This was my first Cinco de Miler and I was very happy with the overall race experience. I would totally run this race again and it was a nice distance.
Expo - The expo was a simple Fleet Feet Old Town (Chicago) pick-up. It was extremely fast, no elaborate set-up, and Nuun was in the Fleet Feet lobby promoting their product. I am always a fan of a quick in-and-out pick-up so I don't have to pay for parking. PLUS the QR code in my google wallet was a really nice touch for pick-up as well. One scan and I was done!
Race Day Parking/Access - Personally, I ran to the race because I only live a mile a way, but traffic and parking at Montrose Beach/Harbor can be very congested. There are a lot of other leisure activities that utilize that park space as well. So it seemed that there were a lot of late comers to the start line.
THE RACE - Pre-party race functions were high energy and ran smoothly. The race started right on time and every corral was released every two minutes. For a road race, this course was pretty rough, with several patches of chunky gravel, large pot holes, and even some sandy beach running due to some wind-blown sand dunes. The beginning of the course (within mile 1) got pretty tight, but after that the crowd seemed to thin out . The course scenery is not the most beautiful and does wind and snake around itself quite a bit, but the final leg traveling south along the lake was beautiful. The wind was a beast on this day 🌬 but that is totally out of the race's control. Oh... and totally flat. :)
Post-Race - Lots of fun activities, if you could take the wind, like mechanical bulls, dancing, great food and beer. The race shirts were very nice and the medal was very cool (with built-in beer opener).