The Chicago Lake Shore Marathon 2003 met all of my expectations for a first marathon experience. I had read and received reports of how great the October LaSalle Bank Marathon was but, I was concerned about the commercialism and the controls required to handle the large number of contestants. As a result, I chose to run in the Lake Shore Marathon and discovered what a great experience it was. This marathon was low-key, hazzle free and a great experience. Plus, it eliminated a major concern, for my first marathon, that I would not finish due to a cut-off time. I have a special place in my heart for the Lake Shore Marathon and all that it represents. I hope to run it again.