I am such a fan of the Elvis is Alive 5K – it’s so nice to take a break and just run a race for the sake of running with friends and not worry about trying for a PR or reaching a time goal. I’ve done it for the past several years and here’s my experience this year:
Sign-up: Easy on-line sign-up. I signed up both my husband and myself with one checkout.
Packet Pick-up: Also easy if you are located near one of the Chicago Fleet Feet Stores. They had pick-up Mon., Tues, Wed. of this week – all nights where one store or the other has a fun run or chicks night run.
T-Shirt: A stylish cotton-blend charcoal grey t-shirt with an Elvis logo that is more subtle than in the past few years – very nice and a shirt I will certainly wear. The ladies shirts ran small as seems to be the trend recently, but I was able to exchange my shirt on the spot for a larger size.
Getting there: Parking near Diversey Harbor is pretty crappy so I took public transport. Brown Line to the Diversey bus – last stop dropped me right at ground zero for the race.
Pre-Race: Lots of people milling around but I managed to find the friends I was meeting up with. The Elvis impersonator was warming up with a few classic Elvis hits. Always great people watching at this race especially with all the people in full-Elvis costumes. Plus, it seems that there are a ton of non-racers/non regular runners that show up and some of what they wear is pretty baffling.
The Course: Crowded. I’m happy this was just a fun run – if I was busting a hump to get a PR or hit a goal time I’d have been pissed. Other than that the course was well thought out and has some nice turns to make things interesting. It did eventually thin out and I can blame some of the crowding on the fact that I waited a long time to get into a the coral and had to start pretty far back.
Post-Race: THE BEST. Fleet Feet was giving away award poker chips for the race in the previous few weeks so I had extra beer chips. Foodwise they had: peanut butter-banana sandwiches, Snyders pretzels, Clif Bar minis, bananas, and watermelon. They also had bottled water and Gatorade if you weren’t a beer drinker. Plus you get the free Elvis impersonator concert and it was such a nice night we all stuck around to listen for awhile. There were two food trucks there selling something, but my group had dinner plans for after so I didn’t investigate too closely – it was a nice touch though for hungry people who wanted to hang around for the festivities.
Yeah, it’s a crowded lakefront path race – but it’s not timed so you can just run for fun. You might say, “hey, I can run the lakefront path for free any time I want to – why pay for an untimed race?” To that I say how often is your lonely run finished up at a party?