Latest reviews by Zenaida

(2018)
"Soldier Field 10 Mile"
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This race is one of my favorites in Chicago. I love the location and the distance. This one was a HOT one compared to the other times I've run it.

I received NO communication from RAM regarding packet pickup or any other race information. Luckily I looked for the info on the website.

A friend of mine picked up my bib and shirt from Fleet Fleet Old Town since I dislike going to that location.
It takes me about an hour to get there and then another hour to get home. I prefer the South Loop location.

I left my house at 5:30am. Perfect time to avoid the traffic and still manage to park for free in the parking lot. One of my favorite things about it since parking is around $20. If I had to pay, I would have taken public transportation.

That start was inside the stadium. We had access to the indoor bathrooms which is nice. By the time I got inside, most of the runners were already lined up so there were no bathroom lines. I was in corral K but moved to L. I was in the 2nd wave and I didn't start till about 7:30am. Too long of a wait. I understand the reason behind it so maybe I just need to run faster so I can get an earlier start. :-)

I knew it was going to be a HOT day but I wasn't really prepared for it. It was nice and cool inside the stadium but one I was out I could feel the heat. Oh, and it was crowded. Too congested. Plus, it was annoying to see walkers in the middle of the path. That is one of my pet peeves.

I was feeling OK till about mile 3. Then the heat just got to me. By now my goal was simply to not pass out and finish it.

I got annoyed at the turnaround point because the announcer teased us that we looked like we could use some ice. I thought for sure we would get some ice. We didn't. Rude.

The volunteers were wonderful. At every water station, there was water and Nuun ready for me. I never had to wait. One volunteer was nice enough to fill up my water bottle with Nuun.

The finish is inside Soldier Field. I was happy to run into the tunnel leading inside. At least now it was shaded and I was almost done.

I got my medal and a bottle of water. I also got a goodie bag. I stayed for about 20 minutes to see some friends and then went home. I was hungry and tired. I wanted a burger and a beer. No, not Budweiser. Usually I do not pass up free beer but I was not in the mood for Budweiser.

Overall, it is a great race and would recommend it to everyone to run it.

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(2018)
"Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K"
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I've done this race in the past. It used to be the Magellan Development Chicago Half Marathon. I did the 10K in 2011 and the half marathon in 2009 and 2010.

A friend of mine picked up my bib and goodie bag for me. I sent her a copy of my ID and it was very easy for her to get it for me. I signed up for the 10K and instead got a bib for the half marathon. Not a problem as I ran the 10K anyway.

It was a new start line for me (Maggie Daley Park) since in the past it was at The Park at Lakeshore East. Both locations are very close to each other so it wasn't a big deal/difference getting there.

The half marathon began at 7am and the 10K at 7:45. I saw plenty of port-a-potties and there was no line for them. Of course it seemed empty since most of the runners were already running.

The 10K is a great distance race. I didn't feel cold while running. However, once I was done I got very cold. Unfortunately I didn't participate in any of the post-race activities. I took a few pictures and left. I wanted to take advantage of the beer, breakfast, and the spring flower station.

I love the medal featuring a spinning Navy Pier Ferris Wheel and the free race photos. I also love the color of the shirt. Perfect for spring!

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(2018)
"Christie Clinic Illinois Half Marathon"
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The race was on Saturday, April 28. It was sunny but also chilly.

The expo was pretty small. Not too many vendors but enough that you would buy any last minute items (gels, handheld, etc). Parking was free which is always nice.

It was easy to get to the start line. Again, free parking. Lots of port-a-potties. There was a line in all of them but they seemed to move fast. There were corrals but no one was looking or verifying.

The course goes through Champaign/Urbana. You run through residential areas and the college area. The course is mostly flat with some minor inclines. You don't even feel them and I am from Chicago which is ALL flat.

Not too many spectators but the ones that were there did a great job of cheering for us. Lots of families out there spectating.

Water and Gatorade at about every 2 miles. Some water was in Gatorade cups but the volunteers made sure to let you know it was water. There was an orange (fruit) stop which was yummy and another one giving out gels.

I was supposed to run the marathon but something didn't click at mile 6. I walked and tried to keep running. At mile 9 I knew i wasn't going to finish and decided to run the half marathon. Overall, pleased that I was able to finish the half.

It is a great race. I've done the marathon relay and would like to do it again. Everyone was friendly and made the race more enjoyable. The best part was finishing inside Memorial Stadium. Also, I loved all of the communication sent by the organizers. Not too many but enough to keep me in the loop.

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(2018)
"Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle"
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This was my 10th time running this race. It is always a fun race with thousands of people running along part of the same route as the Chicago Marathon.

I didn't like the shirt. The fit was smaller and a big tight. Also the expo was horrible this year. It seems like over the years the expo quality has been declining. I didn't mind too much because I rarely buy anything at the expo. This year I did buy two Sparkly Soul headbands.

The crowd support is outstanding but I also noticed there were fewer people out there today. Perhaps because it was a VERY cold day for a race. I noticed the water stations but did not stop at any of time. I was in a groove and just kept running.

I was able to change my corral from F to D so that put me in Wave 1 which I was happy about. I didn't want to wait too long to start running because of the weather. The closing corral time was 8:20 am but even after that time there were still people trying to get in the corral.

I've also run this race in warmer weather and it is always a hit or miss with the weather in Chicago. Don't let that stop you! It is definitely worth doing this race.

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(2017)
"Art Van Turkey Trot 5K Chicago"
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I had originally signed up for the 8K. However, I know it is always cold in November so when I picked up my bib on Sunday (was in and out in 10 minutes), I changed it to run the 5K. I did not read the information carefully because later on that week I found out that there was race day packet pickup. That is what I get for not reading carefully the race information.

One thing I dislike about racing in Lincoln Park is the parking. I knew it would be a hassle so I made sure to get there early to get a spot. Indeed I did (5 minutes from the start) but I had to wait about 2 hours in my car. Not sure if it was worth it. I left my car at 8:50 to use the port-a-potties and run the race.

There were 2 waves in this race. I did not plan it carefully because I missed the 1st wave. By the time I made it to the race and was done using the port-a-potties, people were lining up for the 2nd wave which began at 9:30. I was annoyed (mainly at myself) because I could have been in the 1st wave if I had left earlier.

Finally it was time to run and it was a total mess. The path was narrow and there were so many people on it. There were lots of walkers (which is fine) but I wished they would have moved over to the right. I had no time goal for this race but just to have fun. I tried. I was happy with the weather because it did warm up. It was CROWDED. I am not a fast runner at all and found myself weaving around to pass the runners.

The turnaround was a little before Irving Park Road. I don’t remember at what point the 5k and 8K runners split up but eventually we were reunited. Yeah, this merging area was suitable.

By now my goal was just to get to the finish line. And that is exactly what I did. I was happy to be done and collect my medal. But before I could do that, I had to get through a gridlock of people also trying to collect their medal.

I didn’t stay afterwards to enjoy the festivities but it looked like people were having a good time after the race. Me? I just wanted to get out of there. I still had to walk about 1/4 mile to my car. The race didn't start and end at the same location.

Overall, not a big fan of the race. The path was too narrow for the number of people running. I am not planning to run this race again. I prefer running races downtown because for me it is easier to get to it.

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