Latest reviews by Lisa

(2017)
"Decent Race for the price"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I was asked to pace this year's half marathon again, in doing so I received free race entry. The race, held at Montrose Harbor, is comprised of a 5k, 10k and 13.1. Great distances for everyone. I did packet pick up at the event that morning, the only other day was not good for my schedule (friday at roadrunner sports in the city). Packet Pickup was easy peasy, the hoodie was nice, loved the feel of it, not too heavy, but warm! I went to check in the volunteer station to pick up my pacing sign and was told that "someone already did, you are off the hook". OK....I couldn't for the life of me find the other pacer (I did see them out there running...hmmm.). So the race was originally to start at 7am, was moved back to 715 start a couple of days prior. The start of the race was kinda a joke...the country music band was warming up and the national anthem was a joke. It really was disgraceful. Lots of other runners around me were complaining of that as well. After the "singer" was done, the race started with a air horn and a "go!". All of the runners, 5k, 10k, and 13.1 started together. The start was a little crowded but thinned out eventually. The course is a loop done twice to the north on the lakefront path, back to the start and then south on the lakefront path and then back to the start at Montrose Harbor. The aid stations seemed very far apart, some of them were manned and then others were manned by teenagers who really didnt seem to want to be there. Overall, by mile 10, I was ready for this to be over and get my beer and food. By the time I got back, the biscuits and gravy and eggs were cold and it just didnt go down well...I wish it did.To be completely honest, I would only run this race again for the free entry.

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(2017)
"The Chicago Marathon is the best tour of our little city"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The 2017 Chicago Marathon was my 4th time running this amazing race. I once again trained with CARA, being a pace leader for the 1030Awesomes. I was running this year with my husband, who was running his very first Chicago Marathon. Race day morning was easy peasy...took the train down, indoor gear check at the CARA compound in the Palmer House, quick 1/2 mile walk to the start. The starting chute was a little crowded due to increased security, but I was more than happy for this given the climate. We started off this year at a yellow, moderate conditions. The skies were sunny, breezy and temperature a wee bit warmer than ideal. We got off at about 830am for the best 26.2 tour of the city. Running through downtown is always amazing, mile two by the Chicago Theater, then to the financial district and up LaSalle. Running downtown was nice as the buildings shaded us a bit for the beginning. Once up to LaSalle and North Ave, about mile 5, the sun was peeking out and shining on us! By then it was getting a bit warm and we were stopping at the aid stations for much needed water. The aid station volunteers are bar non the best Ive ever encountered at any marathon, their spirit, encouragement, dedication keep the runners going. Mile 6 brought us to the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Shannon Rover Pipe Band greeting us, a first this year! I stopped for a bit to do the reel:) Moving forward, running on the inner drive to miles 7-8 bring us up to Addison and Broadway and Boystown. Love the atmosphere and energy!!! This area def keeps you smiling and pushing on! Back to the course, we go to mile 10-11, down Clark Street to Welles, great shade this year, I was thankful for that. I did miss the beer man on Welles this year...he was not present:( Mile 13 comes about, Charity Row, which is on Jackson. This is the area where all the participating charities are, so much energy, thanks and cheering here will be pushing you thru the next 13.1 miles left on your journey. By this point, it was getting much warmer. Mile 14 brings us to UIC and Taylor Street, hot, not the area, the temperature. Keep running, just keep running, make it to Pilsen. We made it to Pilsen, 18th street and Ashland, about mile 18. This is my ALL time favorite area to run. The locals make you feel so special, they are out there cheering for you! I stopped for my obligatory beer shot and tequila shot, high fives kids, did a little salsa dance, too! My runner's high got me to Chinatown and then I was kinda deflated. The energy is a lot less noticeable than Pilsen...a lot less. Just keep running. Just Keep running, its a 10k from here. By this time, there were sponge stations giving out cold and cool sponges to all the runners, THANK YOU! I grabbed ice from people on the side of the road at mile 22 and stuffed it into my bra...you could here me running! Mile 24 brought about jello shots...i had one, of course! 2 miles left, I CAN DO THIS!! These are the toughest miles, both mentally and physically, however, the crowds cheering you on keep you going. Running up Mount Roosevelt to Columbus drive and the finish had me in tears...I did this, i DID it!!! This Chicago Marathon was my worst running time EVER, did not get my PR I was hoping for, not even close, but I did have a great time. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this run...

