Despite the fact that the Chicago Marathon is now owned and operated by a new host (as Bank of America bought LaSalle Bank) the tune still hasnt changed. Race officials are suggesting that requiring all entrants to run a 1/2 Marathon prior to participating in the Chicago Marathon. According to a Chicago Tribune article, this would "give some first-time racers a small taste of what it takes to get through a 26.2-mile marathon".
We still have never seen any sort or apology or acceptance of any blame for last years fiasco. And now as the next event approaches it seems they are again trying to insinuate that any runner who encounters challenges must be "inexperienced". I can tell you I was almost one of the many who passed out from dehydration last year - and not only did I do all of my training runs, wear proper gear, and drink water (when they actually had it available), but I also participated in several races leading up to the Chicago Marathon. This includes a 1/2 marathon. So whats the excuse now? I'd love to see how many people who did the Chicago Marathon actually HAVE done a 1/2 prior to the big event. I know that most local training programs highly suggest a 1/2 as part of the training, especially for new runners - and if you dont want to race in a 1/2 they often suggest that you do some race at least to get racing experience.
I thought my fury over last year was over, but this article really brought up all the anger once again. I honestly cant believe that the "novice runner" excuse is still mentioned. Lets see some data, and then maybe I will believe it. How many of the total participants were 1st time marathoners? Out of that group, how many had never run an official race prior to that date? Out of those who actually got to finish - how many of them were 1st timers? How many had run prior events? Give us some numbers instead of all of your hot air and then lets see the real truth behind the matter.