A downpour delayed — but did not discourage — the runners in Saturday’s Starved Rock County Marathon/Half Marathon races.
As it turned out, the race got started in downtown Ottawa about an hour late at 7:55 a.m.
At 7 a.m., when the race was scheduled to begin, La Salle Street looked like twilight with street lamps glowing and rain pouring down.
The runners had dispersed to protected locations.
Many were packed under the portico and into the hallway and side rooms of the American Legion hall next to the inflated starting arch on La Salle Street at Jackson Street.
Others were enjoying the wares at the Ottawa Bakery at Madison and Court streets.
“We’re doing some carb loading,” said Sandy Hansen, of Oglesby, who was seated with Marykay Honel, of Bourbonnais, who has participated in previous Starved Rock Country Marathons.
“It’s a really nice event,” she said. “It’s very well run, and the people of Ottawa are supportive when you run.”
Near them were Blake Stephenson and Micah Casey. of Iowa City, Iowa.
It was their first visit to Ottawa.
“We just came for the fun,” Casey said.
They were keeping track of the restart times through social media, and also found the police on duty to be well-informed of the changing plans, Stephenson said.
Jeremiah Joe Coffee was fairly well filled. Some runners were doing stretches while others sipped on drinks.
Among them was Kristen Brooks, of Homer Glen, with her 8-month old son, Henry Higgins, who may have been the youngest participant.
Brooks and her husband, Adam Higgins, were married at Starved Rock in 2016 and frequently return to camp.
Henry was dressed in warm clothes and securely strapped into a jogging stroller Brooks intended to push.
“It’s his first marathon,” she said. “I hope he doesn’t scream the whole way.”