"Chicago Is Your Start Line"

Running is amazing, terrible, life-changing and everything in between. It truly is a relationship that you have to work at. The runner's high is real but so are the days where you have to grind through and just. keep. going.

So to run a marathon is an incredible feat. While I've never ran a marathon, having run a mere 13.1 miles I understand how 26.2 miles should be a celebration of what your mind and body can do, of what it took to get you to the start line. (And why you would ugly cry and laugh simultaneously when crossing the finish line.)

The Bank of America Chicago 2022 Marathon is embracing this theme - Chicago is your start line. So I took a crack at it.

My mind mapping to get brainstorming.

I dug into how posters of years past have looked and what else is important to the runners that participate in this particular marathon. The Chicago colors, a shade of red, white and light blue are prevalent (re: Chicago flag). Also, Chicago landmarks like "The Bean" as well as a high-level view of the course map. But what most runners appreciate are a bold use of color and a strong, dynamic graphic treatment. And, a poster that gets what running looks like.

So I got to sketching:

1) The tread of a runner's shoe after having seen a bold campaign where the hiking shoes had PROTECT OUR PARKS. STAY ON THE TRAIL carved into their shoes. Brilliant.

2) A stop watch that incorporated race information as you take off.

3) Race posters - who doesn't love a good poster while you're cruising by?

4) And even tried some overhead views of the starting line after being inspired by an overhead view GIF on a Runner's World page.

In the end, I stuck with the shoe tread. Once I started looking at the bottom of runner's shoes, it blew my mind how many ways a shoe tread could be made. Why couldn't the Chicago Marathon have a custom tread too?

Colors were pulled directly from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon logo guide (on their sponsors page) so the colors would be cohesive with their branding.

After all this, I signed up for my 2nd half marathon. What can I say, I love a good ugly laugh/cry.