2014 Chicago Men's Health Urbanathlon
1st Place Overall
Course: Flat, mostly pavement, some grass & gravel, & lots of stairs!!!
For starters I have been wanting to do this race for years. Finally this year I was able to get up to Chicago and compete. I had high expectations of winning this race. I went in confident in my ability. Night before I got about 4 hours of sleep after driving up to my friends place in North Park and crashing on the recliner chair. Woke up 4 hours later and ate some breakfast. Took the L down to Soldier Field. Walked around for a good 45 minutes trying to find the race site. Good thing I left early. Picked up my bib and found a place to get ready. Warmed up in the parking lot with some jogging and drills.
Anytime you toe a line at a race you can instantly pick out who looks competitive. I spotted two guys that looked promising. I signed up for the first wave which is considered the more competitive wave. Gun went off and a good group of 10 or so went out like a bat out of hell for the first quarter or so. I stayed comfortable and waited for some of them to fade. At about the half mile mark, what seemed to be a serious road runner, took the lead. I stayed on his shoulder for a little bit and instantly realized he was on a much faster pace than I would like to be this early in a 10 mile race with obstacles. I tailed him for a while and he slowly pulled away.
I kept within visual contact of him hoping that I could reel him in on the obstacles and especially on the stairs section. It felt like a got 2 miles before the first set of obstacles. First few obstacles came up with some over under barricade obstacles as well as some tire high knees. Route took us up the lake front towards Navy Pier onto an onramp over the river and onto the board walk. After the board walk I rounded a corner and came across the uneven balance beam. I saw the leader struggling on it. I maneuvered across it and moved into the lead. Headed back towards the stadium along the lake front. The 2nd place racer was reeling me in on the lake front path and we were shoulder to shoulder heading into the Tissot Soldier Field Stadium Stair Climb obstacle. I instantly opened up a significant lead and knew there were only about 2 miles left. Figured I had a minute and a half lead on him. Really used the down ramps in the stadium to my advantage to gap him as much as possible before getting back on the path and heading back towards the finish. Finished up strong and completed the VW crawl, the taxi cab jump, cargo bus and finally the 8 ft. wall.