On December 12th on my way to a holiday breakfast at work, my email chimed with the following note:
Congratulations! Your application for an entry to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been selected. Log into your participant account to manage your events, update your personal settings, buy products and much more!
Your entry is valid for your participation only in the 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and cannot be transferred. Your entry fee cannot be refunded.
Thus began a ten month journey to get to the start line of yet another marathon, in a city where I'd never been, for a race distance I swore to myself I'd never run again. What could go wrong? At this point, nothing... I hope.
February 11, 2020
It’s on. We booked our hotel and flights last night. Non-refundable. No looking back.
Backup: yeah, two month after I rolled lucky in the race lottery we’re just now booking flights. Right. That’s correct. ‘Cause in my head I was pondering the possibility that this was a great big maybe on the race roster. Back in December the value proposition for a weekend in Chicago, flights and folly for three people (the Kid will be a teenager, officially, by then) was scoping somewhere around holy crap and #wtf. Marathon weekend room rates were looking to set us back triple the rack rate, and flights were unjustifiably expensive or multi-day multi-leg layover marathons of a different sort. My marathon was looking to cost us net about twenty-five hundred shiny Canadian dollars per day.
Fast forward. Pica and Lucas (also entered) were considering a Plan B for me where I brought a sleeping bag or stowed away in their luggage. Consequently we dove a little deeper into Plan A last night, found a flight package with a-still-expensive but slightly-better-value-prop, added a day to each end of the trip, and smoothed the math to a much more reasonable grand per day (plus DDP allowance.)
Long story short(er) the flights and hotels are locked, the race entry is paid, and the deal is done. Training seems a wee bit more official this morning.