Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chicago Tragic Events Run

Over President's Day weekend, I decided to make a trip to Chicago to see my good friend Amy. As is my habit when I travel out of state, I looked on to see if there were any races that I could participate in so that I could cross another state off my race list. And I found one - a 5K through the streets of Chicago (with a running guide who gives a bit of history along the way). This 5K wasn't a typical race (in fact, we ran about 4 miles in 2 hours), but I did sign up for it on, and I do have a finisher's photo crossing the finish line, so I am gonna count it. :)

The run was wonderful, and I highly recommend it to runners and joggers everywhere who enjoy a good story and a little history. Apparently the run that I participated in - the Chicago Tragic Events Run - is only one of the events put on by City Running Tours (in one of the ten cities they host tours in). My tour guide's name was Marlin Keesler, and he was just wonderful. He knew the city well, had a great sense of humor, and endeared the heck out of our running party with his description about how he ran 50 marathons in 50 states to keep his family together. He also took some great pictures of us (which was included in the low tour price of about $30).

Below are our pictures and some information about the places I ran by. I hope you enjoy them.
Marlin and me.

"The Bean" (or "Cloud Gate") was our meeting place. It is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together.

As you can see, the Bean provides some amazing picture opps if you get there before the crowds (like we did).

Reading about the Eastland Disaster (a giant ship that sank right there in the middle of Chicago). 844 souls lost their lives at this location on July 24, 1915. Chicago's most tragic event in terms of life lost.

Running down Death Alley. 602 souls lost their lives on Wednesday, December 30th, 1903 during the showing of Mr. Bluebeard inside the Iroquios Theatre. Electric sparks from a bright light caught a curtain on fire. Within minutes the entire theatre was engulfed in flames.

Running by another famous Chicago landmark.

The Picasso Sculpture, the most famous of Chicago's many outdoor sculptures. From a website: "Greeted at first with catcalls, scorn and ridicule, the sculpture marked the beginning of Chicago's love affair with contemporary art."

Miro's Chicago. Amy says I was showing off. I disagree.

The beginning of Route 66.

Running down Route 66.

The end of Route 66...2448 miles from the start, and boy am I beat!

Two gals at the Manhattan Building.

Finishing our "5K" at the Bean, Millennium Park.

Of course, I couldn't get pictures of anything connected to the Great Chicago Fire, but I learned a lot about it. Apparently between 120-300 lives were lost in a blaze that covered 4 square miles and spread - in part - because of the methane under the wooden walkways (think raw sewage - eww!). Apparently not too long ago, the City of Chicago apologized to the O'Learys, as it was not their cow and lantern that started the fire.

I also learned about the Fort Dearborn Massacre and the Wingfoot Express Dirigible (blimp) crash, but I don't have pictures. Wonderful, tragic stories.

As you can tell, I had a memorable "race" in Chicago, with a finish time of just over two hours. Thanks, Marlin!



  1. Sounds like a great way to tour the city. Chicago looks like a great little town.

  2. What a fun way to see the city!

  3. Awesome photos and stories, Annie. Psh, showing off. If you've got it, flaunt it!