I Won The Chicago Marathon Lottery!

I’m in! I won the lottery! The special lottery where you PAY money instead of receive it – the lottery for entry to the 2017 40th Anniversary Chicago Marathon! And in an even bigger surprise, my running partner also got in! What are the chances?! It’s been a pretty eventful morning, ending with me going to confession.

The chances of getting in the Chicago Lottery were said to be about 64% ever since they went to lottery in 2014. I wrote about all the top marathon lotteries here. But this year being the 40th anniversary of the Chicago Marathon, I thought it might be a little harder to get through. The numbers are not out yet but I’ll post them when they are.

So I hadn’t exactly told anyone I had entered the lottery. And by “anyone” I mean my better half. I honestly didn’t expect to get in. It was sort of a last minute (and peer pressured) decision in the first place. Why talk about it if I might not even get in? My plan was to enter the lottery and forget about it.

Only my run partner could not let me forget about it. I think I got a daily text with a “10 DAYS TIL LOTTERY IS ANNOUNCED!!!… 9 DAYS TIL LOTTERY IS ANNOUNCED!!…8 Days!!!…” message for the past month. 🙂  I wanted to be that excited too but I also didn’t want my hopes to be dashed.

Cut to this morning. A 6am text from my run partner saying that people were already getting their confirmation emails and to check mine. I went to check and there was an email from Chicago Marathon. Typical me, I thought, well maybe they send everyone emails and mine will say, “Sorry, you haven’t been selected, but we just wanted to let you know!” Nope, it was a congratulations-you’re-in email… Only my friend hadn’t gotten one. All of a sudden this was not a good thing. I was ok with the scenario of her getting in but not me. I’d still train with her. It would be fine. But me getting in and not her? I wasn’t as keen about going this alone.

Chicago Marathon

I can’t believe I’m running this!! So excited!!

Three lonnnnnnng minutes later, her email arrived! She had been checking for the past hour. It was all settled! We were headed to Chicago next October. And in one of the reasons I like my run partner so much, she immediately set off to book our hotel near the start line. Whew! That’s when it all starts getting real by the way. The confirmation email didn’t do it for me. It was the fact that I already had my name on a pillow somewhere in downtown Chicago next year. Wow. It’s still taking a while to sink in.

My husband handled it pretty well. I started my confession with about 50 comments to the effect of:

“Let me just say, I didn’t expect this to happen…” —– “There was really no point in mentioning this before now…” —- “You know how we were just talking about needing to plan more fun things throughout the year instead of focusing so much on work?…”

I think everyone with young kids can understand what I’m talking about here. You don’t just go book a trip across the country for the middle of the school year without running it by your spouse. But, now that he knows, he’s excited to go with me! I don’t think he realizes that it’s perpetually 60 degrees colder in Chicago than south Florida, but no need to go into all of that now, right? It’s going to be fun!! I love Chicago!!… well I loved those 20 seconds I saw of O’Hare before I was shipped to boot camp a million years ago, but still. I am GOING to love Chicago I am sure! My run partner already ran Chicago a couple of times. It will be nice to have someone who already knows their way around the expo and the start line.

Well that’s it. I’m in! I guess I better start training. I have spent this past season eating Zebra Cakes when I wasn’t sick and chugging NyQuil. My run partner, on the other hand, just finished a half marathon last weekend. I’m going to send her a box of Zebra Cakes and tell her to chill through the holidays and let me catch up to her! This is so crazy… I’M RUNNING THE CHICAGO MARATHON!!!

Are you running Chicago this year? Did you enter the lottery? Have you ever run Chicago? What did you think?


5 responses to “I Won The Chicago Marathon Lottery!

  1. That last part about sending your run partner zebra cakes so they could chill made me literally “LOL.” I’m running a half this weekend. Do you think you could send me zebra cakes? 😛


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