- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
The DC Wonder Woman Run in Chicagoland was a first of its kind as it started and finished at Gurnee Mills shopping Center. There was ample parking so this was an ideal starting location for the race. Upon arriving to the starting area there was a huge pre-race party going on. A stage with music, a variety of places for photo opps and many merchant tents were available. On stage they had entertainment and contest for runners. When there were no contests they had music playing and scenes from various Wonder Woman films. At 20 minutes before the start, they alerted runners that we would be headed to the start line by taking a field trip.
Upon arrival to the start line, most participants were wearing their #iamwonderwoman tanks and sparkly tutus. Race decorations were extravagant, almost like this was a major marathon. The race announcer gave us special directions for how to pose for photos and at the finish line as participants waited. We were at the start line listening to directions and music at the same time. It was almost impossible to hear the announcer. The sound team needs to be more organized in Gurnee for future races. They had the original Wonder Woman on screen countdown to the start. Once started, there was no gun or alarm, just people shouting go. It felt strange without having an official starter.
The race went well until we got to the famed amusement park, Six Flags. In the park there were no markers at all. It would have been so easy to get lost. Luckily the pack I was with could see people far ahead to take the right path. Once we exited the park, the course took a nice bike path through an industrial park. At the exit of the industrial park at mile 6, the 10k and the 13.1 split off. There needed to be signs to let runners know about the split. By mile 7, I saw participants from the 10k who took the wrong turn. This is not acceptable when runners are not alerted when to split off.
After the course fiasco, we kept running on a bike path and through neighborhoods. Then around mile 8 we went to a gravel bike path until mile 11. This was my favorite part of the race! Mile 11 brought us back to the roads and eventually back to Gurnee Mills.
In the final steps of the race, it was lined with crowds and filled with music. It was unfortunate that spectators were running in front of the finishers. This ruined the finish experience for many. Then the final disappointment of the day was that the course was half a mile short. When advertising that a race is s certain distance, make sure to get it right!
Overall this race is 100% for fun. The roads were safe from traffic and the law enforcement was incredible! If you are looking for a good lighthearted time, then this race is for you! If you are looking for something a little more competitive this is not the race for you. The critiques I mentioned are to help improve the race continue to grow. I am not too upset with the race as I did this event for fun as a leisurely long run.