Latest reviews by Heather
This was my first year experiencing this race, and the 10 mile race distance, and I thought it was great! I think 10 miles might be my new favorite race distance ;) The packet pickup was held every day the week prior to the race (Monday–Friday), which made it quite easy to fit into my schedule. Pickup was well organized and I had no issues. Fleet Feet really puts on some quality races.
Things about this race I enjoyed:
• Organized packet pickup
• Free Parking at Soldier Field... that never happens!
• Beautiful scenery on course (Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan - always pretty)
• Plenty of aid stations with water and Gatorade Endurance (5 total)
• Running on parts of Lake Shore Drive
• Getting to run in the player tunnel and finish on the 50 year line = awesome!
• Great swag: technical t-shirt, decent sized medal, and a reusable bag with a velcro close
• Post race refreshments: bottle of water, cups of Gatorade, bag had pretzels, Clif Bar, and fruit snacks
• Fun post-race tailgate party with 1 free beer per participant (could buy additional if you wanted)
Things I didn't like:
• The shirt was a little snug
That's it! Other than the shirt sizing, I thought it was a great, well-organized race! I'm definitely keeping this race on my radar for next year!
For a more in-depth review, feel free to check out my recap: http://heatherrunsthirteenpointone.blogspot.com/2014/08/soldier-field-10-mile-recap.html
This was my second year running the Shamrock Shuffle, and felt it to be a better experience than the first (back in 2012). They got rid of the weird bottlenecking that happened on Lake Street, so that was a major bonus. The Corrals were also split up into lots of smaller groups, which helped with the overcrowding (though let's face it – with a race this large, there's always going to be some issues with crowding, you just have to get over it).
Things I like about this race:
• Great expo with a lot of vendors – you can find everything you might need here... I always end up with a lighter wallet and heavy bags ;)
• Fun course – with a start and finish near Grant Park, you get a chance to run the streets of Chicago instead of the usual courses on the Lakefront Path (but watch out for potholes, especially after that winter we had), plus getting to run down State Street
• Great after party
• Plenty of on course support and aid stations – never saw a line at the toilets, 2 stations on course had water and Gatorade
• Lots of toilets at the start and finish – with that many people you'd expect lines, but I never waited in one.
Things I didn't like:
• The shirt... I'm not a big fan of white (though happy it was dry-tech at least). Also, thanks to experience, I knew to order a size up, as my usual size with them was snug
• Crowded, but I think they did a great job of managing that many people with corral sizes and wave starts, but just a warning if you hate crowds. I'm not sure many people would be able to PR this race, unless you had a great corral start (A or B maybe), so go in to it with the idea of having fun!
I enjoy this race and plan on running it again each year, if I'm able. It's a nice way to get out and enjoy some not-so-wintery weather (though who knows what it'll be like each year! I remember it being unusually warm for 2012).
You can read more about my recap here, if you'd like: http://heatherrunsthirteenpointone.blogspot.com/2014/04/bank-of-america-shamrock-shuffle-8k.html