It's a beautiful September day in Chicago. The sun is shining in a beautiful blue sky. And Team ZIP shone brightly this morning in our first official team outing -- the Chicago Half Marathon. Eight beef lovers began the run at 8:30 a.m. this morning and eight of us finished the 13.1-mile course along Chicago's famous Lake Shore Drive. Congratulations to Shenoa French, Michaele Musel, JoDee George, Jessica Gordon, Bucky Gwartney, Caroline Junkin and Deanne Beard! And thanks to my wife, Leslie, who served as Team ZIP official photographer and cheerleader for the event.
Bucky (at left, shirtless) and I (at left in my new Team ZIP jersey) began the run together and finished together one hour and 56 minutes later -- 4 minutes under my goal of two hours! It was a personal best for me (by almost 13 minutes!), but not for Bucky, who's personal best (1:46) came earlier this year in the Sandhills Half Marathon in Valentine, Nebraska -- his first! Bucky and I have both run three half marathons in our lifetimes...all this summer! We both felt good about our average pace of 8:44/mile (according to my new Forerunner 305 wrist-mounted GPS navigator).
JoDee, Shenoa and Michaele (at left) started together and finished within a few minutes of each other. This was Shenoa and Michaele's first half marathon. Both trained hard and were glad when it was all over! Shenoa's friend and formerr swimming coach, Deanne, ran a strong race -- her third half marathon this summer.
[At left: Caroline cruises along mid-way through the race; Below left: Jessica catches her breath moments after crossing the finish line]
I was proud of everyone on the team. We all finshed the race while spreading the word that beef gives you ZIP -- zinc, iron and protein -- the stuff your body needs to strenghten and sustain you through a 13.1-mile run!
National Beef Cook-Off in Chicago. Stay tuned for pictures from the Cook-Off later this week!