Second time running a race put on by this group. It was sub zero temps at the start and fortunately they had the tent heated, althought it wasn't working when I arrived.
Pros- T-shirt was LS cotton t with a fun gnome logo, aid stations were as instructed (carry your on hydration with one unmanned station on course and one at start/finish), course winds through the Veterans Park forest preserve so very pretty, race started on time, timing results were immediate, two bag drop areas (not monitored), inside bathrooms
Cons- No pre-race packet pickup so line was semi-long even for arriving 40 min early, parking lot close to start fills quick so next parking lot is a bit further from packet pickup (caused lots of people to be late to start-I wasn't able to warm up), no post race fruit or water as was stated (I'm assuming it came out later for 50k participants but 10k got trail mix and fruit snacks), awards were not handed out in a controlled manner (first place female trophy was given to 3rd place because "they didn't check the timing results just gave it to the first female they saw" I was first place and crossed first yet 2.5 weeks later I still don't have my award,
Overall the race was fun for a freezing January day. The course was especially difficult due to the recent snow fall so lots of unpacked snow over ice and packed snow. Lots of hills and single track making the course quite technical (for those that live in Chicago and never see a hill). I really enjoy the difficulty of the race and scenery since I don't get much variation in the city. I've run one of their other races and didn't have the awards issue or the food issue. I would do this again and recommend to a friend but definitely suggest arriving at least an hour before the start to get packet and warm up.
Awards are cool handmade trophies for top 3 male/female and wooden medals for age groups.