Lifestyle & Belief

A marathon day


Thousands of runners turned out for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.


Tasos Katopodis

An Illinois woman ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday while nearly 39 weeks pregnant, then gave birth to a daughter 7 ½ hours later.

“The race was definitely easier than labor,” Amber Miller, 27, said at a press conference on Monday as she held her new daughter, June Audra, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Miller learned she was pregnant after she and her husband had already signed up for the race, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"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, the Chicago Tribune reports. "I ran half and walked half, that's how I finished.”

Elite runners have trained while pregnant, but doctors say Miller was unusually committed, The Associated Press reports.

According to the AP:

Marathon world-record holder Paula Radcliffe ran 14 miles a day while pregnant and resumed training weeks after the birth of her first child. She won the New York City Marathon in 2007 just 10 months after delivery. American marathoner Kara Goucher, who gave birth to her son last year, also trained while pregnant, running 80 miles a week at times.

“I know what I can handle,” Miller said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “This is something I’ve been doing for a long time.” Miller has completed eight marathons, including one when she was about 17 weeks pregnant with her son, Caleb, now 19 months old.

Miller’s daughter is in “excellent” shape, said Dr. Jeffrey Loughead, a neo-natalogist at the hospital, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Miller’s time – 6 hours, 25 minutes and 50 seconds – was not a personal best, the Chicago Tribune reports, but she beat her husband.