- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
This is a really solid race, and one I hope to do again! Much like the Cary March Madness Half Marathon in the spring, both the course profile and the timing make this a fantastically positioned event for testing your marathon readiness. The course is challenging but not SO challenging that you couldn't post a PR if you were fit for it and of a mind. Also, entry fee was only $50!
You wouldn't necessarily expect a half marathon course that runs through a suburban neighborhood to be full of great scenery, but boy, you'd be wrong. Lots of green space, some beautiful houses, lots of little ponds and stunning trees, and a few views of Lake Zurich of course. The rolling hills persist through the entire 13.1 miles. There are quite a few turns, the course is sort of a serpentining lollipop shape, the streets are wide, and the course remains open to traffic (though it was light) - because of this it is difficult to run the tangents, and there seems to be a consensus among finishers that they ran long. I think the course probably measures accurately at 13.1, but a great many runners finished with their GPS watches marking 13.20 - 13.30 - certainly not something that should deter you from running this very well organized race!
The only downside was that the race ran out of "goodie bags' at the finish so runners finishing later than the 1hr50min mark or so didn't get post-race food. I felt bad because I generally can't eat what's there but took a bag (food allergies). So, with the growth of their race perhaps this can be solved by simply not making pre-sorted bag, but just the typical buffet style and people take what they want and leave the rest.
The race crew and volunteers on the course and at the aid stations were friendly and left no doubts regarding where to go, which is always a plus. The course was really well marked with large arrow signs and there was a large contingent of police officers to assist with traffic (which was minimal) on big road crossings.
Parking seemed sufficient right on-site, however, it appeared that 75% of runners arrived an hour before the race start (as I did), so I'm sure there was some overflow off-site.
All half-marathon finishers received a big and heavy event specific medal, and age group winners 3-deep received medals for that as well. I'm not sure if it was the first 500 people to register, or the first 500 to pick up their packets, but at any rate, 500 hoodies were given as well. I got one, they're pretty nice :)
Here is a link to my Garmin data if you are interested in the elevation profile ( https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/897555211 ) as you can see, no real big hills to speak of, but the rollers don't ever stop.