This is my favorite race in Chicago. Held on Memorial Day weekend, the race is 10 miles (one of my favorite distances-long enough to be a challenge but short enough to not wreck your body!) and finishes on the fifty-yard line of Solider Field. Here's my breakdown:
Things I love:
-Well-organized and efficient. The Fleet Feet team knows what they're doing with this race, and they're exceptional at race day execution and packet pickup organization before the race.
-Getting a reusable bag at the end with my race food in it. Great for packing lunches!
-A WIDE running path. The first 4 miles or so of the race is run on a very wide road- plenty of room for everyone to spread out! The race officials also do a great job of staggering the start.
-Finishing on the 50 yard line. After running through the concourse, you emerge onto the grass and sprint to the finish while your friends and family sit in the stands and watch you on the jumbotron.
-Medal is high quality.
-Posing with soldiers in front of the memorial after the race. Great touch and a great way to shake hands with and thank some soldiers personally.
-While you always know traffic will be bad for pickup/dropoff, I was impressed that the Fleet Feet people had a designated Uber drop off area and noted that address in the participant race guide. By giving my driver that address, I was dropped off about as close as I could get to the race without sitting in traffic for 20 extra minutes and was able to walk to the corrals in about 10-12 minutes. I was picked up right outside the back entrance of the Field Museum about two minutes after I requested my Uber. Awesome!
-Good value for a race with great swag and such an iconic finish.
Things I wasn't crazy about:
Honestly- nothing comes to mind! The shirt could have been a little flashier, but it's a solid navy blue, technical running shirt with a classy SF10 logo in light blue/white- I'll wear it a lot. I didn't check any gear so no comments on that. The only thing I wish it that more Chicago Bears came out to run it! It's on their turf after all :)
This is Chicago's best race, and if you don't do it, you're missing out! Can't recommend it enough. Check out my post "10 Things I Learned from the Soldier Field 10 Miler" on Fab Fit Chicago: http://fabfitchicago.com/2014/05/26/10-things-i-learned-from-the-soldier-field-10-miler/.