- Road Race
For me, the initial appeal of this race was that it is on the CARA circuit this year (2015) and it is reasonably accessible from the city. Our team (Fleet Feet / Nike Racing), is based in Chicago and focused on winning the CARA circuit this year which requires a decent amount of travel around the Chicagoland area so we try to choose as many races in or near the city limits.
Thanks to the support from the well endowed Northwestern Athletic Department this event offers quite a few amenities that many other races of this size (617 finishers in 2015) don't have. For example, finishing on Ryan Field is a lot of fun as is running through the Northwestern campus, the non-conference game ticket with race entry, and pancake breakfast. In addition, the small size makes it easy to find parking and keeps the atmosphere casual at the start line and after the run.
While the course is picturesque and flat, running down the quiet streets of Evanston and the Northwestern campus, it is not particularly fast. From the gun, there is a sharp right, then left turn, and at the southern most portion of the course there is a short gravel out and back with some sharp turns.
I don't know that I'd return to run this race if it isn't on the CARA circuit next year, but I'd certainly consider it since it seems like a pretty good deal to me and it was nice to get a break from your typical Chicago lakefront 5k.