YIKES! The Chicago 10-10-10 Marathon is ON!
The race will begin at 7:30AM in Grant Park, and the route winds through 29 Chicago neighborhoods, until the last person crosses the finish line (or 6 hours later, I heard). That's 27 miles between Addison St./3600N, 35th St/3500S, Columbus Dr./200E, and Ashland Ave./1600W.
45,000 people is larger than the population of many well-populated cities! To see that many people moving at once in the same direction is like watching a sea of humanity. It's very moving. And wonderful to stand on the sidelines and cheer them on. But if you're not participating and part of the cheering crowds of supporters along the route, it's a HUGE mess. On some parts of the route, streets are completely closed to all traffic for several hours – as if non-participants have no reason to use the streets to get somewhere else. In years past when I was trying to make my way across the loop to my volunteer gig at the Art Institute, I've had to scurry across four traffic lanes to cross their path – not an easy feat. But this year, I've decided to avoid the madness altogether by taking the El. The Green line runs above the street from a stop near my apartment to a stop near the museum. WHEW!
Before I leave for my volunteer shift and El adventure, I'll have time to watch the first few hours of the race on TV and from my apartment. The route includes Adams Street – just a few blocks away from me. That's close enough for me.
For those who want to join the cheerleaders and supporters on the route – or who want to avoid it like a plague, here's a map: http://www.chicagomarathon.com/CMS400Min/uploadedFiles/Chicago_Marathon/Runner_Information/10_CM_Map_FINAL.pdf