- 10 miles, Virtual Race
- Road Race
I went into this race with low expectations for myself, since I was still recovering from my 50 miler and it was expected to be warm out. I was a little nervous that the race was going to be canceled due to thunderstorms, but was very happy with the race communication. RAM Racing posted consistently on twitter and facebook with all updates and race alerts.
The morning of the race was very relaxed. We were given free parking under Soldier Field, which is unheard of in most Chicago races. This made the start of the race very accessible. I had my packet mailed to me for convenience, which only cost an extra $15. In side I got a very nice technical top and my race bib. When we arrived at Soldier Field there was a lot of space to walk around, explore the post-race party area, use the restrooms, and even get some free samples of nuun. They had a very convenient area for gear check as well, but I ended up not using it since we parked so close.
To start the race, each bib color and letter correlates with which area you are placed inside Soldier Field. This was organized very well. You could tell all the volunteers knew what they were doing and where we needed to go. Before we started the race, there was a very nice memorial service in honor of fallen soldiers. This was a great touch to honor what the weekend was all about. Each corral was spaced out well so there was room to move around.
The race course is a straight down and back on the Lakefront of Chicago. There is not a ton of shade along the route, but the views of the city were breathtaking on this particular day. The water stations are spaced out about every 2 miles. I would have preferred more on such a hot day, but they were consistent and well organized. They offered Clif gels at mile 7, which is a nice touch for such a sort run. Some marathons don't even do this! The finish was amazing. You start to wind your way back towards Soldier Field and you finish right inside on the field. This is also a great race for spectators since they can come sit in the stands.
Post race was really great! As soon as you finished you received your medal and water bottles. There were real bathrooms, not just port-o-potties, that you could use once you exited the field. Walking further, there was tons of nuun for you to enjoy and they handed you a goodie bag that had all the post-race treats already packed in. This was nice not having to fumble to hold everything. Once I got outside they also had an area giving everyone bags or ice or a cold wash cloth. The post race party had a lively band that played tons of hit tunes. There was a huge open field so you could sprawl out and enjoy the sun and the music. There were tons of vendors handing out free stuff. And I got my free Revolution Brewing beer. I soaked up the sun a bit and enjoyed the party before heading back to the car, which was only a short walk away. I will also note that they instantly emailed me with my results and free photos from along the course!
Overall, this was a great race and I would definitely do this one again!