- 3 miles/5K
- Road Race
I really wish I ran this race in the past because I didn't realize just how awesome it was! The crowds were bigger than I anticipated and the energy was immense! Though, I shouldn't be too surprised since I've run just about every RAM Racing event. They always do such a great job with the course layouts, swag, and prerace energy. Here are a few of the highlights:
Registration: RAM Racing always makes it easy with the website registration and remembers you from previous races. Fees for the race are definitely reasonable and being that this was a great charity race to support the community, you can't put a price on it.
Packet Pickup: There was no suburb race packet pickup for this race, probably due to the fact that it was a true local neighborhood race. Fleet Feet Lincoln Square is easy to get to and there were multiple days to pickup your packets as well as race day pickup which I rarely take advantage of! I came on Friday to get my stuff and the staff is always friendly and smiling.
Parking/Bag Check: If you read the participant guide prior to the race, then you knew which streets were going to be closed and what times they lasted until. I know that neighborhood well enough so parking was plentiful and I didn't get there too early. The bag check was easy to find near the start line and it looked like many took advantage of it.
Race Start: There's something about the start line energy that gets me pumped up for every race. RAM Racing always kills it with motivational loud music and words of support for the runners. There were plenty of announcements as well as time updates so people could start to migrate to the corrals. Another great thing that RAM Racing includes is the start line National Anthem. They always seem to pick a singer with a great voice! The 3 corrals were started with about a minute interval between them. I didn't realize that there were 2500 runners for this race!!
Course: The course runs through one of my favorite Chicago communities and right next to my all time favorite pizza place ever. The course is pretty flat but there were plenty of speed bumps throughout the streets. The awesome volunteers stood by each bump with megaphones to warn all of the runners. The support along the smaller race was incredible, Many people were sitting outside their homes to watch and cheer the runners along. There was one aid station with Nuun and water but for a 5k race, that was more than enough.
Finish Line: Seeing the enormous finish line marquee always gives a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. The crowds were enormous along the entire last quarter mile. The volunteers were amazing as they always are with every RAM race. The post race area was filled with the usual freebies like bananas, water, chips, crackers, and nutrition bars.
Swag: The t-shirts for this years race were great! I love a red tech shirt with a cool logo and this didn't disappoint. The sizing was just right and while I don't wear the race shirts on the day of the race, I do wear it for training the day before the race.