- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Virtual Race
- Road Race
- Event Website
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Despite having a cold, I am happy to say I crossed the line in 1:34:06, good for a 6 minute PR. The highlight of the race weekend, though, was my husband's massive 26 minute PR in the marathon. He finished in 2:42:57 good enough for a 2019 BQ!
Expo/Packet pick up: My husband and I encountered wicked Friday late afternoon Chicago traffic and an hour into the trip knew we were not going to make the expo in time. Thank goodness for our friend Mikey (who ran the 10k race) and saved the day! He picked up the packets for us and then delivered them to us at dinner.
Waiting for the start: It was a little chilly so I wore a "throw" shirt, but everything was easily marked with signs. There seemed to be enough porta potties and the lines moved quickly. I didn't use one, but that's always a pro in my book!
Race course: The course was flat and fast! Perfect course for a PR. It went though campus, nearby neighborhoods, and a park. There were tons of spectators throughout the course, which was a nice morale boost. There were ample aid stations. I only took in water, because I don't fuel for half marathons, but they also had Gatorade and GUs. I also remember one aid station that offered sliced oranges. I'm not sure how to eat while running (hence one of the many reasons I'm not ready for an ultra. lol), but it was a nice gesture.The energy toward the finish was unreal! The last mile of the race you made your way toward to finish in the stadium and it was so cool! I was in awe of how beautiful the campus was and excited to be close to the finish. :P I can imagine that people who attend/attended University of Illinois for college felt emotional at the finish! I know if I ever return to my alma mater to run the race that finishes on our track that I will get emotional. The stadium finish was hands down my favorite part of the race! :)
Post race/after party: At the finish, in the stadium, I was wrapped in a heat sheet, offered water, offered a sports drink, and offered a stretch from the Athletico station. There were also ample opportunities for photos, which I took as I waited anxiously for my husband to finish the marathon. I took some photos with friends and alone while I waited. I also got stretched out at the Athletico station which felt awesome on my tight hips and IT band.Once my husband finished in an astonishing 2:42:57, we took a few more photos with and without the PR bell. The PR bell had received a lot of love at this point and was broken...we took photos anyway!:P After the photos we made our way to the post race party to check out the beers and snacks. My husband got a beer and there were a lot of snack options! None of us were hungry at that point yet or we would have eaten something.
Swag: Every finisher got a sweet medal (regardless of race) and free finisher photos. For running the half I got a dri-fit long sleeve shirt and my husband got a quarter zip for running the full. Our hotel was super cute and made us little good luck goodie bags as well, but I forgot to snap a picture :(
Overall, it was fun and well organized race! It's flat and fast which is perfect for obtaining the PR or a BQ. I definitely want to return!