting up over there.
Liz and I had Mile Marker 20, and our plan was to drive downtown… park our car at DePaul, and hop the Pink Line down to Pilsen.
The downtown road closures looked daunting, and we ultimately decided to risk going up Lake Shore Drive, and trying to weave our way through Lower Wacker onto Wabash. We lucked out, as some of the road blockades seemed to be opening up right when we arrived. And we magically got onto Wabash, north of the river… and were able to make our way to the garage. Super, super lucky.
After hopping a Pink Line train to Pilsen, we stumbled a bit… and got turned around. But eventually found our way down 18th, a main artery of the race.
So many nanners.
I swear, I could do an entire website on awesome Chicago Marathon signs.
I don’t know her super well outside of 20×2, but I was convinced that this was Elizabeth Gomez.
At Mile Marker 20, looking to set up to see Tricia and Paige.
Paige, undaunted and ready to continue on to the finish.
Tricia, following close behind.
A brief stop, a brief hug.
The way the course worked, it circled around a bit… and there was a nearby side street that Liz and I ran down. We were looking to try to catch Paige and Tricia as they circled around.
We were able to just catch Paige as she passed.
There were tentative plans for everyone to try to meet up at the finish. Which was difficult, given how closed off downtown was. One option was to try to get to Mile Marker 26, the last one before the finish.
We got word that Katie and Tim were having trouble getting downtown, and so they opted to meet us at the bar (our post-race destination). We got word that Kirt was able to park at DePaul, and was headed towards the finish.
Liz and I were debating how best to get back downtown. One option was to walk (a good distance) back to the Pink Line, which would get us downtown… but wouldn’t allow us to really see Tricia/Paige near the finish.
We downloaded a few apps, and found some e-scooters in the area. After a bit of walking, and no small amount of luck… we got ahold of two scooters. And started to make our way from Pilsen to Grant Park.
For the most part, I think we did a good job. I totally got in the way of one runner, as we tried to cross the race path with our e-scooters. And I felt terrible about it. But beyond that, I think we kept our intrusiveness to a minimum.
Remarkably, we made great time (despite my firm belief that my scooter was somehow speed-limited). We were able to get near Mile Marker 26, and pushed through the crowds to get across Michigan Avenue.
We got to see both Paige and Tricia run by, but not sure if either of them saw us. We were close to the end, and I imagine they were just focused and pushing to get through that last mile.
I’m so happy that we called an audible, and managed to zip our way across town to catch Tricia and Paige, in their last mile of the marathon.
I’m much more of a planner and scheduler, and Liz is more of a “take it as it comes” kind of personality. And this audible, this excursion… was definitely more in her camp. And it was fun to set my own rigidity aside, and to take on her openness for a change. And it worked out very, very well.
One of many snow plows, blocking off access downtown.
Walking down Michigan Avenue, which was a bit surreal. All people, no cars.
Paige and Tricia, with their medals and superhero capes
I didn’t end up capturing any photos of everything that happened afterwards. We all walked back downtown, and Liz was able to get access to a nearby DePaul building where there was a locker room that included showers. Paige and Tricia were able to clean up, put on fresh clothes, and all within a few blocks of the race (I don’t know that any of the other participants were this lucky).
We then met up with Katie and Tim at Forbidden Root. And eventually Jenny and Gil joined us, and we hung out here for a good, long while.
We had several drinks, everyone had a late lunch, and we chatted and snacked until the sun went down. After folks departed, Liz and I ended up driving Tricia and Paige back north to their hotel.
A long, fun weekend. A lot of miles covered, a lot of neighborhoods navigated. A lot of good food, and a lot of catching up. And an incredible testament to the many weeks and months of training, that both Tricia and Paige have put in.