Best Way to See the Chicago Marathon? On A Bike!

Almost every year that I’ve lived in Chicago, no matter what neighborhood I was living in, I always made it out on that Sunday morning in October to cheer on the runners for the annual Chicago Marathon. It’s a great city event. This year there were about 45,000 runners!!!  Hard to believe that so many people choose to train and run for 26 miles. With that many runners, their friends and family members, and the street closures and bus route redirects, the best way to move around the city – especially if you need to traverse downtown or the near north, west, or south sides — is on a bike. For years I’d ride over to Mile 9 where there is usually an Elvis impersonator singing for the runners and crowd. Wish I had a picture of that!

Chicago Marathon 2010 Map

Then a couple of years ago,  we started riding our bikes down to to Mile 15 on the west side.

Chicago Marathon 2010 Map

In 2008 a group of women I dubbed the “Church Ladies” had wonderful matching lime-green t-shirts and great signs to cheer on the runners as they made the turn at Mile 15.

Chicago Marathon 2008 - Church Ladies

This year we rode our bikes up to just north of Mile 8 – where they turn from Addison Street onto Broadway.  Since it’s so much earlier in the race, the runners are still running in packs – even the lead runners.

We just missed the lead handcycle and wheelchair racers as we locked up our bikes and got up to the crowd – we did catch sight of a couple of the then though.

Chicago Martathon 201 - Handcycles

Chicago Marathon 2010 - wheelchair racer

Then the police motorcycle and bike escort..

Chicago Marathon 2010 Police and Bike Escort

And then the lead runners!

icago Marathon 2010 Lead Runners

While our bikes waited patiently for us….

Chicago Marathon 2010 - Locked up Bikes

As more runners kept coming,  the street filled up completely with runners – it was crazy! We looked for our friend Byron , but everyone was going by so quickly, that we thought we missed him. However,  I did in fact snap a picture of him with the 3:20 runners – there he is in the lower left, with the white cap. He finished in a very respectable 3:25:27!!

Chicago Marathon 2010 - Byron in the crowd

It was a little hot for the runners on Sunday with highs around 80 degrees, but for us cyclists who did not have to be anywhere fast, it was a wonderful day.

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