I ran this race in 2014 for the first time and volunteered in 2016.
Overall I do like this race, some minor tune ups and it will be on par with other big races in the city.
-Packet Pick Up: 4 Locations two in the suburbs two in Chicago, all at Road Runners - the Chicago location has a parking lot. Packet pick up was also available race day, which I wish I would have taken advantage of since there was virtually no line.
-Goody bag was a shirt and bib, shirt looks okay - full zip long sleeve. I do think looking at it the quality from last year is better (volunteers received a race shirt last year)
-Gear Check was simple and you could bring your own bag.
-Pre race had water and gatorade in the center of the track
-Plenty of Port o Potties - line looked a little long, I went early.
-It was Nice to warm up on the track
-Water stations needed a few extra volunteers, they were spaced out evenly which was good. I liked the cups a lot.
-Course was well marked.
-CARA does a good job of utilizing different parts of the path including Cricket Hill... twice.
-I have one huge complaint, I think I've written about this in another race review at this exact same spot. The Belmont intersection needs two volunteers- especially one to stand on the side where cars enter. I almost got hit and the guy started driving through the race path when there were a ton of runners going through. It was super dangerous and the volunteer didn't really seem to be paying attention. A few runners going south stopped in their tracks because they would have gotten hit otherwise.
-Overall volunteers were awesome from packet pick up to the finish. The above incident is a bummer.
-There are a few spots where you can see friends going north or south who are also running the race.
-A few spectators along Cricket hill which was nice.
-I like this course even though they seem to utilize every incline in the path vicinity. What can I say? I hardly ever encounter a hill.
-Since this race kicks off the CARA Circuit it gets pretty competitive which if that is something you are interested in they have space for club teams at the race.
-I was not a fan of the track. two laps around was brutal mentally.
-Finishers of the 10mi and 5K receive the same medal
-I do like the glass colored background on the medal
-Finishing food water in an aluminum bottle (super cool - but hard to open. I couldn't open it until my fingers were warm) bag of popcorn which I don't like popcorn, but I really liked this brand... need to find it again. Bagel, which was either cold or stale. I took a few bites and had to toss it. Also bananas cut in half-nwhich were super mushy. I think Muscle Milk was on site, but not a priority for me since I brought my own Vega Recovery.
-NovaCare was onsite doing recovery
-American Cancer Society and Chicago half were onsite. I think there were a few more, but I was too cold to wander around.
-I HATE cutting across runners during a race so it was super easy to get trapped inside of the Montrose Track, but in the process of getting trapped I was able to see a friend finish.
-It sounds like photos will be free? I'm not sure I didn't see many photographers on course.
-Race Results up shortly after, however my results are showing the gun time and not chip.
Only minor complaints, post race food, shirt, additional aid station volunteers, and Belmont intersection volunteer communication.