- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
This race was my first one running a charity group. The organization leading up seemed poor as they incorrectly registered nearly half of our group, and left many of us scrambling up to race day. To be fair though, I am not sure how much of this was the fault of our group, and I also can't imagine it ever goes smoothly when you have one person speaking for 50 others who aren't really paying attention of following any directions whatsoever.
As for the race, the good:
-Very well organized! Most of the minor gripes (congestion, delayed wave starts, tough to access the start) are going to be present at any race of this size, and I think those were all reasonably contained.
-Race shirts were awesome. Always have been at this race.
-Post race activities were extremely well organized. Beer tent was run very smoothly and not crowded. Meetup area was huge and well labeled. Gear check was a breeze.
-Aid stations were all great and well staffed. Save for one near the end that was run by a bunch of kids who looked like deer in headlights while a parent yelled at them to stop taking so long to separate the cups and just pour water!
-No bands allowed in downtown anymore. Kind of takes away to point of this race. The first band was after mile 6, and as usual you can only hear them for about a minute as you pass. More of a cute novelty than a real selling point. I was literally saying that they should have wireless speakers 800 yards before and after each band so you can hear them for longer, and then BAM! At mile 10 there was a DJ who then had speakers lined up another mile after him. It was a great boost and really kept me going. I can envision a race where all the artists are set up this way for a more continuous streak of music, and said race would probably be my favorite one. I'm sure there is a reason they don't do this. I'm not nearly that smart.
-the route. To be fair, there just aren't many options in a downtown race, but the whole go north, then west a bit, through the loop, and then far south on the lakepath thing has been done at most of these Chicago races. It's not that big of a deal I guess, but I felt like I needed a second bullet point for "the bad"
Overall great race. The no music thing was a bit of a bummer, but I don't know the story behind it. Hopefully that is something they figure out next year, and they have speakers every 10 feet from my house to the finish line.