Friday, May 27th, 2022

When Dual Marathon Bid Comes Up Short Mokena Man Runs Virtually

When Dual Marathon Bid Comes Up Short Mokena Man Runs Virtually MOKENA, IL — Most people will go their entire lives without running a single marathon. Mokena resident Mike Mendoza had planned to run two of the world’s most famous marathons on back-to-back days, but came up short because of flight cancellations.

Mendoza lined up Sunday for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. He finished that race with a time of 3 hours 58 minutes and 9 seconds, according to unofficial race results listed on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon website. Then Mendoza hightailed it over to Chicago Midway International Airport only to find out that his flight to Boston had been cancelled.

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“Frustrating is an understatement, I guess,” Mendoza said. “It was an uncontrollable situation.”

Related: Southwest Airlines Cancels Hundreds Of Flights Over Weekend

Mendoza got to Midway at around 1 p.m. When he saw that his flight was cancelled, Mendoza said he thought he would have plenty of time to book another flight to Boston, only there were no other flights to be found.

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“I wasn’t too worried because I knew there’s always another flight to catch, or fly in someplace close and drive over,” he said.

Mendoza was able to find a flight headed for St. Louis and on to Boston from there. But bad luck struck again when Mendoza was told that the flight to St. Louis was overbooked, and he would not be on that plane, either.

Mendoza found one last chance to make it to Boston in time for the marathon: a flight to Providence, Rhode Island that would have gotten him in around 11:30 p.m. The hour-long drive from Providence to Boston would mean that Mendoza would not get much sleep before the big race, but the former Marine said he could deal with that.

“I was OK with the idea of not getting much sleep; I’ve had sleep deprivation before. I’ve trained for it before. I don’t like it, but that’s a situation I’ve trained for as a reconnaissance Marine and sniper. So, I was like, ‘Well, here we go again,'” Mendoza said.

But, once again, fate played a cruel trick on Mendoza: The flight to Providence got cancelled, too.

By now, Mendoza was starting to feel a little desperate. It was around 9 p.m., and time was not on his side. But Mendoza really wanted to make it to Boston. This was a rare, if not unique, opportunity to complete two of the world’s most popular marathons, usually held five months apart, on back-to-back days.

He started looking at flights out of O’Hare International Airport, and he said he did see some available flights, but “the squeeze was not worth the juice.”

“Some of those flights were around $2,000,” Mendoza said. “And I’m not a professional athlete, so I don’t get sponsorships. I don’t get paid for this.”

Late at night, mentally and emotionally drained, Mendoza started to accept that his trip to Boston would not come to pass.

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