Any Chicagoans who thought that the Olympics would actually take place here on the shores of Lake Michigoome in 2016 can kiss their hopes of renting out their houses for obscene amounts of money good bye.
Peter Ueberroth, who ran the LA games, dropped the first hint of bad news. He actually came to town a few weeks ago to let everybody know that after Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro, Chicago would be, for sure, their first choice to host the games. I guess not everybody is charmed by deep dish pizza. Maybe we should have topless thong beaches like Rio. And those "clubs" with "hostesses" like they do in Tokyo. Or a four hour nap every afternoon like Madrid.
Then, in a gesture that is starting to feel distinctly like the business end of a broom up my butt, the foobags that run the Chicago Marathon got out their hammers and completely closed the lid on even that possibility. I wouldn't want to say that the New York Marathon people were positively gleeful, but they sure couldn't wait to point out how that what we just went through would NEVER happen at their race.
All because Chicago couldn't handle a little change in the weather. It can drop twenty degrees in an hour here. In fact, it did last night. So, instead of going down, it went up twenty degrees. Is that so difficult to deal with? Last year the race folks worried about hypothermia because it was very chilly, like you might expect this time of year. But chilly is a good thing. Chicago is a great place to set marathon records because race day usually starts out in the thirties and the course is flat.
So what is it about a sudden turn for heat and humidity that made race officials here in Chi-town lose their bleeping minds? Hawaii has a marathon. Heck, Hawaii has an full ironman, and if you recall they have warm weather all year round.
Is there a reason why the dipshitzel race officials couldn't make a decision to start the race earlier, like say, at 5:00 AM, before the sun comes up and begins to bake everyone into a potato? That's what the hot weather folks who run races usually do. Beat the sun. It's not like a new idea.
No, that would be too easy. Instead the powers that be decided to announce the day before the race that they would provide other things like cooling buses, extra medical staff, fire hydrant sprays, and a million and a half cups of water.
I did the math. At four cups per person per mile, which is what it turned out to be, they were a million and a half cups short. So they ran out, at some stations, according to volunteers, within an hour of the start. After three and a half hours, one dead body, and three hundred emergency trips for medical attention, those in charge called a halt to everything. Regardless, some people finished anyway.
At first the race-o-crats tried to blame the water shortage on the runners. Then they admitted they didn't anticipate that the participants would pour cups of water over themselves and not just drink it. That's just stupid. Hello?!! It's hot. Everybody does that when it's hot.
After thirty years of running this race you'd think they'd have a better contingency plan in place.
Instead, we have a public relations nightmare. For the race. But mostly for the city.
The race will survive. But any chance Chicago had to host the Olympics is now officially over.