In addition to needing your support and encouragement during training, these first time marathoners will also need your fundraising support. As part of the OE Runners team, they are required to raise a certain amount to participate, and, of course, the main reason they're doing this is to raise money for the HFH cause. You can help the out by doing the following: 1) Go to the HFH website, http://www.hospitalsforhumanity.org/; 2) Click on the Donate button; 3) Enter your super duper top secret confidential payment information (it's a secure site); 4) Enter the name of your fav HFH runner or just "Chicago Marathon" in the memo section before you submit your payment; and then 5) Submit your donation. Weeee! Doesn't that all sound like fun?
So my first tip to the HFH team, should you happen to be reading this, is to find a good training program. I've used Hal Higdon's in the past, but some people swear by Jeff Galloway. (Sorry if I screwed up the spelling on those). The Galloway method is less daunting to some because it lets you walk a bit. Sometimes it's less scary if you aren't thinking you've gotta run the whole darn thing. Oh, and if you think those hydration belts are as uncomfortable and dorky as I do, let me know. For those of you training in Chicago, I've got some routes mapped out that allow you to hit drinking fountians throughout the city. And I know of a good washroom pit stop here and there as well (those will come in handy on those longer runs).
Good luck and welcome to the unique group of people crazy enough to run 26.2 miles on purpose even when no one is chasing you!