The Soldier Field 10 Miler is a great race for experienced long course runners as well as for those that are just starting to do long runs. For starters, calculating your splits on a 10 mile race is way easier than on a 13.1 distance :)
The race begins next to Soldier Field on Chicago's lakefront. The race route immediately takes you through a 3-block tunnel at McCormick place, which is kind of a drag, but the rest of the race is steps from the waters of Lake Michigan. Beautiful. Right before the finish, you come out of the same tunnel that the Bears use to take the field before each game, and the finish line is on the 50 yard line (well, probably more like the 25, but you get the idea). Sadly, the Jumbotron was not working this year. In the past, you could see yourself on the big screen as you cross the finish line. Not sure what happened this year.
The swag was a little disappointing. We used to get nice blankets in addition to the tech shirts. This year, just the shirts. Post-race goodie bags included fruit, snacks and water. Also, a free beer for each runner. No complaints there.
Parking is free, which is great. Other races utilize the same parking lots make you pay up to $24 for event parking, so this is a big perk. It can take a while to get into the lots from Lake Shore Drive, so leave plenty of time. I sometimes go south of Soldier Field, turn around, and approach the parking from the South. There seems to be fewer cars coming from the south side, so it takes less time to enter the parking lots from that direction.
This is a great race that is very well organized. Highly recommended!