Kelly the Culinarian: Karhu 5K Chicago Race Report

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Karhu 5K Chicago Race Report

I'll never be the same after the Sports Bra Challenge
Short story: I snagged first place in my age division with a 24:53. This was a PR by nearly 10 minutes over my last 5K, which was the first race I ever ran in October of 2010. However, I've run faster unofficial 5Ks and feel like I could have done better. BUT it's another goal off of my 12 in 2012 list - set a new 5K PR!

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.
My time was 24:53, which was good enough to give me a first-place win in my age group and the fifth female overall. If I could have just hit the fastest 5K I've ever logged, it would have been good enough for third. Oh well.

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.

Time: 24:53

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.


Unknown said...

Congrats again on the AG award! I really like that medal. Much cuter than the half marathon medal.

Also, where did you guys park? All the communication we got about the race discouraged parking around the SSCC and we all parked at the Museum or Millennium Park and took shuttle buses, which was fine, but I was curious if street parking would have been possible if we attempted it.

KellytheCulinarian said...

We parked in the neighborhood near the SSCC, but it was very challenging. Plus, I drive a giant car. If I had some mini vehicle, it would have been less cumbersome. Because I only registered on Tuesday, I never got the memo on the shuttle/parking situation.

Erin said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome job on the age group win!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on an age group win! That's so awesome!

Xaarlin said...

Congrats on the AG Award!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on winning your age group!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the age group award!!

Kim said...

Congrats on the awesome AG win!!! So so so cool!

The finishing shute did seem to go on forever and ever and ever. LOL. The goodies at the end made it worth it :)

Ginger Foxxx said...

So Speedy!! Congrats on an AWESOME job! It was really nice to get to meet you after the race!