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!
I'm glad to see you were able to make it to the run after all! I considered taking your bib off your hands, but hot + 10k didn't sound all that appealing.ReplyDelete
But that post-race party sounds great! And there is something really cool about an all-women's race - I've done two now, and I really liked the experience. It also seems like they really had it together for a brand new race, especially given the super hot weather. I wonder if next year they'd consider holding it during a less hot and steamy time of year? :)
I have to admit that with the heat index I debated not going to the race, either, and I bet a lot of other women (especially those that had to travel long distances) ended up backing out, too. But it was definitely worth it - the race was SO well organized! I would love if they held this race in the summer or fall! And the all-women's racing experience has me thinking of trying the Chicago Women's Half Marathon next year, too. =DDelete
umm where is the spaz photo?!!?!ReplyDelete
Glad you had fun for the race! The after race festivities sound great! and no line porta potties?! wooooo
LOL, unfortunately no spaz photo. I took a little hiatus from spazzing amidst the heat for once. But never fear, I've got plenty of other spaz photos soon to come!!! =DDelete
Congrats. Love the pics. Looks like you had some terrific views! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Pete! It was incredible to discover such hidden gems amongst the city in an area that I thought I knew so well!!!Delete
Wow, that post race party does sound amazing! I need to make sure I do it next year.ReplyDelete
Zenaida!!! Definitely come run this race next year - you would LOVE it!!!Delete
Great recap and such a fun race! I want to do it next year too! :)ReplyDelete
Katie, it was so good to see you at the race!!! Given that you've become quite the biking guru recently, are you thinking of doing one of their biking or duathlon races in the future, too? Those would be awesome, too, I am sure!Delete
Awesome job and great recap...looks like y'all had a good time!ReplyDelete
Shannon at I Survived and Now I Run
Thank you so much, Shannon! It was so much fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the change in atmosphere from some of the uber-competitive runners that you see at other races!Delete
Another great race! I don't know if you feel like you are killing it, but you are! And what a pretty spot to run in. Chicago seems like a fantastic running town.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Amy! I really appreciate it! I guess keeping up semi-consistent running over extended periods of time still adds up a little bit, yes? =) Chicago is indeed a great running town (although it's better when it's not the dead of winter or the dead of summer. Gotta love having two extremes here!!! Although I'm sure folks in El Paso think that Chicagoans are weaklings when it comes to heat, eh? =D )Delete
What a beautiful course! And it looks like they really put on a nice race! I love that you got to do it with Erin and Sara - some of my fave running peeps!ReplyDelete
Kim, I think you would love this race. You should definitely come out and do it next year!!! Then I could run with you, Erin, and Sara and then I'd get to add another one of my fave running peeps to the group!!! =)Delete
I really liked the course for this race! I mean, it might be irritating if I was trying to run fast, but as a nice, social race it was perfect. I hope they come back next year!ReplyDelete
The course was unbelievable, indeed!!! Such a diversity of nature and local Chicagoans enjoying their evening pursuits. For a social race, I just loved the festivity. I can't wait to see what they have in store for next year!!!Delete
Sounds like a super fun race! Love that part of Lincoln park!!!! Way to get out there and battle the heat :)ReplyDelete
Kayla!!! I so wish you were here in Chicago to run this race. I think you would have loved it!!!Delete