On Monday at LaGuardia, it was Mike Ditka himself. He looked just like you'd expect, but he wasn't walking too good. I imagine it's from all the hits during his playing days. S. thinks it's from all the running!
On Thursday during a layover, in of all places, Dallas, I saw this guy in the airport when I got off my plane. He was in a wheelchair, and beside him was a racing wheel. When I got behind him, I glanced at the racing wheel and it had a race bib on it from NYC 2006!
I went up and started talking to him about NYC. He said he did "pretty good", and when I asked how he got in, he sheepishly said:
"Well, I uh, did uh, pretty well, and they uh, invited me".
He also mentioned that he's done around 30, yes, 30 marathons. The guy looked like he was 21 years old! I now wished we had talked more, but I had to get to my next flight. I made a mental note to look him up based on his race bib (W12), and this is what I found ... Tyler Byers, professional athlete, 9th place NYC 06, USA Paralympic Team. Pretty cool, huh?
The rest of the week was uneventful. I intended to run during the middle of the week in Jacksonville, but I didn't manage to do so until Friday morning in Chicago. I was up until about 2:00 am working, but I hit the pavement at 7:00 am for my run. I had picked a hotel right along Lake Michigan but didn't have a firm route planned. Following Josh's suggestion, I took the 4 mile loop around Grant Park, along Lake Michigan, the Shedd Aquarium, the Alder Planetarium, and Soldier Field.
It was a great run. On one side, traffic, buildings, people; you could hear and feel the hum of the city starting to wake up. On the other, complete peace, openness, water, sky, clouds, solitude, and duck shit.