On Saturday, October 10, Charlie Dolan '23 accomplished an aspirational goal that he and his grandfather set for him. Charlie ran the Chicago Marathon. It was his first marathon, and he wanted to run a marathon while his grandfather could still appreciate his efforts and share in his accomplishment. He had to train for the marathon twice. The first time he set out to run the marathon was in 2020. He was 16 weeks into his 18-week training program when the race was canceled due to the pandemic. This summer, he did the full 18 weeks, so in a sense, he'd been training for this marathon for 18 months!
In Charlie's words, "I can say with complete confidence this was THE hardest thing I've ever done."
The most challenging part of the course for Charlie was the last 10 K (6.2 miles). He had surpassed the longest training run at this point in the race, and it was all new. The last few miles of a marathon are often where marathon runners describe hitting a wall. The body begins to burn, and often there can be muscle spasms and leg cramps. To add to the muscle discomfort, the race conditions were less than ideal with high temps and humidity. Many people dropped out of the race in the last ten miles.
"For the first 15-16 miles of the race, I knew I was going to do well, but for the last 10 miles, I really wasn't sure, to be honest," Charlie writes about his experience.
Not only did Charlie finish the race, but he finished with a time of 03:55:40 and some tears of joy. This time put him in tenth place in his age group. Charlie, congratulations on your impressive finish and your accomplishment!