WINNER … Michelob Ultra 13.1 Chicago

Lots of excitement over the giveaway for the Michelob Ultra Chicago 13.1 race entry!  This is a great race and I can see that all of you love it as much as I do, so let’s pick a winner!


The random number generator selected #34.


Number 34 is Kari Routledge!


Congrats, Kari!  I know you will enjoy 13.1 Chicago!  Email me as soon as possible at so that we can get you registered!  Then get ready to run on June 7th!

For all of the rest of us, go HERE to register. 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

13.1 Marathon Chicago

This was the first year that 13.1 Chicago fit into my schedule.  I’ve always wanted to run this race and ran the Miami Beach version in 2012 but this hometown race just never worked out until now. 


My first impression was not a pleasant one.  Packet pick-up was in Chicago, one location, limited pick-up times, high traffic area, no parking.  I was one “hot” momma by the time I drove around Old Town for 40 minutes with my kiddos, tried to park in a garage that was full, then settled on parking illegally to run in while also dragging my kids and grab the packets for myself and my friends.  Logistical nightmare for the non-Chicago runners.    Fortunately, once inside the pick-up was organized and smooth and I was in and out before Chicago PD towed my car.  The goodie bag was a virtual one to save on paper, but we had to physically pick up our bib & shirt.  The shirt was a Helium brand, gender specific sizing which ran small.  They also gave us a nylon backpack. 

13.1 Chicago_swag

The race itself was at the South Shore Cultural Center on 71st Street on Chicago’s Southside.  Parking was limited and the event offered and highly recommended the free shuttle service for all participants and spectators.  Win!

Pre-race I met up with my fellow FNRC runners and a few Chicago Running Bloggers.  There weren’t many bloggy friends this time around since this event is on the same day as the finish of Ragnar Chicago.  From left:  Emily (Out and About),  Eric (This Hobbit Runs), Chris (My Kind of Run), and myself.

13.1 Chicago_bloggers

The race started at 7am on the dot, sending off the first of many corrals.  Each corral was separated by about 30 seconds to help crowding on the course.  I was in Corral C and probably should have been back one or two more since I’m not really race ready as of yet.  I wasn’t at all crowded but certainly not running the same speed as my corral mates.  My focus for this race was to be controlled the entire time, not go too fast and not die at the end.  This was basically another training run for me.  I want to be able to run well on tired legs.  The 40 miles I biked on Friday morning pretty much delivered those tired legs and it was my job to run on them and prep for the Racine 70.3 next month.

I anticipated this course being very crowded because the entire race was on either the lakefront path or running/walking paths through Jackson Park.  However, it really wasn’t bad.  Possibly because I was toward the front.  Possibly because I wasn’t trying for any speed record.  Possibly because I was just happy to be there, to be running and enjoying the day.  We had good temps which were in the mid 60s throughout the race.  Then the course was shaded in many spots, thru the park and also on the lakefront path.  The view of the city from the south was breathtaking and the out and back course provided distraction as I watched for my fast friends.  I even had a surprise around mile 5 seeing another bloggy friend, Xaarlin (Pain is Nothing),  who was kind enough to come spectate and take a few photos!  The good part about seeing her on the way out was knowing that she was there on the way back so I was “ready”  when she pulled out the camera.  Smile

13.1 Chicago_me running

This is a good race.  Great location which is also unique to the Chicago “racing” scene.  Great scenery.  On course entertainment.  Aid stations spaced probably 1.5 miles apart which offered water and a sport drink.  Lots of potties.  Lots of smiling faces from volunteers, fast friends who are in front of you and heading toward the finish, fast friends who start behind you and then pass you (thanks, Eric!) and from those friends behind in the later corrals.  Running to me is a social event.  I don’t listen to music, I listen to what is going on around me.  The more people I see on course, the better the race is for me.  I LOVED 13.1 Chicago and loved high fiving my friends as we passed on the out and back!!

