We recently caught up with Caroline to find out what's driven her to fly across The Pond and take part in the Chicago Marathon, one of the 6 World Marathon Majors:
Which World Major are you taking part in?
I am taking part in Chicago and all that jazz!
Have you done any other World Majors in the past?
I have been lucky enough to run London 3 times now and did New York last year. So Chicago is going to be my 3rd star on the quest for all 6! I recently found out I have a place in Tokyo for 2020 as well.
What made you want to run this race this year?
I am now fully determined to get the 6 stars and run all of the World Marathon Majors. An added bonus that Chicago is a place that I have always wanted to visit, so I am going to be spending six nights in the city to make sure I have a chance to see everything as well as the running.
How easy was it to get a space in the race?
I managed to get a place via the ballot on first attempt, I have a lot of luck when it comes to the ballots for the races!
When did your training start and how has it gone?
With the different marathons I have now taken part in they all seem to fall around different times of year so training through the summer with big distances was certainly a new experience. But I made sure that I got plenty of miles in and the most important long runs, I even got up to a 22 miler this training cycle. For previous marathons I had only managed to get up to 20 miles during training. I had a fantastic Great North Run in September which is a forward step towards Chicago. As well as adding speed sessions to my training programme (thanks Anji) and also regularly attending parkrun.
What are your expectations for the race?
I am really hoping to eventually break the 4:30 barrier. This is my 6th marathon and it has been my goal for a while now. With the way my training has gone that should be more than achievable but I know sometimes things don’t go to plan. I am really looking forward to running in the US again as the crowds in New York were outstanding. I’m expecting the same in Chicago and the course is well known to be very flat. So hopefully my sub 4:30 dream will come true, I know I’ve put in a lot of miles and hard training plenty of 5:30am alarms!
Have you thought about your race kit yet?
Last year for New York I got a Union Jack vest and then ran London earlier this year so I just have to do it for Chicago as well. Has my name printed on it so that always helps when the crowd can shout your name along the course.
How do you think you'll feel once you've completed it and what will your celebration look like after running 26.2 miles?
I tend to just throw my arms up in the air or out the side when coming into the finish line. In terms of afterwards it has to be pizza and plenty of it, deep dish is what Chicago is well known for and after 26.2 miles will be more than deserving it!
Good luck to Caroline and we'll catch up with her after the event to find out how she got on!