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Friday, October 12, 2007

Poignant report by Chad Austin on the 2007 Chicago Marathon

You may have heard about the 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon that took place this past weekend. Unfortunately the race made very sad news because of the record-high temperature that resulted in the death of one runner and about 300 others having to be hospitalized for heat-related illnesses. Conditions became so severe that the marathon was ultimately canceled before everyone had a chance to finish.

My life-long friend Chad Austin was one of the participants. He was able to complete the race, but not before becoming an eyewitness to some of the heartbreak that happened during what should have been a triumphant event...

After plodding along for the final six miles, I finally turned the last corner and with the finish line in sight I heard a firefighter or police officer yelling to the runners, urging them to walk, saying "The race has been cancelled." What did that mean, I wondered? Did I hear him right? Well, stubbornly I told myself I didn't run 26 miles to walk the final two-tenths. That's if you consider the pace I was going at that point actually running. So I decided to finish what I started and run the rest of the way in. And making that final turn is when I saw my first runner collapsed on the ground. Medics were tending to him, giving him water.

Click here for the full report that Chad filed on his blog about this year's Chicago Marathon.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Chad Schieber and to the hundreds who were injured during this year's marathon.