DIY Marathon: Walking 26.2 Miles in Chicago

(Update! We made the news for our adventure! Read about it here on DNA Info.)

The idea was born in San Francisco. We walked from Hotel Triton in Union Square, where we were staying, to the Mission District, in search of the best taco (La Taqueria, hands down), and then we just kept walking. Neil had upgraded his phone and it came with a pedometer, so it was the first time in all of our travels that we became aware of the miles we covered. By the time we collapsed, exhausted, in to the grass of Golden Gate park, we’d hit 16 miles. Debating between walking the three miles or so back to the hotel or grabbing a cab, we opted for the three, so that we could hit an impressive 19 that day. Realizing that marathon distance was within reach, we decided when we got home to Chicago we should do the same thing in our city, only tack on the additional 7 miles for a clean 26.2. The idea resurfaced with the excitement leading up to the Chicago marathon. Catching a whiff of marathon fever, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and, yesterday, walked 26.2 miles (and a few more steps, if you count the dog walks that preceded and followed). We started from our apartment in Roscoe Village, headed to Halsted and made our way through Boy’s Town, Lincoln Park, the West Loop, Greektown, Little Italy and our southern terminus, Pilsen, where an art walk was going on. We saw some great art, ate some less-than-great Mexican food and headed back north, through West Town (we made a quick visit to Alcala’s Western Wear to check out the vaquero gear), Logan Square, Albany Park, Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Southport and, eventually, home. The conclusion: Holy hell. 26.2 miles is a lot to cover! Even just walking, it hurts! But it was an incredible way to see the city. We’ve explored in the past on bikes and going on jogs, but nothing beats walking to really take everything in. And the fact that we had no exact route to stick to gave us the leeway to peek up alleys, into shops and galleries, check out restaurants (and pie bakeries), admire churches, meander through college and medical campuses and see a dozen vantage points of Willis Tower along the way. First, here are the many faces of Willis:

Here’s Neil’s view on the adventure. And here are some of my own favorites:

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One thought on “DIY Marathon: Walking 26.2 Miles in Chicago

  1. Running the marathon is a great way to see the city, so walking the same distance would be as well! 🙂 My fave spot for Mexican in Pilsen is La Vaca. Also, Uzma Sharif’s chocolates are ah-mazing.

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