Latest reviews by Lisa Verdon

(2021)
"Bucktown 5k 2021"
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First time running the Bucktown 5k. I ran it as it was a CARA Circuit Race.
Communication was frustrating…hardly any updates and emails regarding the race. Lots of other CARA circuit racers were vocal about this. Not a deal breaker, but also not up to the CARA standards we are used to.

Packet pickup was frustrating. One day, one location at the Fleet Feet in Old Town where there is min parking. Not sure why morning pickup wasn’t offered. That would have been great.

Swag was a nice zip up hoodie, I liked that. No medals. No awards.

I recall only one aid station, thank God for the residents who made aid stations along the course because it was humid. Hose water tasted amazing.

Volunteers were a plenty, there were also many Chicago Police Officers along the route keeping it safe from traffic and cheering runners on! That was great!

Overall, I would recommend it as a circuit race, it’s close, inexpensive and the hoodie was great. If it weren’t for the circuit status, I’d pass it up for another race.

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(2021)
"Glad it was back, but missed how it used to be "
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Happy to be racing in person again, 4 on the 4th is typically one of my favorite races!
This year the race was called 4 on the 3rd and it’s was once again on July 4th weekend in Elmhurst, starting at Elmhurst College.
Registration was easy and cost of the race was as previous race cost, which was great. The race was once again on the Chicago Area Runners Association circuit. At registration, runners were asked for their pace/estimated pace which what one could imagine was for corral placement…wrong. Corrals were placed by day of registration, meaning that if you came with a group but registered on different days, you had to wait for them to start. Corrals were started every 15 minutes (waaaay too long to wait), starting at 715. Some of the course marshalls were rude and some were nice about waiting in corrals with friends. I heard from many a runner they just ran when they wanted to as lots of people car pooled and didn’t wAnt to wait around for their rides. Course scenery is through downtown Elmhurst, volunteers are always great on course, thank you to the Elmhurst Police Department for cheering on the runners, too!
No excitement at the end, no awards ceremony, no donuts or anything. Kind of a let down. I’m hoping that they bring the race back to how it was next year.

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(2021)
"🐻Run like a Bear!! "
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Bear down, Chicago Bears!!
As a life long Chicagoan and Bears fan, when I was offered a complimentary entry for the race as a BibRave Pro I couldn’t say no!!
The PNC Chicago Bears Virtual 5k was a very affordable race with some great swag and supporting the Bears’ charity, which made the race even more special.
The swag for each runner was pretty cool…a great orange shirt with the bear and “run like a Bear” on it. Can’t wait to wear it for games! Runners also got a neat Neck gaiter with the bears logo on it, some bling for Medal Monday, a bib to wear on your run and a digital finishers certificate for afterwards to show off your time!
I ran the 5k along the lakefront in Evanston and finished in front of a Chicago Bears mural that a local artist created. It was one of my fastest 5ks since races started to open again.
I really enjoyed this virtual race because of the swag and it was meaningful to run in my hometown for my hometown team!
Def recommend to run it and looking forward to another Chicago Bears 5k soon!!

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(2021)
"Lakefront 10 is back and better than ever! "
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The Lakefront 10 and 5k is put on by the Chicago Area Runners Association. This is, by far, one of my favorite races on the Chicago race calendar.
Due to COVID, the race was capped at a certain amount of runners and the race SOLD OUT with a day for the 10 mile distance, which is what I ran.
Packet pickup was at 3 or 4 different Fleet Feet stores around Chicago. There was no on-site pickup on race day. Not a big deal. At registration, there was an option to purchase a medal or not. I chose to forgo the medal. I do love the long sleeve, light weight shirt in a lovely Kelly green!
Race day morning was VERY organized. Each corral had their own marshal who also served as gear check, monitoring the area where runners could leave their belongings. There was also a porta potty in each corral. That was a nice touch! At the start of the race, each corral marshal lead their group to the start line. Each runner was assigned a number on their bib which corresponded with a number on a cone. Each runner was to stand by the cone and we were brought up 5-7 at a time to start. The elapsed time between starts was about 15-20 seconds per group in the corral. It sounds confusing but it was efficient and worked well.
The scenery is the usual Chicago Lakefront path, up to Foster, down to Fullerton, back to Cricket Hill and finish on the Wilson track. The scenery is my everyday run, but my friends who live out of the city love the view and the path. The course aid stations were great, water, medical and LOTS OF CHEERS!
The hill was at the end, like at mile 9.9. I MF’d the hill the whole way up. I was tired by the end of the run. I had lots of adrenaline, lots of excitement, lots of happiness.
After the race, runners were asked to go to their corrals, get their stuff and leave. No beer:( No music:( but we got to run, which was great!
Thank you to all of the volunteers, CARA, the runners, for such an amazing day.

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(2017)
"The Chicago Marathon is the best tour of our little city"
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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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