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(2017)
"The Chicago Marathon is the best tour of our little city"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The 2017 Chicago Marathon was my 4th time running this amazing race. I once again trained with CARA, being a pace leader for the 1030Awesomes. I was running this year with my husband, who was running his very first Chicago Marathon. Race day morning was easy peasy...took the train down, indoor gear check at the CARA compound in the Palmer House, quick 1/2 mile walk to the start. The starting chute was a little crowded due to increased security, but I was more than happy for this given the climate. We started off this year at a yellow, moderate conditions. The skies were sunny, breezy and temperature a wee bit warmer than ideal. We got off at about 830am for the best 26.2 tour of the city. Running through downtown is always amazing, mile two by the Chicago Theater, then to the financial district and up LaSalle. Running downtown was nice as the buildings shaded us a bit for the beginning. Once up to LaSalle and North Ave, about mile 5, the sun was peeking out and shining on us! By then it was getting a bit warm and we were stopping at the aid stations for much needed water. The aid station volunteers are bar non the best Ive ever encountered at any marathon, their spirit, encouragement, dedication keep the runners going. Mile 6 brought us to the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Shannon Rover Pipe Band greeting us, a first this year! I stopped for a bit to do the reel:) Moving forward, running on the inner drive to miles 7-8 bring us up to Addison and Broadway and Boystown. Love the atmosphere and energy!!! This area def keeps you smiling and pushing on! Back to the course, we go to mile 10-11, down Clark Street to Welles, great shade this year, I was thankful for that. I did miss the beer man on Welles this year...he was not present:( Mile 13 comes about, Charity Row, which is on Jackson. This is the area where all the participating charities are, so much energy, thanks and cheering here will be pushing you thru the next 13.1 miles left on your journey. By this point, it was getting much warmer. Mile 14 brings us to UIC and Taylor Street, hot, not the area, the temperature. Keep running, just keep running, make it to Pilsen. We made it to Pilsen, 18th street and Ashland, about mile 18. This is my ALL time favorite area to run. The locals make you feel so special, they are out there cheering for you! I stopped for my obligatory beer shot and tequila shot, high fives kids, did a little salsa dance, too! My runner's high got me to Chinatown and then I was kinda deflated. The energy is a lot less noticeable than Pilsen...a lot less. Just keep running. Just Keep running, its a 10k from here. By this time, there were sponge stations giving out cold and cool sponges to all the runners, THANK YOU! I grabbed ice from people on the side of the road at mile 22 and stuffed it into my bra...you could here me running! Mile 24 brought about jello shots...i had one, of course! 2 miles left, I CAN DO THIS!! These are the toughest miles, both mentally and physically, however, the crowds cheering you on keep you going. Running up Mount Roosevelt to Columbus drive and the finish had me in tears...I did this, i DID it!!! This Chicago Marathon was my worst running time EVER, did not get my PR I was hoping for, not even close, but I did have a great time. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this run...

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(2017)
"A perfect race that RAM has made not so good..."
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I signed up for the 2017 Soldier Field 10 miler over the summer of 2016, after running the 2016 race. I paid about $45 bucks, I'm glad I didn't pay more than that because I was really sad to see this race not so great this year. Communication was horrible via email, never got ANY emails about packet pick ups, confirmations, etc. I relied on FB to get that info, which if that's the way RAM is going, fine, but tell us! Packet pick up in the city was once again at Fleet Feet Old Town, in and out on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning I headed downtown and found great free steeet parking on Michigan Ave by 18th. I have been burned in the past with the parking situation at Soldier Field (in traffic for over 35 mins last year), even though it's free parking, which is great, I rather walk the .8 miles to and from the race and not deal with the parking garages and construction on Lake Shore Drive. New this year was the starting line being ON the field! Kinda cool! Prior to starting, there was a beautiful ceremony by the Folds of Honor CEO, the official charity of the run. Moved me to tears hearing about the organization, seeing the color guard, hearing the names of the fallen armed forces. We started a bit after 7am, out from the 50 and on to the course. I started in Corral C, kinda tight but not nearly as bad as other races I've ran. We ran to the lakefront path, thru the underpass at McCormick Place, back to Lakeshore Drive for 5 miles. The mile markings were WAY off, I thought it was just me, but everyone around me running was talking about it during our runs. Lots of frustration. Another dislike about this years run was in my opinion LACK of water stations, only 5 on the course. I did though LOVE that Nuun was on the course instead of Gatorade and the volunteers at the water stations were amazing and cheerful and that made me happy! Finished on the 50, got my medal and beer and thankful for all the men and women who keep our freedom. I hope in the future RAM will take note of what made the race not so great for people and change it back to how if used to be when FF put it on...in my opinion, quality.

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(2017)
"Beer and brats at the end of 26.2...count me in! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
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Race Management

This was my 5th time running a marathon, 2nd destination marathon. We drove up from Chicago on Saturday and checked in to our hotel, the Radisson. We headed on over to lambeau for the expo. Plenty of free parking, got our packet and shirts and poncho they were handing out (rain!) and walked around for about 5 mins. Nothing too spectacular, but then again it was about 2p. After we went to Titletown Brewery for lunch (go there if your in Green Bay, really good!). Race day morning we awoke to rain:( we got up, got down to the lobby for the 6am shuttle bus that the race provides from each "partner hotel" which is amazing and headed off to Lambeau for the start. The race started at 7am and we hung out inside of Lambeau praying the rain would let up. The rain stopped for thislong and we got to the start line and met with our pacers (we did the 5:30 since we didn't train well, long runs were not over 14 miles) and we started. The rain started again, just a little drizzle and let up again about mile 3. The race took us thru neighborhoods were people were out cheering, along the Fox Lake running path, downtown Greenbay and back to Lambeau. I cannot say enough about the aid stations, the port a potties, 3 Gu stations, volunteers...were above and beyond. Finished outside of Lambeau to 2 beer tickets and 1 brat ticket waiting for me. Gear check is right at the finish line too so you weren't walking all over to get your stuff. Shuttle busses back to the hotels too were great, took my beer with me! Highly recommend!!!!

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