Last year, Robert Cheruiyot won the Chicago Marathon in the most painful, humiliating way possible. The 2007 version of the race, held this past weekend, had even more troubles.
Like the rest of the planet this godforsaken, sweltering month, it's freaking hot in Chicago, and apparently the race organizers didn't have nearly enough water. One man, the father of three, died.
All told, ambulances were called to help more than 300 runners as temperatures reached a record 87 degrees. Besides Schieber's death, at least five runners were in serious to critical condition at area hospitals Sunday night.
Runners toward the back of the pack complained of water tables being flipped over and stacked at mile 2 — a complaint organizers disputed. In Lincoln Park, runners drank water from a decorative fountain, a participant reported. Other runners said they phoned friends and asked them to bring them water on the route. Some stopped at gas stations to buy their own.
It turned out being one of the slower marathons in years, and a third of the racers didn't even finish. Last year, winners crashing at the finish line, this year people desperate for water ... next year, we're fully expecting someone to drive alongside the racers, whacking them with a shovel.