|I'll never be the same after the Sports Bra Challenge|
Tim and I both won free race entries to the Karhu 5K, which is affiliated with the Allstate 13.1 Marathon Chicago.
My very patient sister picked up our race packets downtown last night, which was wonderful since it would have taken me two hours to pick up the stuff since they didn't have race-day pick up. Tim and I rolled into the South Shore Cultural Center roughly 20 minutes before the start time. The 5K is pretty small, but I still had to snake through people to start near the front.
We took off promptly at 7:45. It was already really damn hot. I ran a 7:30 mile for my first mile, then promptly started to break down. My heart rate was at 101 percent of my max. Despite the fact that I ran a 10K last weekend with an 8:02 pace, it wasn't going to happen for me. My second mile was 8:00 and my third mile was 8:17.
When I got to what I thought was the finish line, the race just kept going. Every time I thought I was at the end, there was another turn and more to run. The last .3 mile could have been a half marathon, for all I knew.
|When will this end?|
|Finisher's shoot. The extra mile.|
The finisher's shoot also went on forever. There were tons of volunteers with water, gatorade, pretzels, bananas, cookies, granola bars and damp towels. I talked to a volunteer who was managing the end of the shoot. He told me that people somehow didn't realize that the rules applied to them, too, and they can't go back into the shoot after exiting. After my volunteering experiences, I felt the need to thank this dude for his persistence.
My bib also had tickets for free pizza and beer. No matter that it was 8:30 a.m., I hit that Lou Malnati's pizza like it was going out of style. The slices were a bit small, but hey, it was free and delicious nonetheless. I skipped the beer because it didn't sound appetizing.
|Sometimes, I have pizza for breakfast.|
Tim and I both thought the race was well-run. There were three different vendors offering free massages and stretching, a stage with live music and a tent with instant timing results and medals. I had my official time and medal as soon as I could walk over there. Plus, there were QR codes on our bibs where we could check our official times instantly. However, it was a little confusing for me because the Web site associated with the codes didn't account for overall awards.
Post race, Tim and I hung around, and I met up with these saucy ladies on the beach. Romantic, huh? We were right behind the port-o-potties. Keepin' in real.
That's Kim in the middle and Maggie on the right. Flanking us are Amanda and Sara. Check out Maggie's shirt - pretty hot, huh? Buy one now and support her marathon fundraiser. It's for a good cause and all, too.
Cost: FREE! I think Tim and I both paid a $1.25 convenience fee. We didn't pay parking, either.
Pros: Great volunteer support, tons of water, a partially shaded course, plenty of port-o-potties, the best post-race party and snacks I've seen in a long time, great medals ... I'm starting to gush about the awesomeness, but it was a top-notch race.
Cons: Parking is a bit challenging. And why is it so hot in June in Chicago?
Would I race this again: For sure. This was one of the best races I've done.