2011 Chicago Half Marathon

I ride my bike around the city of Chicago as much as possible. Some routes pass through seedy industrial areas, other times I cruise 15 miles down the lakefront to work. Most of the time it’s me and a handful of joggers on the lakeshore bikepath, but occasionally I see fun things.

One day, en route to work, I passed by a church service doing some sort of rebirth along the 31st Street beach. I stopped for quite some time and just watched as, one by one, members of the congregation were walked into the water fully-clothed, given a prayer, and dunked under the surface of the lake. The entire time the church choir provided a fantastic soundtrack to the event.

And then, a few years back I happened upon the Chicago Half Marathon. The route comes as far north as 31st Street, so I caught just a bit of the runners as I made my way to work. That day, I took a few pictures on my iPhone but made a mental note to come back for more later. “Later” ended up being two years.

After double-checking the website, yesterday I grabbed my camera and headed out the door to work. (For the runners, it was a beautiful day to conquer 13.1 miles.)

While I was trolling the Chicago Half Marathon’s website to double-check the route, I noticed they had a photography contest; winner gets $150 and keeps their image’s copyright.  Since this is one of the few photography contests I’ve stumbled upon that doesn’t take everything — including the copyrights — I thought I’d enter. (I ended up finishing third.  The two pictures ahead of me featured a runner carrying the American flag for the entire run.)

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