Packet pick-up was early before the race which was convenient for me since I was driving from Grayslake, which is close to Wisconsin. My name was on the list, I got my packet and I headed back to my car with 30 minutes to spare until the start of the race. I took my shirt out, had 5k and 13.1 on it. I thought this was odd since there was no 5k that day and I was running 26.2. Whatever, I don't really care about race shirts, they end up being training shirts anyway. I put my bib on, the timing tag on my shoe and debated on taking my hydration pack. Find out later why I'm so glad I did.
With everyone milling around the start line, around 8:05 the director came with a bull horn encouraging everyone to get to the start line which was just a red tape across the parking lot. We had a moment of silence for an officer that was killed in the line of duty.
Off we went at the sound of the air horn. I could really tell this was gonna be s bad race. It was a late start for a full, 8am, and on a day that was supposed to reach 80 degrees. My first 10 miles went really well. I was fairly evenly paced, water stations were plenty and had lots of Gatorade and water. Unfortunately that's where the good support ended.
Since I had taken my hydration pack I was okay. I had watered down Gatorade which I think came in handy. The course got kind of confusing in places where we dipped into neighborhoods and back out. Then had to do it on the way back too. Signage could definitely have used some work. Thankfully there was a saint at mile 21 with cold water bottles. It was at an out and back so I ended up one on the way in and one on the way out. Whoever you are. Thank you!
My muscles started really cramping bad at mile 12. I sort of run/walked the next 4-5 miles and walked the rest trying short burst of running.