The 2016 race is the first year this race is organized. It's a 5k the day before the Chicago Marathon. The course starts in downtown Chicago, runs next to Lake Michigan and ends next to where the marathon finish line is. For being the first year, the race was well organized, and had about 3,000 runners.
If you sign up early enough, you get to have your country flag printed in your bib which I think is pretty unique! I hope this race continues to grow and attracts more and more runners. I sort of envision this race like the 5k race days before Boston and a similar race before NYC's marathon. The course is chip timed and instead of getting a medal you get a winter hat, which this year looks pretty nice!
There is no other swag available, but I hope as the race grows, medals or shirts become part of it.
One thing to note is that there is no gear check, and the course is from point A to B so the finish is at least a mile away from the start, so you'll probably want someone holding your gear during the race.
Race is put together by the same team that organize the marathon so there's comfort in that it was well thought.
Thumbs up on this one!