As a side note, the last 5K of a half marathon is always a drag.  If I’m feeling good then this is the time to pick it up and make up some time from dogging it in mile 8 & 9 but normally speaking, I just try not to slip too far like I did at Sunburst and destroy my finish.  However this time, I did something different.  In addition to wearing red, white & blue in honor of some of my F’N Running friends who were running Ragnar with the American “Sweat”hearts, I also went Ragnar style from mile 10-13 and counted my “kills”.  Yep, this is how I stayed focused in an attempt to keep from falling off pace, I counted every person I passed from mile 10 til the finish.  26 people. 

Consistent with 13.1 fashion, we finished on the beach.  The after party was in full swing by the time I arrived and the pizza and beer was flowing freely.   Now, that’s my kind of race:  Running, Friends, Beach Party & Beer!

Photo with my ladies who run EVERYWHERE.  You may remember seeing them in my race report last week from Sunburst in South Bend, IN.  Yep, they ran 13.1 Chicago too!  Myself, Carol, Nicole (who ran a 1:38 which was good for a new PR) & Heather.

13.1 Chicago_Carol Nicole Heather

More bloggy friends:  Pete (The Lakefront Trail), Nina (Run Dance Love) & Myself

13.1 Chicago_Pete & Nina

Then my F’N friends were kind enough to march out on the beach with me for a photo in front of the Chicago skyline!  Melissa, Nichole Z, Ken, Nicole F, myself & Maggie. 

13.1 Chicago_FNRC

Thumbs up for 13.1 Chicago!  I’d definitely run it again if my schedule cooperated!

Reminder – Don’t forget to enter my charity raffle HERE!

** Run 13.1 Chicago ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Winner – 13.1 Chicago


A winner has been drawn for the ever popular Allstate Life Insurance 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon on June 8, 2013.  The winning entry was #27.


And #27 was Nicole Zemaitis. 


Congrats, Nicole!  Email me at so that we can get you registered!

As for everyone else, there are a few other bloggers giving away entries.  I posted them on my facebook page last week but will link them up below so that you can go enter those giveaways as well.  And of course, if you don’t win, I still hope to see you out there.  You can register for the race HERE.  The current cost to register is $80 thru Friday, March 15th, then the price goes up to $85.

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Winner of Chicago Half Marathon Giveaway

A huge thank you to all of you who participated in the giveaway!  If you didn’t win this time, don’t be discourage, try again!  More goodies to come soon!

Chicago Half Giveaway

Congrats to  #3 – Annabelle W. for winning the free entry to the Chicago Half Marathon on September 9th.  Annabelle said that the race fees where bankrupting her and I think we all know how that feels!

Please email me at for further details.

If you haven’t signed up for this race yet, consider doing it soon.  It’s a great race!  Plus, if you ran the 13.1 Chicago and also complete this race then you will receive a special Windy City Challenge medal for your awesome efforts!

Windy City Challenge:image

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Perfect Running Weather….

This week has been good weather for running with temps in the low 50s.  Last night I had to get started a little early so that I could knock out the Jelly Bean Virtual Race Half Marathon for Run with Jess, which I am considering a “challenge” since I wanted to do all 4 events but am a “little” short on time this week.  When I hit the trail a little before 4pm, it was cool and there was a slight wind.  I had to seriously convince myself that it was “ok” to leave the jacket in the car!  I knew I would be warm within a mile or so and didn’t want to have to deal with something to carry or tie around my waist once I warmed up.

It was a beautiful afternoon and Old Plank Trail has really come alive over the last couple of weeks with budding trees/flowers everywhere.  I love you, Spring!

I even saw a new runner on the trail.  I wasn’t really sure how to treat him as I couldn’t identify a consistent pace……should I pass him, or will he pass me, or is he going to attack me?  I was cautious, to say the least, with my new “friend”.

Soon after I left Mr. P in the dust, I caught up with Susan D. who unknowingly was signing on for a rather quick 10 mile run with Ms. TooTall.  Thanks Susan for helping me complete the Jelly Bean Half!

We caught up on life and crushed some miles before picking up the rest of the Wednesday Night F’N Runners.  I asked them to stare into the sun stand by the lilacs for the photo since I’m in love with Spring.  🙂  From left:  Cathie, April, Nicole, Susan, Kathy & Me.  Wayne is “manning” the camera, apparently he was the only guy who wasn’t afraid of the peacock felt confident enough to run with us F’N chicks.

