This year the Chicago marathon celebrated its 40th anniversary. There were about 45,000 runners at the start on October 8th, 2017. My father, Dmytro Lebedev, pre-qualified, applied and got accepted to run almost year ago. A few weeks before the start, he arrived to New York to acclimatize and train for the few final times. He enjoyed running at Central Park immensely! Cunningham Park and Oaks alley are another two of his favorite places he’s familiar with from previous visits.
All my family, Alakananda and Atandra, gathered in Chicago to support my father few days prior to the start of the marathon. Lakeview running trail along Lake Michigan became another awesome discovery for him.
Overall he was in great shape. I tried to strengthen him with tested vitamins and nutrition support to give him maximum performance on race day. I noticed that his speed workouts were generally slower than before, but still amazing for a 76 year old athlete.
On marathon day, all my family wore special “Team Lebedev” t-shirts we printed for support of Alakananda’s first marathon. We took a group picture and sent my father to the starting line along with the fastest runners. The weather was quite good, 13C at the time of the start, and then climbed up to 23C. However, the rain the night before increased humidity. Therefore, many of the athletes were pretty wet even after just a few miles of running.
We saw my father a few times during the race. He had a confident flow. Just before the half way point, I ran a few hundred meters with him and was surprised that he was almost completely dry – what a good sign! Nevertheless, I gave him a salt pill for the toughest part of the race ahead.
We were tracking him through the Chicago marathon app – he was running with a good, consistent pace (around 7:55 min/mile) (4:55 min/km). Just after 35K mark, he decreased speed a little. Then we saw him mere 200 meters before the finish – he was almost on autopilot, but still looking steady. Finish time – 3:31:07!
He was first in his age group 75-59! The second runner in this group finished a whole hour later! He was happy and very pleased with an outstanding level of organization, service and support. This was his second Marathon Major after Berlin, that we ran together in 2002. (back in 2002, he overtook me with the time of 2:53)
www.chicagomarathon.com — official website