Happy Tuesday! It’s time for another edition of Tuesday Topics. This week’s Tuesday Topic: What are your favorite running books? You can write about this or any running related blog post. Remember to Link-up with Kim and Zenaida and the bottom of this post!
I’m going off topic today to bring you my International Chicago 5K Race Recap! I was in Chicago this weekend to run the marathon, but decided a while ago to run this race as a shakeout run 🙂
A few months ago I mentioned the race to Michelle since I knew she was running the marathon. After some coaxing from me, she registered 🙂 We were greeted with a healthy dose of Winter weather on the morning of the race. In an effort not to freeze, and to save our legs for the marathon, we opted to take a Lyft from the hotel to the race start. That was definitely a good decision because it was wicked cold out there while we waited in our corral.
While waiting to start, it was great to see runners from SO many different countries. Every time the announcer would call out a country, you would hear so much cheering from the runners that were from that country. We were near a large group of runners from Taiwan and it was so fun to see how excited they were to race! That’s the best thing about these huge marathons – you see and meet people from all over the globe. About 20 minutes after the official start, our corral finally crossed the start line. I gotta say, although I couldn’t really feel my thighs until mile 2, I was happy to finally start running!
This is a nice flat course. With over 8,000 runners, certain parts of the course were a little crowded but overall it was very open. The entire race takes place in downtown Chicago so my GPS watch was off, but I knew that before I started so it didn’t alarm me when my watched beeped for mile 1 way before the mile marker, lol.
The race starts at Daley Plaza. After running down LaSalle Street, we turned down Lake Street and then down State Street before hitting mile 1. Most of mile 2 took place on Jackson Blvd before turning on Wacker Drive. The only aid station on the course was just before the end of mile 2. I don’t drink water during 5K races so I thought that one aid station was fine, but other runners may think differently (it’s all relative).
The best part of the race for me was the last mile. My body was finally warmed up and I locked into a nice comfortable pace. During this part of the race we did an out and back along Michigan Avenue. Around mile 2.5 I saw a spectator dressed in a T-Rex costume holding a sign that said “Tomorrow, you’ll be dino-sore”. I laughed so hard at this sign. I wish I had stopped to take a photo. It gave me a good boost as we turned to finish the race in Grant Park.
As with any race, there are pros and cons.
Race Bibs – The race bibs were mailed to U.S. residents. I appreciated the fact that I had one less stop to do at the Expo since I already had my bib for the race.
Race Medal – The 5K medal was really cool – I liked it!
Post-Race Food – I thought that the food options were adequate for a 5K. They had bottle water, small bottles of Gatorade, apples and a snack bar. Oddly enough, I never feel like a banana but I wanted one after this race and they didn’t have any, lol.
Post-Race Organization – The race definitely dropped the ball after crossing the finish. It was a complete cluster with people everywhere. You literally had to maneuver through so many people just to get a bottle of water and fruit. They were also handing out the race swag (winter hat) right before exiting the park. Well this wasn’t done well AT ALL. The volunteers were allowing runners to take more than one hat and also allowing people that didn’t run the race to take hats as well. Because of this, many runners (including my mom, Michelle and her husband) didn’t receive a hat because they ran out. Luckily another runner heard us discussing this and he gave Michelle his hat. I gave my mom my hat but she emailed the organization and they said that they are going to be mailing out hats to people that didn’t receive one. I’m glad that they are correcting the issue, but I hope they figure out a better process for next year.
Overall I think the race served as a great shakeout run before the marathon. I’ll have my Chicago Marathon Race Recap posted tomorrow.
Tell me: Do you normally run the day before your race? Have you ever done this race before?
Join the Link-Up!
Topic for next week – What are your favorite running movies? Feel free to write about this or any running related topic. We hope you’ll link up with us!