- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
Yes, I realize I signed up a little last minute, but come on, $127 for a half marathon?!? I’m here to tell you, it wasn’t worth it. I mean, it WAS, because I hit my goal and such, but otherwise, no.
I loved the expo. The pre-race setup was great, with water and bananas and bagels available, and what appeared to be a well-organized and easily accessible gear check area. The charity village and post-race party were in close proximity to the start/finish, and everything seemed to flow well. The shirts are solid, and the race medals are cool.
RnR nailed the pre-race and post-race. The actual race? Not so much.
Plenty of water stops were spread throughout the course, which is absolutely crucial for a race in late July in Chicago. The aid stations were not clearly marked – they really could’ve used some of those giant flag thingers – and the majority of the stops did not have enough volunteers passing out water and Gatorade. Three times I grabbed my own cup of water off the table. A friend who finished in just over 2 hours said by the time he got to the aid station at mile 12, volunteers were furiously trying to fill cups from jugs of water and he nearly had to pour one for himself. So, if we front-and-middle-of-the-pack runners had issues at the aid stations, I can only imagine what it was like for the back-of-the-pack runners.
One of the things the RnR series boasts about is “bands at every mile” along the course. Well, that wasn’t EXACTLY true for Chicago. The first band didn’t appear until about mile 6.5, when we were leaving downtown. I wasn’t complaining because I totally understand that setting up a stage in the loop is probably not viable. And really, when you’re running past the stage, you get to hear the band for, what, 30 seconds? A minute or two, tops? So the concept doesn’t really do much for me.
The course itself could use some improvement, too.