Latest reviews by KERL LAJEUNE

(2015)
"Great Run"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Course Scenery
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Parking/Access
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This was my second running of this race since 2011 and it was much better than the first. Starting in Corral A made a world of difference but it seemed very well organized with the staggered start. Announcements were clear and all runners seemed calmed for the great temperature of the morning to race. It is however amazing that 40,000+ runners do this race which by in large is the same count for the Marathon just a few weeks earlier in October. Quite amazing for organizers to arrange and have it not feel like a complete clusterfuck.

Its quite lovely to see the LARGE number of first time runners in this race. It even shows by the wearing of the race jacket which runners rarely do at races from packet pickup. They are all nervous but only guaranteed similes are expected before the days end.

PRO's
- The Aid stations were not mighty but they packed a punch by having VERY energetic volunteers
- The course was spread out enough that racing was not problematic
- Finding the packet pickup at the Hyatt was WAY HARDER than it needed to be but getting the goods was quick. Go figure the escalator maze probably got lots of people lost.
- Post race was incredibly crowded but that added to the greatness of the race with music, dancing and lots of chocolate.

CON's
- Lower Wacker is interesting to run in but is a logistical nightmare.
- Not much else problematic with this race. It was pretty good

Overall, a yearly occurrence as long as it stays the same.

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(2015)
"Start KILLS, but Race Prevails"
Overall
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I stand corrected that the preparation for this race SUCKS. The idea of getting up at 4:30am to rush and make it over to NJ by 7am is already insane. Let alone the wait from 7am-10am before your legs start moving for 26.2 miles. All I can say about this for now the 4th time is WTF?

This year has a bit of a different twist, without Pacing duties, I ran with my muddy which we paced Chicago a few weeks earlier. We had predetermined to run NYC and ENJOY the scenery and race, and that we did thoroughly. We talked, screamed, told jokes and interacted with the spectators in a way I had never done in a Marathon. It was truly how one should enjoy this race. Forget about the PR's and marvel in the sights and sounds of the five boroughs. To notice socially and architecturally the city of NY gave me a better appreciation for the sport and all of the experiences that it offers in a big city.

The organization on the course was great with aid stations, rest stops, Medical and overall support. I never felt like my pace was hindered by the staggered start of the waves. Although charity village was quite challenging moving through the various path to your corrals but it was manageable.

Hope to get in another year and maybe by then, the race will start at 7:30am. Yeah wishful thinking.

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(2015)
"When will the Fun & Excitement stop?"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Course Scenery
Expo Quality
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Running Chicago for the 16th time never cease to amaze me. Pacing the 4:10 for NIKE+ on a day that offered so many great opportunities and also some challenges.

Its quite ironic that when the weather is perfect for spectators, resulting in an unprecedented showing of support on the course. That same weather is not so good for the runners. Needless to say that Chicago never disappoints.

A pleasure seeing so many familiar faces like Jessica and countless others achieve their goals.
Will be here and back again next year.

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(2015)
"HOT & Bothered"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Course Scenery
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Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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Pacing again at this year's race was the catalyst for getting me back to the start line of this race. On a very Hot day where running seems the farthest from your mind, having motivation became crucial. Here are a few of mine:
1. MEB was running as part of the Pace Team.
2. Took a Selfie with MEB to memorialize the opportunity and moment
3. Running and chasing such beautiful bodies throughout the course was a God send
4. Knowing that as a Pacer, you are helping so many get to the finish line
5. Looking forward to the Beer at the end. Wait, its Michelob Ultra (LIFT)....Damn
6. Seeing great friends and runner along the course.
7. Being thankful for the House Music banging just passing Mile 10 on the way to McCormick
8. Knowing that after this race, the Sun will forever be respected.
9. Seeing the Clocktower Runners right after Mile 10 cheering on participants
10.

Decent race overall, not happy with the challenges of the aid stations. Was not amused by the relaxed atmosphere of the race start corrals, expo seemed compact and dismal in excitement, and the swag was just another T-Shirt.

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(2015)
"HUMIDITY kicked my Butt"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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2:00 PACER, Finish 2:00:04

Lifetime Fitness puts on a great show with this race. The organization at the start of the race is exceptional. The announcer knows how to get the crowd going and stay well informed. Even with the prospect of storms coming in, all was calm.

The day starting with temps in the 80's and the prospect of High Humidity in the 82-85% range coming within the house of the start. Naturally as a pacer, there were many questions on what to expect along the course. Proper planning proved beneficial to most that realized this way before the race start. Lots of people struggled only a few miles along the course. However, with the staggered start, pacing and running the race was quite relaxed. Our group did well to manage the race challenges of the heat. Organizers made enough preparations to accommodate runners at various stages knowing the course conditions.

The after party with full breakfast is a signature aspect of the race. Stuffing your face with pancakes, sausages, eggs is such a treat. What else could you ask for! I really appreciate also the sustainable aspect of offering small plants to runners for awareness.

Great event.

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