- Get to the corral extra early. The race is early (7:30am) and most people won’t give themselves enough time for a proper warm-up and to settle in to the environment. It's crucial. This all starts by getting to bed early (even if you're not asleep) on Saturday, which means an earlier dinner, etc. etc. Just by being there early, you're putting yourself at an advantage.
- Tuck in and draft. Chicago is windy, we know this. You’ll save 2-3% of your effort by tucking behind a person blocking wind. That adds up over the course of 26.2. Because the wind is swirling, it's ideal to find a position that covers you in front, but allows for a tailwind. Easier said than done, but when you can pull it off, go for it.
- Plan to negative split / Be patient until mile 18. Common misconception that every race should be negative split. For instance, at Berlin we advise an even split race. NyC you should plan to... survive. Because Chicago is faster on the backend with the epic crowd and high potential for wind, you should be patient until 18 to start reducing pace.
- Kick for the photo finish. With less than 200 meters to go, find a runner in eyeshot and hit the gas to catch them. Chicago has an iconic photo finish and you'll want to finish on empty in epic fashion.
- Create boundaries. This is a pre-race bit of advice. Pick and choose your events wisely. Marathon weekend is exciting, but you're here to run a great race first and foremost. Ensure you give yourself cutoff times so you're staying off your feet, resting, and prioritizing nutrition and hydration.
Best of luck out there! We'll be screaming for ya.