It’s true my superfan and I headed to Chicago specifically for the marathon. However, that only took up a brief 3 hours 16 minutes and 29 seconds. The other 57 hours were chock-full of eating, walking, and VWing all around Chicago. Here’s a brief history of our weekend in the Windy City. I’ll break it down into two logical sections.
Section 1: Doughnuts
Yes, the first section is Doughnuts. The moment we landed at O’Hare I checked Twitter to get the status of Doughnut Vault‘s supply of doughnuts. You see, they open at 8:30am and close when they sell out and they do a phenomenal job of keeping the public informed of what’s left. On Ev’s last visit to Chi-town she was introduced to DV and raved of their “best doughnuts ever” status in her book. With this in mind, not wanting to go without something so highly-touted, I live-tweeted our location to Doughnut Vault from plane to train to street, pleading with them to save me at least one doughnut. Although they didn’t save them specifically for me, they were not sold out of everything. To make the most of it, we got two massive doughnuts — one Chocolate and one Chestnut.
Not to be outdone by Friday, Saturday’s to-do list included another trip to Doughnut Vault. Because the vault is barely 6 feet by 6 feet, Ev went in this time to order. This time we were able to procure the much-acclaimed Old Fashioned. However, in classic Ev style, she also came out with a Gingerbread Stack and the special of the day, Blueberry. The Stack is actually 3 normal-size doughnuts, so we really had 5 doughnuts ranging in size from normal to tractor tire. The Blueberry reminded us of an inside out jelly doughnut. The Gingerbread was a warm, spicy ring of goodness. The Old Fashioned, though, was king in all of its lopsided glory. One of the best donuts I’ve ever had, no question.
Section 2: Team VW
The driving force getting us to Chicago in the first place was Team VW. Wearing my awesome Team VW / Nike running shirt we were instructed to meet up at the marathon expo for a group photo and to meet a special guest. It turns out the special guest wasn’t me, but was in fact Dean Karnazes. As in, the guy who ran across America, the guy who has run the Badwater Ultra Marathon 10 times, the guy who ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Yea, he’s logged a few miles. Anyway, Team VW got a special 16-on-1 time with the man himself. We took some super awkward pictures like “ok, on this one, everyone jump!” and “pretend like you’re running at the camera, but don’t move”.
I did get my 3 minutes of alone time with Dean where I had him sign my novelty 2011 Team VW bib. He made small talk asking what number marathon this would be for me. I’m pleased to announce I caught him off guard when I said it was my eleventh. He gave a sideways look at me and asked how old I was and was impressed with what he heard. Felt pretty good after that. By the way, I had an image of Dean in my head of him being like 6’3″ and a mountain of a man and reserved. Turns out he’s more compact, bursting with energy and super enthusiastic.
By the way, after the race we checked out of our hotel and headed over to Lou Malnati’s for some authentic deep dish pizza. It wasn’t as visually impressive as I imagined, but it was as tasty as I had hoped!