The fourth World Marathon Major is on the horizon and we thought we'd catch up with Claire who is flying over the pond to take part in the Chicago Marathon 2018!
Which world major are you running in?
I'm running the Chicago Marathon this year. We booked a holiday a couple of years ago to New York which happened to be across the same weekend as the marathon so I did the 5k the day before. That was incredible so I can't wait to see what it's like to run a full marathon in the States!
You’ve done two other World Marathon Majors so far - which ones have you completed and how did you find them?
I did Berlin in September 2017 and London this year. Berlin was amazing! My training went really well and race day was perfect. The weather was just how I like it - a bit chilly and drizzly rain throughout the day. Getting to run round Berlin was something I'll never forget and I managed a 28 minute PB.
London was another race I'll never forget but for very different reasons. The heatwave that hit a couple of weeks before race day wasn't ideal and running in 24 degree heat when you've trained in ice and snow is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I was 45 minutes outside of my target time so I have unfinished business with the London Marathon!
When do you hope to complete the set?
I set myself a target of 6 in 6 years or 6 before I turn 40 (I'm currently 32). By the time I run Chicago I will have completed 3 in just over a year so I'm well on target to hit my goal.
What made you want to run this race this year?
I didn't really have an order that I wanted to do the Majors in so it was a case of whichever ballot opened first. After I had run Berlin, that ballot happened to be Chicago so I entered it. I think Chicago and New York will both be ballot races but I may go through a travel provider for Tokyo and Boston as they're harder to get into.
How easy was it to get a space in the race?
Very! I have been very lucky in getting spaces through a ballot for the majors so far. I got into both Berlin and Chicago the first time I entered the ballot. Getting an email saying that I had been allocated a space for Chicago was a completely unexpected but lovely surprise!
When did your training start? How has it gone so far?
I started my training in June. I usually complete a 16 week training plan in the lead up to a marathon to give me enough time to prepare for race day. It's been a bit of a slog so far because of the weather. We've had a hotter than usual summer so I've had to do some very early runs to avoid the heat. Training for an autumn marathon is hard work!
What are your expectations for the race?
I'm not entirely sure what to expect as I've never travelled that far for a race before but I'm aiming for a sub 5:30. I wanted a sub 5:30 in London but it wasn't to be that day so I'm hoping the weather in Chicago will be nicer. I ran a PB at 5:37 in Berlin so I just need to knock those 7 minutes off.
Have you thought about your race kit yet?
I found the best shorts over the summer so I'll be running in a pair of those no matter what the weather is like. I think I want a top with my name on it this time - I ran in a plain vest for Berlin and a Wonder Woman costume for London so both times I had no one shouting my name! I'd love that support this round.
How do you think you’ll feel once you complete it? What does a celebration look like for you after running 26.2?
Tired! I recently worked out that, once I run Chicago, I will have been marathon training for 12 months out of the last 18. It will be my third major in just over a year so I think I'll take a break from long distance running once race day is over (until the ballot of New York opens next year of course!).
Celebrating involves a glass of prosecco or two, a take away and some sightseeing. We went to the zoo in Berlin so we're planning on doing the same in Chicago so it may become a tradition for us.
HUGE good luck wishes to Claire and we'll have our eyes peeled to follow how she gets on in Chicago!
You can follow Claire here:
Instagram - @clairesmarathonmusings
World Marathon Majors 2018
If you missed us catching up with Mike who took on the Tokyo marathon earlier this year, then you can catch up here - World Marathon Majors - Tokyo 2018
Becs was getting ready for the London Marathon on 22nd April and you can read her progress here - World Marathon Majors - London 2018
Happy running you all!