- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
I've never had the best of luck with ACE for their running events, and yet, I still sign up for them. This is the inaugural race for yet another St. Patrick's Day themed run. You'd think with 500 races offering the same theme, they'd up their game a little.
Race start/finish was at the Bolingbrook Village Hall, along with packet pickup and the typical race day stuff. The race was benefiting Bolingbrook Hospital as the race charity. They did offer pacers, which was nice. Five water stations for the half marathon and one for the 5k.
Course: Overall, fairly flat with only one or two portions that had a moderate incline. Took you through shared bike paths (that were empty) along power lines (ComEd Greenway, which was green and well-maintained), suburban residential streets, a 1.5 mile loop around Whalon Lake and along the East Branch of the DuPage River. The shared bike paths and the path along the lake and river were quite nice and if I were a local, I'd be using these regularly. Well-maintained, and in great condition.
Course criticism: Both the 5k and the half runners started out at the same time and split around mile 1. Half runners met up with the 5k runners (for them, 2 mile marker, for half runners, around 4.) That caused a bit of concern seeing our pacers vanished and the runners looked to each other for support. A bit more signage is needed especially around the merging areas.
Shirts: Typical long sleeve medium weight polyester shirt. Nothing special. Race logo over left breast with sponsors on the back.
Aid stations: Featured water and sports drink. Guess what they didn't feature? Portapotties. Somehow this was missed and there was no portable toilets at any of the spots. This seems like a major oversight. As a guy (and after the NYC marathon), I have no inhibitions about dropping trou and urinating in public. However, this being the suburbs, that wouldn't fly. Around mile 4, I darted into a 7-11 to use the toilet. Apparently, my darting across the street caused other runners to not only remark how handsome I am, but to also realize I'm trying to use the only somewhat public bathroom. I left the clerk a $20. The only real bathroom was at mile 8 as we looped the lake (which had a proper rest station.) But the oversight seems like a major thing. I've been at zero-budget races who still had portable toilets because that's what you need.
Finish: Medal of average size and quality, a leprechaun cookie and a pint glass. There was a band there but they were hipster-ish.
Other: Got a text with my finish time within seconds of crossing the finish line. That was rather nice. Local police were nice and friendly in directing traffic.
If it wasn't for the portable toilet debacle, I would have been happy. It's nothing special, but it's a good run on a flat course that could end up being a PR. I wouldn't go out of my way to run it, but if I was close enough and knew going into it that it wouldn't be amazing, then I'd sign up again. Only if they fix the portable toilet situation.