This was my second year running RAM Racing Pumpkins in the Park 5k. I found it last year when looking for a birthday weekend race and had a lot of fun, so decided to run again in 2017. Weather was pretty warm for mid/late-October, with temps in the 70s. I had a tank top and shorts on, and I was pretty sweaty from the get go.
+ Packet pickup at Fleet Feet Old Town, $15 mailed
+ RACE DAY PICKUP! This is a big deal for me. I have a really hard time getting into the city for packet pickup, and it gets expensive having to get packets mailed all the time.
+ Gender specific, long sleeve tech shirt (super soft and comfy!)
+ Kids race before the 5k
+ Post-race treats include individually wrapped mini pies (two came in the pack), taffy apple, Clif Bars, Popcorn, Revolution Brewing
+ Costume contest
+ Lots of event communication from RAM Racing
+ One aid station with Nuun and water
+ Backdrop for photos
+ Free race photos available about a day after (some even quicker, but there’s always a few more added later on once they finish sorting/tagging)
+ 4pm start! Thank you.
+ The kids dash had a cute little cat medal. Not gonna lie, I really wanted one for myself haha.
+ Parking is easy, but expensive.
- This is a family event, which can mean lots of kids running, so you just have to be aware of your surroundings and watch out for the kids that sprint ahead and stop right in front of you and/or cut in front and almost trip you. I’m not complaining – I knew going in that the course was crowded for someone in the middle of the pack, but just something to be aware of (and if you do run with your kids, try to teach them the etiquette of not stopping to walk right in front of another runner). This could get very dangerous with collisions and falls, so I just like to point it out so others can be aware and hopefully prevent accidents from happening :)
- Long lines for the beer. We would have gotten some, as we enjoy Revolution, but didn’t feel like waiting in the line (which was long because they were checking IDs and doing wristbands, but I guess if they were giving out the wristbands pre-race, then you could have walked on in. Something to keep in mind for next year).
- The course varies a bit in surface and has some bumps, so just be aware of the surface.
- You can park at Lincoln Park Zoo for a generous fee ($30 or so), or use SpotHero or an app like that to reserve parking nearby, or try to find street parking, which can be a pain.
I thought the course was less crowded than last year, but maybe it was I knew how it was the previous year and so my expectations were more on level with what it would be like. I think it’s a really fun race, and love that it starts at 4pm (no early wake up - yay!). I love seeing all of the costumes and families being active. The course is walker friendly and 16m/m pace is the requirement. Definitely and enjoyable time and I’ll probably run it again next year.