• Chicago,
    United States
  • July
  • 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Mary Jo Minarich

Illinois, United States
24 18
"Chicago Rock n Roll"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Mary Jo Minarich's thoughts:

The Hubs and I had a fun and “toasty” weekend in the city. We ran the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday! I really went into this race for basically one thing….

To have fun in the city!

Running has got to be the coolest way to see Chicago. In a race, you notice all kinds of things that you wouldn’t see in a car…

…Like what your running reflection looks like on the shinny buildings.

…Like how the bridges feel under your shoes.

…Like how many people are in one place to do just one things together–RUN!

We hit the expo first!

Chicago Rock n Roll ExpoWe got through it pretty fast. We no longer need to spend $200 for every big race event. Sorry vendors…

Then we headed to our hotel room, dumped our bags and headed off to explore. We always stay at the Palmer House since it’s so close to the start.

Plus we can go in any direction from the hotel and enjoy the city. Here’s what we did..

Lunch at The Corner Bakery

A walk in Millennium Park!

Had to see The BEAN!

And of course we had to have pizza for dinner in Chicago!

We hit an early bed time because the race started at 6:30am.

Race Day!

The morning of any race is really neat to see. I love when you walk outside and the city comes to life with runners. It’s fun standing among 12,000 friends.

The only thing bad about running a half in July is the weather. 13 miles is stinking hard in warm weather. And it was already hot and humid in the corrals. The announcer kept warning us that this was not PR weather conditions and to run smart.

Running smart was our goal but of course the first 3 miles went by really fast. I tried to keep it at a nice 10 minute pace. But you know how it is when you first shoot out of the start. Everything feels great and you’re excited to run. After 3 miles I was hot and thirsty.

One thing great about the Rock n Roll series is they were really supplied. The only thing they needed were more volunteers. People were sucking down water and at EVERY water station. And the volunteers had to work really hard to keep up.

It was HOT and you could tell no one wanted to dehydrate! I did see a couple of runners down on the ground with people helping them. And there were more ambulances working than I have ever seen before at any race. That was kind of scary.

I’m sure the heat had something to do with the lack of bands too. I think I only saw 2 or 3 bands throughout the course. But during the last couple of miles they had some great music blaring through some huge speakers. That was very helpful.

R ‘n’ R supplied water misters, ice and cold sponges along the course. It’s wonderful how great a frozen sponge feels on top of your head. I kept a good pace (for me) through most of the race and made sure I was well hydrated. My mantra throughout this run was….

Run your own race

We finished and we truly earned our medals.

After meeting up with our run club, we headed straight to the beer tent! It’s amazing how good a beer tastes at 9am after such a long, hot run!

This was also the first year we stayed for the concert.

Andy Grammar was the headliner and he was fantastic. His song, “Honey I’m Good” is on my running playlist!

Well that was another run done in the city. I’m not sure if I’ll do this one again. This was my 5th Chicago R ‘n’ R and I wouldn’t mind trying a different Rock n Roll location. I’m shooting for Vegas or Philadelphia!

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