Friday mid-morning, we took the “L” (train) to downtown Chicago to check out the starting line and walk around Millennium Park playing around with the famous Cloud Gate aka the ‘Bean’. This sculpture looks like a giant drop of liquid mercury, and its mirrored surface offers an amazing reflection of the city skyline, especially on a bright, clear day. We walked underneath the Cloud Gate, which is very concave and we acted like kids enjoying the fun house mirror effect that this creates.
Dustin, Amanda and I met up with Steph and Jamie and the 5 five of us were off to catch the free shuttle bus to the Health and Fitness Expo held at the McCormick Place Convention Center. The convention center is huge and even though there were a lot of people there was still plenty of room to walk around and it wasn’t that crowded.
The expo was really efficient. The first thing we did was pick up our bib number, with our d-tag on the back (the tag you put on your shoe that times you). After getting the number we headed to get our race bag and T-shirts, of which I wasn’t too much of a big fan as I wish it was long sleeve.
Near the Nike booth there was a big wall of everyone’s name who had registered for the race. They were clearly a hug sponsor of the marathon because #OwnChicago (their slogan) was everywhere and their booth was huge in compare to the others.
Obviously I had to find my name, and Dustin found mine and Amanda in no time!
Also, Nike had a really cool wall that you could scan your number and your name would appear with “Natascia Owns 26.2” or “Natascia Owns Chicago.” I actually waited ( and Dustin had too) in a line to get this silly picture that I absolutely love. So glad I did that…thanks amore mio for being so amazing!!
We also run into the Spirit of the Marathon Movie Booth. I knew from their facebook page that a “Spirit of the Marathon II” movie that is filmed in Rome (yay) will be coming out in March 2013! I had a blast chatting with the spit fire Producer Gwendolen Twist and we also had the chance to meet Jerry, one of the six marathon runners that is feature in the movie. Since I actually don’t own the movie Dustin bought it for me and I got it signed by Gwendolen, Jerry and the Director.
Dustin also run away (literally) for few minutes and came back with a little pre-birthday gift. He gave me a MantraBANDS bracelet engraved with a Mantra (Live Love Run) on one side and inspirational words (Believe, Commitment, Strength and Joy) on the opposite side. It had red accent strings and this is now my favorite bracelet I own!
Amanda and I found few other fun background to take photos with…
And this will be the 35th Chicago Marathon!
We were at the expo for about 3 hours!! When we were ready to go with hopped on the free shuttle. They had school buses set up to take people to three different locations downtown, and before we knew it we were off to the Red line train home.
That night Amanda (who is an amazing cook) cooked us a delicious Zucchini Pasta and a Strawberry, Avocado, Dry Cherries, lettuce and Cucumber Salad. DELICIOUS!!!