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I ran Chicago with a well-trained Anthony and a less prepared Janice. My marathon readiness fell somewhere in between and we agreed to stay together. We would walk if we must, but above all we were going to finish and finish smiling.

Before relocating to Chicago for work, Janice was my 5:45am wakeup call. I would run down Adam Clayton Boulevard in the dark of morning, entering the top of Central Park, then down the west side, slowing my pace around the w80’s until I found her. Our morning run took us down the west side, turning at the 72nd Street transverse then up the east side. We always turned at the E102nd street transverse where we spent our final quarter mile buttoning up loose ends to stories not yet finished. I would then turn up the west side retracing my earlier steps, running back to 125th Street, stopping my Garmin to grab a Starbucks and Rachel’s too, if she was still home. The run in total was 7 miles and it was great. And then she moved to Chicago and my routine moved with her.

I had run with Anthony on and off since we met, nothing concrete. If we saw each other at the start of a race, we ran together. I didn’t plan to run with him at the 2011 Pride Run when I walked to the corrals wearing Rachel’s engagement ring tied around my neck, but seeing him calmed me down and got me excited all at once. We ran the race together and chatted up how the proposal was going to happen. How when I saw her cheering near the finish line, I would stop and ask her to be my wife and how he would take photos using my phone to capture the event. Ever since then, we’ve been pretty dependable running partners. I almost don’t remember, which race earned us our name, but one of our teammates with a knack for melding partners’ names, christened us as a running pair on Facebook and ever since, we have been SANDTHONY. We ran the NYC Marathon together, my first ultra (formerly Knickerbocker 60K), his first trail run (Bear Mountain Half) and many countless long runs in between. We’ve never cancelled on each other and if it’s a really early start, I know I have to give him a call (not a text) to make sure he’s up.

In Chicago, we were JANSANDTHONY. Not the greatest name, but we couldn’t agree on anything better for our trio. It was a really great marathon. If you ever get the opportunity, I highly recommend it. A big city race with loads (and I mean loads) of spectators, but the field felt less crowded than NYC and except for having the charity runners corralled together too close to the front thus causing a lot of swerving to pass, it was really well done.

JANSANDTHONY gabbed the entire time, catching up on everything and anything. I loved every minute of it and it made me miss my morning runs with Janice.


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