It was just one of those perfect runs.  Everything was right:  the weather, the company, my legs were fresh since Aby had track meets all week and it was a great run.  We took a few small water breaks but basically just kept pumping out the miles.  The goal was to go sub 9 for every mile and other than the peacock photos 2nd mile and one 9:03, all the splits were well below 9 minutes miles.  We finished the 13.1 in 1:54:35 and for a Wednesday night, running a Jelly Bean-Old Plank Half, that’s pretty darn good.  Thanks Susan for helping me slug out those miles!

Have you done any random, non-supported half marathons that were not part of a training plan?  How did it go?  Was it hard to push without the adrenaline of race day?  We certainly didn’t run all out but this was faster than a normal Wednesday night jaunt on Old Plank.

If there is anyone left who has not already registered, or won a free entry, to the 13.1  Chicago on June 9th, they are offering the TTF readers a $5 off discount on registration through April 22nd.  Use the code:  131BLG5

Last point of business, the PunkeeLove Headband Giveaway goes til Monday morning.

Happy Running,                                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz

13.1 Race Entry Winner!

The winner for the 13.1 Chicago Race Registration is #115, Joe DeMarco!  Congratulations Joe!  Contact me at so I can get your information and send it to 13.1.

Good luck to Joe and all of the rest of you running 13.1 Chicago!  I’ll see you on course next year!

Happy Running,                                                                                                           Amanda –                                                             

13.1 Chicago – Race Entry Giveaway!

I am sooo excited to announce that I have free race entry to giveaway for the 13.1 Chicago event on June 9, 2012! 

Coming off the recent 13.1 Miami Beach race (recap HERE) makes this that much more exciting for me and I am super envious that I will not be hitting the pavement with you on June 9th!

This is a very unique race for the CHI as it does not go through the loop or the same tired section of the Lake Front running path that you may have run a million times in recent races.  THIS race according to the website:  starts and finishes at the Historic South Shore Cultural Center (SSCC) on Chicago’s south side. The SSCC offers beautiful views of both Lake Michigan and the Chicago Skyline and has hosted many notable events, including the wedding reception of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The 13.1 mile course takes you along the Lake front Path past La Rabida Hospital. After passing the hospital, you will run through Jackson Park, home of the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, the Osaka Japanese Garden, a strolling garden on Wooden Island. You will then pass the Museum of Science & Industry, the only original building remaining from the 1893 Columbian Exposition, and one of the largest science museums in the world. You will then head back to the Lakefront Path to almost 35th Street before heading back south, past the 63rd Street Beach House and finishing at the SSCC. This course is 13.1 miles of perfect Windy City experience.

This is a  totally different race experience than what you normally get in Chicago and I will definitely be out there with you next year!

So if you would like a chance to win a free entry to the 13.1 Chicago 2012 race, an $80 value, you probably already know what to do but here are the hoops through which you will need to jump:

  • Become a follower of this blog  (click on the +Follower button at the bottom or top of the page) – 1 entry
  • Become a Facebook fan of TooTallFritz – 1 entry
  • Become a Facebook fan of 13.1 Marathon Series – 1 entry
  • Link this post up to your Facebook page and announce the giveaway to your friends – 3 entries
  • Link up this post up to your blog and announce the giveaway to your followers – 5 entries
  • Agree to do a Guest Race Review of the 13.1 Chicago for the TooTallFritz blog after the race (if you win the free entry) – 4 entries

After you have done some/all of the above, please leave a comment in the comments section below and tell me what you have done and how many entries to assign you (max of 15).   If you are already a follower and a TooTallFritz Facebook fan, that is 2 free entries for you, just let me know that you would like to be entered in the drawing!  I will randomly generate a winner via a Random Number Generator on Monday, March 26th at 9 am.

And for all of you running the 13.1 Chicago, feel free to enjoy the after party, then head to North Beach to cheer in the Madison to Chicago Ragnar Relay teams.  That’s where I’ll be….. running it in with the Ultra Team (You Just Got) Chicked!  See you next year, 13.1 Chicago!

Good Luck,                                                                                                               Amanda – TooTallFritz