- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
I ran the Chicago Half Marathon in 2013, and it was my first (and to date, only) half marathon. I traveled from Columbus, Ohio for this race, and felt a little disappointed. Partly it was the warm, humid temps the morning of the race, which led to this weird lingering fog in the distance that meant the Chicago skyline was basically impossible to see. But I'll get into the rest of it:
WHAT I LIKED:
- Awesome, sex-specific long-sleeved tech tee. It's interesting that they change the colors each year. In 2013 the tee was bright orange with navy and white. Love.
- Plenty of water/Gatorade stops.
- Flat course.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE (this is a little longer):
- Expo at Navy Pier was fine, except that no one at the Pier really knew where to go for packet pick-up and the signs weren't always that clear.
- Expo itself was so-so, felt relatively sparse.
- Getting to the start on race day was tricky because cabs wanted to take Lake Shore Drive, which was closed because it was part of the race course. Course maps and pre-race information didn't provide alternate routes or information. We ended up getting out of the cab and walking about a mile to the start because there was so much confusion, and there weren't any signs. Thankfully my running buddy is from Chicago so she had a general sense of where to go, but she doesn't spend that much time in this part of Chicago.
- And on that note, the South Side sucks. Sorry, Chicagoans, but I don't like it when people throw water bottles or other things out their windows at runners when I'm racing. Nope.
- This isn't something that the race organization could have controlled, but due to the weird weather, the view of Chicago's skyline when heading north on Lake Shore was nil. So essentially I was just running up and down a highway, which wasn't that fun.
- After the race, it was extremely difficult to get a cab or figure out where to go. I didn't have my phone with me (problem #1) but when I used my friend's, a cab company said that they would come to the general area we were in but because it was the South Side, they couldn't guarantee that they would meet us at our given location. Um, WHAT? (Problem #2.) We ended up figuring out an Uber ride but this was tough. We ended up walking an additional two miles or so trying to find a cab or some place that a cab would pick us up. After running 13.1 miles, this was really tough.
Anyway, I would NOT recommend this race, though it seems that 2014 was a bit better. I also realized that I don't really like out-and-back races.