See more of our race!
The race was held on Saturday, January 24, 2016. 10am half marathon start, 10:20 5k start. Gear check opened at 8am and closed at 1:40pm. Weather, for Chicago in January, was pretty tame. About 30 degrees, mostly cloudy, with some wind (around 8mph).
+ Multiple day for packet pick up with multiple locations. At pickup receive bib and drawstring bag. Shirt and hat were to be picked up after the race.
+ Ability to pick up friend/family packets
+ I went to pickup at RR Sports Chicago and they had a 10% off coupon. I needed some things, so that was nice to get when I walked in for the event.
+ Half marathon finishers received bottle opener medal
+ 3:30 course time (course closed at 1:30). Just take note - the time limit begins with race start at 10am. The race had waves (which I appreciate), so those in the back started maybe 10–15 minutes after race start. Therefore, those that are slower and in the back only have 3:15–20 to finish. When there was about 40 minutes left to the race, I had a volunteer warn me of the 1:30pm finish close and that they'd start breaking down. I finished with plenty of time to spare, but I appreciated that they were letting runners know.
+ SWAG included a long sleeve tech shirt (more on this later), drawstring bag, finisher medal (for half marathon), and beanie (half marathon)
+ pre- and post-race are in the United Club at Soldier Field. Line up at 9:48. Great to be able to stay warm/get warm before and after the race
+ LFP was clear of snow/ice. A few puddles, but no biggie
+ Course goes around Soldier Field and then over to the LFP - go south till about mile 7 and then back north. Some parts were a little congested, when the path narrows and you had large groups of runners going both north and south, but generally not a problem.
+ Live runner tracking for 2016
+ They listened to the survey they sent out last year. Finish line included bottled water, bananas, bagels, hot chocolate (I missed that station, oops), and popcorn.
+ Free race photos
+ $19 special event parking at Soldier Field North Garage (usually its $20–22, so saving a couple bucks is always nice)
+ Though I didn't attend, it sounded like a lot of others were - post-race party at Reggies Chicago - first 312 on them. There was a free shuttle to get bring you there. $12 buffet.
+ Friendly volunteers and workers
+ Aid stations (4 stations, but you hit them on the way out and back, so sort of like 8) had gatorade first then water - even well staffed and plenty of liquids for the back-of-the-pack folks (me)
+ Race communication on all fronts was great. Even got an email today about the shirts, results, a survey, etc.
- Not their fault, but a large shipment of shirts didn't make it in time for the race. They asked people to pick up their shirts at any of the pickup locations (4) during the week once they arrived. They were hoping that they'd have enough shirts for out of towners to pick up at the race, and then locals pickup at the store. The vendor offered a 20% discount, but I personally didn't want to have to spend money in order to get benefits from the problem. I think the main problem were men's sizes. I think 5k folks were able to grab a beanie instead of a shirt if they wanted. Being towards the end of the finishers, and the fact that it would take me over 2 hours of driving to get to any of the locations, I was selfish and got my shirt after the race. Now I don't feel so bad because I just got an email and the size I grabbed is still available for pickup. Another email will be sent out once more info on shirts is available.
This is a well organized race, and a great way to stay motivated and training through winter. I would highly recommend it to others. Here is my more lengthy, personal recap: http://www.heatherrunsthirteenpointone.com/2016/01/f3-lake-half-marathon-2016-recap.html
Now if someone reads this who has done Waterfall Xtreme 10 - can you please write a review? I'm interested in knowing more about that one! Thanks :)