By Ronnie Reese and WGN-TV
2:59 p.m. CDT, October 10, 2011
Amber Miller was nearly 39 weeks pregnant — expecting her second child any day — when she set off from the starting line of the Chicago Marathon Sunday.
She ran and walked even as contractions started kicking in toward the end of the race. But she managed to cross the finish line — and grab a bite to eat — before giving birth to baby girl June Sunday night.
“I got the OK from my doctor to run half, and my husband ran with me and supported me along the way,” Miller told WGN-Channel 9 from her bed at Central DuPage Hospital. “I ran half and walked half, that’s how I finished.
“Everybody just kind of stared as I’m running by.”
Miller said she had been running throughout her pregnancy and marathon officials did not discourage her.
“Nobody tried to do that,” she said. “It wasn’t too bad, you know? I have been running all the way up until this point anyway so I’m kind of used to it.”
She finished the marathon in 6 hours, 25 minutes and 50 seconds. Not her personal best, but she did beat her husband.
“Without training for it, he actually got a little bit behind,” Miller said. “But he was out there with me.”
Miller said the contractions started out “just randomly” during the race.
“But I think just from running throughout the pregnancy, I’d usually get a contraction here or there anyway,” she said. “But then, a few minutes after I finished, I started feeling the contractions and they were coming every five minutes. So I think we waited an hour or so just to kind of make sure it was real labor. They were pretty consistent at that point.”
After grabbing a sandwich, she headed for the hospital and June was born at 10:29 p.m. Seven pounds, 13 ounces.
Asked if she was going back to work today, Miller laughed and said, “No, I will not. I’m taking it easy today.”
Ronnie Reese is a reporter for the Tribune.
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