I had initially signed up for the 10K race. However, given the severe heat warning we've had in Chicago this entire week with race-time temps forecasted to be in the 90s, I had planned on dropping down to the 5K. As it turned out, the race organizers opted to cancel the 10K distance and host only the 5K distance. I thought this was a very smart decision on their part, and a huge relief to many participants (including me).
Once I arrived on site, packet pickup and gear check were both a breeze. The swag was fabulous - an adorable tank top and tote bag, magazines, and product samples. (It is always nice to get anything other than a t-shirt!)
I met up with several of the other Chicago Running Bloggers for a pre-race photo:
|From L to R: Sara, Katie, Diane, Erica, Kelly, me, and Erin|
Before lining up, I went to the portapotties (no lines!) and took a quick look at some of the vendor booths. The vendor offerings were awesome! More about that in a bit.
Prior to the start of the race, the organizers made several announcements that they'd doubled medical coverage on course, added extra mist fans and other cooling measures, and that we should be sure to take things easy in the heat. Excellent. After a stirring rendition of the national anthem, the horn sounded and we were off. I ran the entire distance with Sara and Erin and we chatted the whole time.
The course took us through gorgeous areas of Lincoln Park that I had never seen or even knew existed. It was stunning. Here are some snippets:
My official time was 31:50 and we were met at the finishing line with ice towels, more mist fans, and plenty of water and Gatorade.
The post-race party was awesome and so unique! Just to name a few of the offerings, they had a champagne bar, chocolate-avocado pudding with strawberries, grilled whole-wheat flatbread and carrot sticks with hummus, coconut water, make-your-own-potted-plants, mini-spa services and massages, nail polish samples, chocolate truffles, and lots of drawings for pamper-yourself items/services. It was fantastic! The cute little tote bag that was provided as part of the race swag really came in handy for all of the goodies being handed out, too.
Here are some pictures of the women enjoying the various festivities (a couple of these photos came from the Esprit de She Facebook page). The race tank top is featured in the upper right.
I also randomly ran into an old friend/former coworker, Joanne, whom I hadn't seen in probably five years!
|L to R: me and Joanne|
I really loved this race! The event was very well organized with tons of amenities, a beautiful course, and a very festive summertime atmosphere. I had actually never run an all-female race prior to this one, and it was a wonderful experience. It felt like a night out on the town with 500 of my closest runner friends.
I can't wait to do this race again next year. If given the opportunity, I would love to check out their races held in other cities, too!