RAM Racing organized Humboldt Park 5k, which took place on Sunday, August 14 at Humbdolt Park (near California & Division, Chicago). There was a 1 mile kids race at 8am and the 5k at 8:30am. Weather was pretty reasonable for being summer, I think maybe in the mid- to upper 70s with high humidity, minimal clouds.
+ Packet pickup at Fleet Feet Old Town Saturday Aug 13 10am – 6pm, or at the race from 6:30–8. I didn't know packet pickup info when registering, and knowing I had a busy weekend, I signed up for mailing. If I knew there'd be race-day pickup I would have done that, but mailing was maybe $10–15, came about 4 days before the race, and was very convenient. I also like that you can add mailing packet AFTER registering. Just log into your account and add it to your registration. I think you can do this until about 2 weeks prior to race day.
+ The Goodie Bag for this race was an awesome 17-ounce water bottle valued at $35. Stainless steel, non-toxic, BPA free, no condensation, wide mouth for ice cubes, keeps drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12, and were a medium brown color that looked a bit like wood with a cute tree design on the bottle. Says Humboldt Park 5k in white lettering.
+ Humboldt Park is very pretty and is a nice change of pace to the LFP. The course was the shape of an M, So you Start and go to the far west of the park and down, then turn around and go half way back, take another trip south, then turnaround north, then finish the M to the east. Start and Finish were the same location.
+ Course was clearly marked, had mile marker signs and clocks, as well as volunteers waving you on the correct way.
+ Parking was pretty easy - street parking seemed ample. I got there early as I didn't know the area, and got a nice spot close to the start (of course even though signs said ok to park, I waited to make sure other runners were parking in the same spot before feeling calm about my decision haha).
+ 11 portapotties. Normally I'd say that were't enough, but the race was smaller and I never noticed any long lines. No lines when I got there, actually, which when I decided to exit my car, was around 7:50.
+ Corrals A & B with about 3 minutes between the two starting. Wave starts help with congestion. (I was wondering how I ended up in B, and then realized when I got there it was the last corral haha).
+ Wide course helped keep things from feeling too crowded.
+ 15 minute/mile pace requirement, so walker-friendly.
+ Pre- and post-race yoga; Sunrise Yoga, 7:30am-8:00am, Power Stretch, 9:30am-10:00am, Hatha, 10:15am-10:45am.
+ One aid station with water and Nuun.
+ Finish line = bottled water and then a shopping type plastic bag with Clif Trail Mix Bar, mini pretzels, creme de pirouline, Nature Valley Chewy bar, Rce Krispy Treat. I'm guessing they gave it all in a bag like that so then you could continue on to the Community Fair.
+ Grab cups of Nuun over at the Nuun tent (near gear check).
+ Free race photos.
+ Runner tracking.
+ Plenty of race communication from RAM - emails were frequent enough (and not too frequent - just the right amount haha) - and the website was kept up to date. Participant Guide was available on the website about 2 weeks prior to race.
- My one minor complaint about this race is there was no real information regarding parking. From someone that doesn't know the area at all (the last and only time I was in the area was for Riot Fest back in 2014, and even then I parked at a friends place a mile or two away and walked over), it would have been nice to have some information on where to look for parking. The only info online was they encourage walking, biking, or public transit. This isn't an option for all, so some tips on where to park (garages, metered parking, whether street parking is free / available / available near race site, or even street names) would have been helpful for this anxious runner. Now that I know, however, i'll be ok for next year.
This was a nice run, and being a smaller participant group, made it more laid-back and fun. Granted, still plenty of elites and other fast folks out there, don't get me wrong, but I didn't feel any pressure but to have some fun, which I did. I'd definitely recommend this race to anyone in the Chicago area. I generally don't go for 5ks anymore unless it's awesome swag and a convenient location, which this is :)