Bucktown 5k( 14 reviews )
HeatherChicago, Illinois, United States
RAM Racing Bucktown 5k was held on Sunday, September 18 with an 8:30am race start. Weather was sunny, upper 60s, and 75% humidity. I really enjoyed some new scenery, running through this cute neighborhood with tree-lined streets.
+ Easy registration process and ability to add on packet mailing up until I think 3 or 4 weeks before the race for an additional $15.
+ Packet pickup was at multiple locations on multiple days. Thursday at Fleet Feet Deerfield 4–6pm, Fleet Feet Elmhurst 4–8, Friday at Fleet Feet Old Town 10–8 and Saturday FF Old Town 10a–6p (no race day pickup available).
+ The sizes for the sweatshirt ran small, and they had a true participant swap on race day (I guess they had added more sizes), so they ended up having participants bring their sweatshirts that didn't fit right and swapping if the size they wanted was available. They did mention it was a true participant swap, and that they couldn't guarantee any sizes.
+ The sweatshirt was a super cool design (plus a sweatshirt and not a t-shirt is unique and fun); it was the Chicago flag, so light blue, white stripe across the side and the red stars. Material was technical fleece-lined. I got my normal size and it fit ok, but I know others found their regular size to be too small.
+ Live runner updates.
+ Gear check.
+ Plenty of portopotties near start and finish areas.
+ Results posted online in real time.
+ Corrals A–K with about 2 minutes between each corral.
+ Running through the streets of Bucktown was nice because there were lots of trees to keep the runners shaded.
+ Water stop at the 1.5 mile marker.
+ Clocks and flags at all 3 mile marks.
+ Lots of neighborhood families were out cheering on the runners. One even had their own little aid station. Super cute/nice.
+ Post-race snacks was bottled water, banana, and then in a plastic bag were a small bag of mini pretzels, Silk chocolate soy milk, and a Nature Valley chocolate chunk bar.
+ Post race photos with a backdrop.
+ Free race photos will be available for download.
+ Post race party had DJ and a bunch of fun tents (I saw Fleet Feet rolling people out, there was a social running group with a giant jenga game, Nuun, and a few others) + a big crowd.
- No information on parking. Not everyone has the ability to take the CTA, and any information other than take public transit would have been helpful. We got there really early so had plenty of time to find parking, and there was a good amount of free parking nearby. but it filled up pretty quickly. I did notice after the race when we went to grab food that there was also some meter parking in the area as well.
- It wasn't unexpected, but the streets weren't in great shape the whole way, so runners should mind their step. I did a bit of ankle rolling (again, not unexpected haha).
- The streets were marked do not park/tow zones, but plenty of cars were still out there, which created some course congestion and weaving. I know parking in the city stinks, but it was pretty annoying to not only have to dodge potholes, but also cars that shouldn't have been there. Also, some of the course was an out and back, so runners going one direction only had half a street, so if there was a car, the congestion was even worse. It would have been fine if say on the streets that were just one direction of runners and all the cars were parked on one side of the street and the other side was clear. Just a thought... maybe it didn't even bother anyone else haha.
As usual my cons are just some minor points... some people might not have been bothered by them, but I do my best to point out all the good and not so good I notice or feel things went.
Overall, it was a well-organized race and it was exciting to not run the lakefront path yet again for a race (no offense LFP, I still love you, but need a break sometimes). I also loved getting some unique, Chicago themed swag.
Blog Recap: http://www.heatherrunsthirteenpointone.com/2016/09/bucktown-5k-recap.html