So, despite it not at all being part of my fancy training schedule, I did the Chicago Running Bloggers Run for Boston 5K on Saturday morning. When this race was organized I registered right away because, duh! - good cause! I also registered my long-suffering husband because I love springing on him that I have signed us up for races. I probably mentioned it to him at the time, but then two months passed and suddenly I got a reminder about the race and packet pick-up instructions. He wasn’t exactly thrilled about the race but he gamely agreed to do it – after all, it was just a 5K. The weather report didn’t look great and I declared that if it was raining in the morning when we woke up that we could bail.
Morning came and although it looked grey and a little threatening, it was not raining. The race was scheduled for 9am in Libertyville. I assume the 9am start was because many of the participants were probably coming from Chicago and it’s a 45 minute drive just to get up to Libertyville. Whatever – I was just happy it didn’t start at 7am. The race was held at a stunningly beautiful forest preserve. Seriously – it looked like a slightly less floral version of the Chicago Botanic Gardens. A tiny drizzle had started by the time we got up there but there were enough trees around to block most of the rain. Everyone was in good spirits despite the rain and about 4 minutes before 8am we all lined up in the start area. A couple of the organizers spoke, there was a moment of silence, and a representative from the recipient charity (Who Says I Can’t – they provide artificial limbs and support to those hurt in the Boston bombings) thanked everyone for helping to raise over $10K – pretty impressive! The race started right on-time at 8am and we all took off on a paved path that wound around the (man-made?) lakes and through the preserve. There were a few small hills and we crossed (I think) three bridges which luckily were not too slimey with mildew since the rain was starting to pick up. People had mostly lined up to their abilities and the pack thinned out pretty well after about a half mile. My Garmin had crapped out right before the race so I didn’t have any idea of what my pace was or how far I’d gone – I was only able to judge a bit by how many songs had played on my shuffle.
As with any 5K the end came pretty quickly. There was plenty of post-race refreshments and I grabbed two water bottles and waited for my husband to cross. He was about a minute behind me and we hightailed it to the car since it was starting to rain a little harder.
Packet Pick-up: held at RAM-Deerfield I was able to get there on my lunch hour and pick everything up. I think they may have had some confusion about handing out the numbers to people picking up multiple packets because I realized once I looked at everything that I didn’t know which # was mine and which was my husband’s. No biggie – we asked at the race and they said it didn’t matter because times would be listed by # and not name. There was also race day packet pick-up and the line was very short.
Swag: a nice, gender specific tech-t in an unusual color – light grey. Also in the race bag were bars from Kind and Luna and a Biofreeze sample. There were also a selection of flyers from sponsors and a couple of nice coupons.
Setting/Course: really nice – I had no idea this forest preserve was even there and I’ll certainly bring my running group up here for a run later this year. The course didn’t have mile markers (at least I don’t think so, but sometimes I don’t really notice stuff like that when I’m running) but was well marked as to directions. The path was paved and about 10’ wide – plenty of room once the crowd thinned out.
Organization: Great – especially for a first time race. There were plenty of volunteers and they were all really nice, especially the ones near the end who were cheering runners .
What I wore: Oiselle Bum Wrap skort (still my favorite running skort), my 2013 Ragnar shirt, Balega socks and Saucony Kinvara 3s (closeout price $60 – what a deal!)
I’m still trying to find out my time – nothing has been posted yet – but I’m thinking it wasn’t a PR anyway and in reality, this race wasn’t about time anyway – more about coming out to support a great cause.
Lots of workouts this week and then the Fleet Feet Chicago Women's Half-Marathon on Sunday. I'm already thinking that this isn't going to be a superb race for me. I'm undertrained and it's going to be hot. I'm thinking of ditching my timing tag and finding a friend who would like to be paced for a finish around 2:10 and see if they want some help. We'll see how I feel on race morning.