Well we made it into Chicago last night just in time to go straight to a Hurricane Katrina benefit that just happened to be being held the same night we were there and we were invited. It was a neat event and there were a lot of people there, which was exciting to see. I met up with some great folks from Fleet Feet at the benefit who were all set to have folks out to run with me in the morning, and even got to see a contingent of alumni from Rhodes- great to see them too! We left the benefit after a few hours and as we were totally exhausted went straight to the hotel and just ate room service for dinner, which was actually really really good. After another short night sleep we were off and going again this morning. Made it to the start at 6 and there was a huge crowd of people there to greet me and see me off. Fleet Feet had sent out emails to most of the city it seems, and they had a great response- it was so fun to have a crowd of people at the beginning, and I think 5 people started the run with me, with people peeling off as miles clicked by, but it was so nice to have people that knew the course going with me. Fleet Feet even had 2 real live water stops set up for me along the course. I was anticipating the stops for traffic making for a pretty unpleasant run, but it turned out to be really great, and I was able to run along pretty smoothly, despite all the crosswalks. I'm excited to run the course again on race day someday. Kirsten jumped in with me around halfway, and went til 20 or so, then Eric jumped in and ran to the end with me. A really fun run, beautiful weather, and fun folks to run with! We got cleaned up, ate lunch and were off to St. Louis. The drive turned out to be 7 hours or so with massive traffic, road construction, and intense weather, but we made it here safely, and we're off to bed. Looking forward to a great run tomorrow!