Running Club Members Sound Off Over “Chicago Inferno”

Volunteers stack water cups on S. Michigan Ave. on Marathon Sunday. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Updated Tuesday, October 16, 2007, 6:55 p.m. with more information from volunteers 

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Members of the Park Forest Running and Pancake club used their email list and online forum to vent and share stories from this year's Chicago Marathon, which many runners are dubbing, "The Chicago Inferno." No club members were hospitalized, but one finisher was lightheaded and received and IV on site. Club members also staff the 25-mile water stop, and it was evident early on that this Marathon sported an extra-thirsty clientele.

Michel, who writes to club members with the pen-name RunOnHeart, perhaps expressed most succinctly the pain runners felt , "Yesterday was the single toughest thing I have ever done...including childbirth. The best way to describe it...it was a WAR zone...ambulances, fire trucks...police ...helecopters. ....noise. ..people everywhere just WALKING..determined ...to get to the end."

The determination of many to finish grew as the long day continued, "I was at mile 20 when I heard that the race had been flagged. There was this defiant wave that went over the crowd. No one stopped running. We all cheered each other on....as we got to 23...you could see it in the eyes of everyone there...the finish line, no matter what, even if we had to crawl. By the time I got to 23 water was iffy....they had run out, you could not cool off. All the hydrants were open. There was very little water pressure, so the only thing getting wet were our feet. I made a decision to walk at 23 because of lack of water...and the effort I would have had to put into weaving. As I walked with the rest of the crowd, intermittently ambulances.. .and city busses procured for emergency services flew down the right side of the road...helicopters were everywhere.. .. At mile 25 I met up with Judge Ray [Funderburk]...I got the biggest hug! I felt like I was, at last, home."

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