I've gone on two tours with Marlin- Tragic Events a couple of years ago and most recently, The Chicago River and Navy Pier tour. I highly recommend these tours for runners of all levels. It's great to get out early in the morning before the Chicago streets get busy and see some famous and historical sights. Marlin paints the city in a new light and you will learn a lot about the history of Chicago. I learned a lot about the Chicago river and about Navy Pier (and I've been to Chicago a number of times and have family members who are Chicago natives, and I learned things they did not know!)
The best thing is that Marlin follows up with an email covering the highlights of the tour so when you can't quite remember the cool fact you learned earlier, you will have the email notes for reference. He also takes some great pictures along the way and sends you the link (free) a few hours later so you can share the pics with friends. He also shares some good suggestions for your travel itinerary, so it's probably ideal to do the tour early in your stay, if your schedule permits.
The tours run even if you are the only person who signs up! On the morning of my Chicago River tour, I was the only person, so Marlin met me at my hotel and we headed out. Marlin has stepped out on his own with this business (he used to run with another area running tour company) and he donates a portion of each tour fee to a non profit that helps folks with developmental challenges, so that's a nice additional reason to run with him.
These tours run all year long, which is great, but be prepared to dress a little warmer than you might for a run at home at the same temp because you will stop several times to hear stories and history, and you might chill off quickly. I found this especially true on the Tragic Events tour because it's a little slower paced with more detailed "campfire-type" stories".
I hope to catch the Grant Park tour the next time that I am in town!
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