Today I set out to capture shots of the 2012 Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon as runners made their way around Chicago and through the South Loop. This has become a fun Chicago tradition where the organizers set up stages at various locations along the course and up and coming bands show off their talent. This year's headliner was Cobra Starship and there were plenty of other bands that helped keep the runners motivated throughout the 13.1 mile race. I was made aware that the race was underway when the bands started playing at 7:15 AM and my windows started rattling. The course winds all around the city and shows some of the best views of Chicago. Below is a picture I took of the runners heading onto Lake Shore Drive and down the home stretch with Trump Tower in the distance.
I had a few friends running the race so I spent a good amount of time trying to look for them but as you can see below it was a sea of sneakers and running bibs. I managed to locate one of my friends thanks to Google Latitude but when I was searching for him at a later point in the race I missed him in the sea of runners. I was quite impressed by the diversity of the runners. I'm pretty sure every age group was well represented in the race and since the temperature was supposed to hit 85 degrees, I hope everyone crossed the finish line safely.
The Chicago Firefighters never cease to amaze me with their courage and commitment but watching this firefighter run 13.1 miles with all his gear on is down right impressive. Fighting 85 degree heat with multiple layers of clothing on and a full blown oxygen tank on his back, this firefighter made good time heading through the course.
And of course it's not the Rock and Roll Half Marathon without live music. Here is one of the bands at 18th Street right across from Soldier Field. I didn't catch their name but they were providing the runners with high energy music to keep them going from mile 12 to the finish line.
Even though I wasn't running in the 2012 Rock and Roll Half Marathon, it was good to be out in the crowd cheering on my friends and all the runners. I've been to a few of the races in Chicago and it's really great to see the community come out to support all the people running for their favorite causes. Who knows, maybe next year I'll put down my camera and pick up my running shoes.