- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
The Monster Dash 5k is a fun run - no chip time for this race, unlike the 10k and the half marathon. Lots of people were dressed in costume, which makes it fun. This year it was held on Saturday, October 25 in Grant Park (Arvey Field), and it was a gorgeous day for a race! The sun was shining and it was unusually warm for the end of October - in the upper 50s when we started, and maybe mid 60s at the finish.
Things I enjoyed
+ Team Ortho races always have great swag - a long sleeve technical full-zip with thumb holes and a medal.
+ aid station with candy (same aid station, but hit it on the out and then on the back).
+ snack bag at finish with apple, mini LARA uber, potato chips, and candy.
+ people in costume make the race fun.
+ later start than summer races (8 for half, 8:30 for 10k, 8:45 for 5k) - I like that extra shut eye.
+ easy to get to start from CTA.
+ had packet mailed rather than needing to go to packet pickup.
What I didn't enjoy:
- the course; it was a bit weird thanks to a closure on the upper part of the lakefront path, which made for a weird weaving to get down to the lower section.
- no waves or corrals (though they do have pace flags... I don't think anyone follows these); even though it's a fun run, it can stop being fun when the course is crazy congested. With everyone starting at the same time, it's impossible not to have congestion almost the entire way, which is always a bit dangerous.
- the path around the park along with the lakefront path had so many cracks and was uneven in so many places, making it treacherous to run on. I tripped a few times myself, and actually saw someone in a wheelchair after hurting an ankle (not sure if she fell or twisted it). I know this isn't the races fault, but I really wish Chicago would get on it! I felt like I was skipping and jumping half the time to avoid potholes and cracks.
- couldn't hear the announcer at the start line because of the DJ in the party zone - we didn't cross the start line until 8:47, when the race was supposed to start at 8:30. It didn't seem to be moving until about 8:40, so I'm not sure if it started late because the 10k was still being released or what. Again, I couldn't hear the announcer, so it's hard to say what was going on.
If you're slower like I am, and tend to start towards the back because of this, I would suggest running these races for fun rather than time. I am never happy at my finish time at this race series, and it gets frustrating trying to get around people running or walking 3–5 abreast. It's much more fun if you enjoy the day and the run :) Just my opinion; obviously not to say you can't PR, as I'm sure some do, but I think there are other races more suited for PRs than this race series.