Just like last year, I had to pick up my race packet at lululemon the day before, and park about a mile away on the day of the race. I met up with the Western Cook Running Club to chat and swap stories before the race. This race is really low key because of the price point. While there are bibs and some type of ranking system, there's not chip timing or clocks. We all walked down to the start line and got rolling just after 8. The first mile was annoying because I had to dodge a ton of people. I clicked off 7:58 my first mile and noticed a few of the club runners right ahead of me. I tried to catch up, but knew I still had a ways to go.
In the second mile, a very young runner started keeping pace with me. I called her little runner and encouraged her to keep up, which is hilarious since she eventually smoked me in the last .25 miles.
The second mile clocked in at 7:56 and my last mile at 7:46 felt pretty brutal. I hung on and did not walk, and managed negative splits, so I'm pretty happy with how this went down.
Pura Vida bracelets that provide jobs for Costa Rican artisans. Plus, they're cute. I'm a fan. The bags also had little cards in them that we posted up on a board with the reason why we run. Mine was pretty obvious, but in good company.
I had a great time and enjoy this race, but I'd be negligent if I didn't mention a gripe. A woman in my running club picked up her packet at the Oakbrook location and was standing around the store when an employee, unsolicited, recommended a lulu product to her because she was a "big girl." It is never, NEVER OK to comment on another person's size, especially when she wasn't even perusing the merchandise. Considering the controversy lululemon is involved with regarding its lack of plus-sized options, I'm appalled the employees aren't undergoing some kind of sensitivity training.
Pros: Free, nice course, good post-race celebration, free, and it's free
Cons: Parking is sucky, you have to pick up your packet in advance at lululemon
Will I do this again? Yes, as long as it's free and convenient.