- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
The 2017 Run Mag Mile event was held on Saturday, September 9 and the runners were greeted with generally great weather at the 7am start: sunny, 58 degrees with 76% humidity. It was probably mid-60s when I finished. RAM Racing was heading the event again this year, and there were a few more changes. This race is constantly evolving, and though at first I was disappointed the half marathon was removed, the event was very well organized, planned, and executed. I ran the 10k, so most of my review will be 10k specific.
+ Packet pickup on Thursday, September 7 (3–6?) and Friday, September 8, 10am–8pm, at Fleet Feet Old Town. You could also choose to pay for packet mailing for $15 up, and add that option up to 3 weeks prior to the race. After the 3 weeks mark, you are required to pickup before race day. No race day pickup option.
+ Friends or family members can pick up for you; just send your QR code/confirmation email to them and say you authorize them to pick up your packet.
+ 5k and 10k distances.
+ 10k got a sweet medal.
+ Plenty of race communication from RAM. Enough emails, but not an annoying amount. Participant guide link was sent out about a week or two before the event. Plenty of time to work out logistics.
+ This year goodie bag included an awesome full-zip sweatshirt. Light blue for women and light grey for men.
+ One of the few races where you get to run down Michigan Avenue – down Magnificent Mile to Chicago and then turn around back to Randolph where you go towards the lake.
+ Scenic course. We started on Columbus heading south (if you were corral maybe C–F you lined up facing east on Jackson), then it sort of bottle necked on the east side while then curving west to go down Congress Parkway, around the curve to go north on Michigan, turn around right before Chicago, east on Randolph, south on the lower LFP, down to the end before it goes around Shedd where you turned to go on the middle path until Balbo, which you then went to the upper path next to LSD, back down to Randolph to head west, then south on Columbus to the finish line.
+ Clocks and mile markers at each marker
+ 4 water/Nuun aid stations for the 10k.
+ FREE race photos. And they were sending me emails with my photos hours after the race. Quick, and good quality. I was surprised at how many there were.
+ After you cross the finish line, I received my medal, mini Luna bars, and a bottle of water.
+ Post-race brunch was on point and all came in a box. Scrambled eggs, sausage, mini bagel, jelly, parm crisps, Dole mixed fruit cup, Piroucrisps, ketchup packet (obviously I didn’t use this haha), wet wipe, napkin, and plastic utensils. Beverage options were Moscow Mule in a can or Revolution (THANK YOU for having a local craft brewery). I believe their options were Oktoberfest or Cross of Gold. I never had a Moscow Mule and was intrigued, so went with that.
+ Being in Grant Park, public transportation, biking, walking, etc – it’s pretty easy to access the start. I parked at Soldier Field because I couldn’t reserve parking at Millenium Garages (??). Without reserving, parking spots are too expensive there, and SF is the same as the reserved price, just a little farther of a walk, which is fine with me.
+ Post-race celebrations had a live band and overall awards.
- The poor volunteers were swamped at the aid stations. There weren’t quite enough of them to hand out, but I did find that they were prepared as far as having cups already filled on other tables – I would just grab from a table when the volunteers were too busy. I know it can be hard to get enough volunteers, and temps were relatively cool for Chicago summer, but it would have been nice if runners didn't have to wait for a cup to be handed to them. This was really the only problem I had with the race, and it wasn't that big of a deal (if it was any hotter or a longer distance it would have been).
• 5k and 10k started at 7am. I felt they were very clear about the different cut offs for each; where they separated. Announcements were made about which side you should be on depending on which race you were running, there were multiple volunteers offering their guidance, and a few signs. Hard to go wrong. I didn’t notice any issues with this, but some people hate when different race distances start at the same time.
• My mom did pickup for me, and for some reason, was given a ‘premium’ item. This was basically last years shirt, just with the 2017 date. She registered really close to the opening of the registration, and didn’t choose a different option (as far as we could remember, there wasn’t a premium option when registering). I had her email them. If nothing else, to get an explanation as to why that was what she was given (though she really wanted that sweatshirt). My view is the worst they say is no, and hopefully explain what happened. Turns out, they gave her the wrong thing. They replied very quickly and had a resolution for her - to pick up her sweatshirt on race day at the event info tent. They didn’t mention what to do with the shirt she got, but she gave it back, as it seemed the right thing to do. Just something I feel is worth mentioning. I appreciate that their prompt response, as some races can’t even reply when you post to their social media accounts asking a vital question.
I enjoyed the race a lot, so will be back for 2018. I feel I don't get to run many 10k options, and though I love the half, I do a LOT of them, so once in a while it's nice to drop down to the shorter distance :)