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This was my first time running this half, and I really enjoyed it. I also did the Half I-Challenge; run a 5k on Friday night and then the half on Saturday morning.
The expo was smaller, but still had a lot of booths. I didn't get to the expo until later in the afternoon, and traffic was a little backed up, but classes could have been getting out as well as people entering for the expo. Parking was excellent!! Very well marked, multiple lots, and very easy to get to on race morning.
This is a very flat and fast course which runs through neighborhoods, a trail, and the Illinois campus. It didn't get crowded until around mile 7 or 8 ish (I can't remember), when you entered the trail portion. This might hinder your time, but it wasn't a huge issue for me. There also aren't a lot of spectators or fans during this trail portion, but this also could have been because of the weather. The last quarter mile, there was some weird turn around to make your way into the stadium, where you finish on the 50 yard line. I thought this was really neat, as there are many fans in the stadium and they have the jumbotron on as well. It gave me goosebumps!
As other reviewers pointed out, the weather was windy and rainy the entire time, but there were volunteers at all aid stations, and there were even spectators at many spots along the course cheering the runners along. Post race was great as well!! Lots of food, drinks, and volunteers at the end. Very well organized a very affordable race, even when doing the I-Challenges.
Despite the weather, I really enjoyed this race and will do it again!!