Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Chicago Marathon

Chicago Marathon – Wikimedia Creative Commons – Steven Dahlman –

Yes, you read the title right: I won the Chicago Marathon lottery. When I think of lottery, I think of winning big, quitting your job, living it up so big that you eventually fall. It is like a perpetual life of being in Nomadic Samuel’s Top 100 travel blogs.

Chicago Marathon

Chicago Marathon – Wikimedia Creative Commons User:TonyTheTiger.

What did I exactly win you might ask? I won the right to pay $175.00 to run 26.2 miles in October, with a possibility of frothing at the mouth, fainting and convulsing, soiling my running shorts, and/or just plain dropping dead in front of millions of Chicagoans and people worldwide.

American Birkebeiner finish

You would have thought after 5 and a half hours of skiing I would be done with extreme fitness sports

After participating and beating my time by 23 minutes in the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski Marathon, I became emboldened to do more. I would not say running a marathon was ever on my bucket list, but I have always wanted to do one. I am in decent shape, so I figured now is a good time.

When I got home from Wisconsin, I eventually looked up the Lasalle Bank Chicago Marathon to see when the registration for this year began. I then read the interesting news that it began in February. There was such a demand for people wanting to race in the marathon that their server crashed with 15,000 slots still open.

Marathon popularity

Hard to believe there is such a demand to ski 33.5 miles and run 26.2 miles

I find it an interesting trend that prestigious races like the Birkebeiner and the Chicago Marathon are starting to sell out each year at a faster rate with demand going up. The Chicago Marathon would have sold out in a matter of a couple of hours if not for the crash. The Birkebeiner ski marathon sold out for the first time three years ago and has sold out each year earlier and earlier. A growing number of people are wanting to test themselves and do it with the most popular races found.

Many people had the frustrating experience of entering a hanging e-chad. They punched their ticket for the race, but it did not go through and register. The race officials had no way of knowing who the unlucky ones that got screwed were.

They decided the fairest way to divvy out the remaining slots was with a lottery system. They allowed anyone to enter once during a two day period last week and then randomly picked 15,000 people. 36,000 people entered for a chance at the 15,000 slots. I was one of the fortunate ones chosen to run for over 3 hours without stopping. I am so lucky.

I have been a runner forever, but I have never really focused on it here at my blog. This will be an opportunity to change that as it is an important aspect of my adventures. I have always run to stay fit not so much because I love to run, I do enjoy it, but it is not really a passion for me. As you may know, my love is hiking, skiing, and outdoor adventure. Running is a key in helping me do and enjoy my passion to its fullest.

Portage Quetico

Running has always allowed me to be fit for activities like portaging in Canada

I am able to do what I do because I keep myself in shape when I am not out on adventure by running. Staying in shape is essential to enjoying the outdoors in my opinion. If I was too out of shape to hike or ski and spent my time bent over backward wheezing, I would not enjoy the adventure as much. For example. I ran 100 miles in January to keep in shape for the cross-country ski marathon because snow and skiing was hard to come by.

This does not mean this blog is going to turn into a running blog. It will be business as usual with a few posts about training and then a few posts on the race itself in October. I look forward to having the marathon be a springboard for more adventurous hikes and ski trips in the future.


The goal of Traveling Ted TV is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).