BTN Big 10K

BTN Big 10K

BTN Big 10K

( 40 reviews )
95% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Chicago,
    United States
  • July
  • 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K
  • Road Race
  • Event Website


Chicago, Illinois, United States
109 87
"Big fun at the Big 10k"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Heather 's thoughts:

The 2017 BTN Big 10k (put on by RAM Racing) took place on Saturday, July 23 with a 7am start time for the 10k and 8am start time for the 5k. I ran the 10k, and there were about 3 minutes between each corral, going from Elite, then A–H. Race morning weather was HUMID - 86% to be exact at 6:45am with 70˚ dew point and a feels like 75. I didn't check the temps again, but it had to have gotten into the 80s during my race (I started in H Corral at 7:24 and it took me much longer than I anticipated finishing due to struggling with the heat/humidity. I managed ok up until mile 3, then the wheels came off.). I enjoyed the course and it wasn't too crowded. I'll have more details in my blog recap, which I will add the link to here once completed.

+ Multiple days for packet pickup at Fleet Feet Old Town (Wednesday, July 19 3–8pm, Thursday, July 20 10am–8pm, Friday, July 21 10am–8pm and Saturday, July 22 10am–6pm). Pickup was easy and you could grab up to 4 other participant packets (forwarded confirmation email with QR code and giving you permission to pickup for them). I didn't have to wait more than a minute before being helped buy a volunteer and I ended up getting a bag of free cookies for signing up early. They were a delight! Due to the large size of the race, no race day pickup is available.
+ Option to pay $15 up to 3 weeks out from the race to get your packet mailed.
+ During registration you pick your school, and then your race shirt is school specific.
+ Medals were cool and this year they were all the same, but you went to your alumni tent after the race to redeem your ticket on your bib for a 'coin' that was magnetic and stuck to the '0' in 10k. Medals for 10k only.
+ Course starts on Columbus so there's a lot more space. The crowds have time to thin out before they hit the LFP (lakefront path).
+ Course goes north on Columbus, turns right (east) on lower Randolph, left (north) on Lower Lakeshore Drive, (west) left on Lower Wacker, (south) left on Columbus, (west) right onto Congress, follow that onto Michigan going south, left (east) onto Roosevelt (up the hill), which at the top you head on over to the path, going under the underpass, south towards the Field Museum, east towards the Shedd, west down the path until you meet up with the LFP on the lower portion near the lake and head north for about 2 miles and then you turn around and head back south on the upper portion of the LFP. Make it back to the underpass, up the hill, and head north to the finish line on Columbus.
+ 2 slip and slide opportunities at about 4.25 and 5.5
+ 3 water and Nuun aid stations. I stopped at the second 2, but the first seemed overwhelmed with runners so I skipped it (as I brought my own hydration).
+ At the finish you received a bottled water, I saw thrown out towels so they must have been giving them out, but I didn't see any when I finished, so I grabbed a bag of ice, cups of Nuun for those that wanted any, bananas and Cliff protein bars. Redeem your tickets on your bib for Amylou sausage and pretzels and a Revolution brew (THANK YOU for having a local craft beer at the race - though I'm not a fan of cream ale, I appreciated that it was from a local craft brewery and applaud this partnership.)
+ Post-race tailgate party is the sh*t. Seriously - one of the best around. Everyone sticks around to play games, eat, drink, socialize. Hit up your alumni tent for goodies, photo ops, and to grab your magnetic coin for your medal. Illinois had the bragging rights trophy out for photos with the Illinois backdrop and they had a coupon for free chips and guac at Chipotle. Other tents had other photo props/school backdrops and offered different things. I heard a few schools didn't provide anything, but there were plenty of mascots roaming around to take photos with. Lots to keep you entertained and the friendly school rivalry is fun. All 4 BibRave Pros that did this race were cheering on a different school.

- More bathrooms near the start line would have been great. I got in line early and didn't have to wait too long, but about 5 minutes later, the lines were HUGE. Hopefully they moved quickly, but I think another row would have been good. I know there were more down by the finish/party area, but most people want to go right before the race and not have to walk down there.
- I heard rumors of issues with the corrals – people couldn't get into them, and while they waited outside to be let in during the forward motion, other corrals were allowed ahead of them. A solution would be to either tell the volunteers not to move forward until the entire corral ahead has gotten inside, or to make the corral sections larger so everyone fits. I was in H so didn't have this problem; it was very large and seemed to fit everyone that was in H and then some (other corral placed runners running with friends and those that are stragglers that missed their own corral start).
- For a summer race, the shirts were a bit heavy (I heard a few others say this during the race). July in Chicago is brutal, so a lighter material would have been awesome. They'll make for a great fall/winter shirt during football season, so that's a plus. I just don't think I'd ever be able to wear it on race day (which is encouraged for this race, since everyone is supporting their different teams, it's a fun way to see who's supporting who).

This race is a ton of fun, and the after-party is really what stands out. Unlike a lot of other races, runners stick around to play games, hang out with friends/fellow alumni, eat, drink, and enjoy the music. Usually when I finish a race, most people have left, so it's cool that the crowd is still there having a good time. I'd definitely recommend this race – even if you aren't a B1G ten fan (to be honest, I don't pay much attention to college sports... and I love this race!). Just be prepared for typical Chicago humidity/heat/sun this time of year.

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