- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
The Volition America Run, Created by Major Dan Rooney, USAFR F-16 Fighter Pilot and founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation, Volition America raises funds to help military families pursue their passions through education. To read more about the race and the work of Folds of Honor does, please visit http://www.volitionamerica.com/about.
With the date of this race falling on September 11th, I knew this was a race I wanted to run.
-Easy registration process
-2 packet pick up locations to choose from. One on Friday, the other on Saturday before the race. The race was on Sunday and there was race day packet pickup available which was great for runners like me who traveled to Chicago the day of the race from a couple hours away
- real short lines for packet pickup on race day. Just look up your number on a sepreate table and make your way over to the check in table to get your bib and swag
-swag included a nice drawstring bag with the Volition America logo on it and a zipper pocket on the front. Also was a nice short sleeve tech shirt. This shirt maybe my new favorite race shirt. Love this shirt.
- about 15-20 portable toilets lined up for runners. Lines seemed long before the race but lined moved fairly quickly.
- no corrals for this race but there were pacers lined up to give you a good idea of where you should start from.
-before the race, Major Dan addressed the runners about how the race and foundation began which is a truly great story. We said the pledge of allegiance, Taps was played, and played the national anthem. After the national anthem, with the sound of an air horn, the race started.
- it was a great course. First mile was a loop around part of Grant Park before coming back near the start line and then headed out south along the paths by the lake shore. Runners ran by Shedd Aquarium, before some great views of Lake Michigan. The paths were flat for the most part but were a few hills and underpasses going under the road.
-Mile 2 was awesome. It was the Blue Mile where the race honored soldiers that have been lost. Runners were able to submit names and pictures of family and friends who sacrificed their life for our country. Along with that were volunteers holding American Flags lining the course and supporting the runners. Pretty cool scene.
-turnaround was around mile 6. After that you stared running back north with a view of skyline ahead. Another great view.
-very well marked course.
-aid stations had water and Gatoraid. Aid stations were about every 1.5 miles.
-the finish line was lined with American flag and announcer calling out every runners name as they finished. Even pronounced my last name right.
-after you finished you can get some water, fruit, pretzels and other goodies. A volunteer also put a medal on you.
-the medal is pretty sweet with the race logo on it. After you did all that, you could step over and have a post race photo taken with your well earned medal.
-post race there were free samples to taste from some sponsors. You could also purchase a few other race items. Also there was a DJ playing music.
-awards were announced for the top 3 make and female overall winners. Awards were also given for top 3 in each age group.
-course was a nice location, close to tourist spots such as the Shedd Aquarium, Buckingham Fountain, the Bean in Millenium Park, and the Art Institute.
These are really out of the races hands.
-this is the first time I had ran a race in Chicago, but the course is not closed to other runners, walkers, and bikers. With a 7:00 start, it wasn't too bad early but as the race went on, it became more crowded. There was even another race going on. Not much the race can do about it and it really wasn't that bad. I don't see any way that the city could control this even if they wanted to.
-parking. As a guy from a small town, I hate paying for parking for any event, but this is Chicago. No avoiding it. Parking wasn't too far away, it made for a good warmup.
-parts of the course, especially mile 12, the pavement was rough and really had to watch your step. Once again, this is an issue for Chicago to work on.
I loved this race and will be on the lookout for the race date for next year.