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CHICAGO (CBS) – McCormick Place on Saturday hosted 45,000 runners preparing for Sunday’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the runners picked up race materials, and got some advice from marathon coaches.
Brendan Cornan, who’s run a marathon in every state, on six continents, and 84 marathons overall, said “it’s a passion.”
“It’s much better than sitting in a bar someplace,” he said. “I get out in the outside world and see the world in a way that I haven’t seen it before – up close and personal.”
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports
He had some advice for how runners should spend the day before the race.
“Read, review, and rest. Today, read all the materials that the marathon office has put out. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon does a tremendous job with the participant guide,” he said. “Review the training plan that you put in place for the race tomorrow. Rest; stay off your feet as much as possible. And tomorrow, wake up early, enjoy the day, it’s going to be a wonderful experience for every one of the runners who cross that finish line.”
With a high temperature of only 52 on Sunday, and a likely temperature of about 36 degrees, Cornan said the weather will be perfect for a marathon.
“Cold weather like it’s going to be tomorrow is much better for the runners than the hot weather that the race has had the last couple of years,” he said. “They can dress accordingly in layers, start off very very slowly. And I want my runners to run slowly … the better idea is to run slowly, use the first few miles as a warmup to allow their muscles to warm up, and then get into their rhythm.”
Cornan said he’s trained a couple hundred people who will run the Chicago Marathon.
Part of coaching marathon runners is working with their psyches.
He said it’s normal for runners to get anxious and freak out a bit in the days just before a marathon, after months of training for the race.
“That’s normal. It’s a normal part of behavior for people to get concerned. We’ve shortened the amount of running, and the intensity level for the last couple weeks, as the bodies get stronger,” he said. “That’s referred to as the ‘taper period,’ and that brings out what’s called ‘taper madness.’ As people get into taper madness, they think they haven’t done enough, should do more, and that’s when the anxiety levels rise a little bit.”
He said runners should remember that “good form will carry them through, because that’s the most important thing. Run a smart race, run a safe race, enjoy the day.”