Chicago has so many neighborhood 5K races that you can almost keep your weekends booked from spring through fall. I don’t run or juggle as many as in the past, but I always try to do the Bucktown 5K since it’s in my neighborhood.
The weather was beautiful for running a 5K, sunny with temperatures around 68 degrees F. There was a huge mass of people lined up on the street. It felt almost as crowded as the Chicago Marathon. Unlike the marathon however, there were baby joggers and dogs to contend with. There were also many people who don’t know standard racing etiquette (like yielding to faster runners behind them) but this is what you should expect in a neighborhood race.
My time was 21:24. Not bad considering I wasn’t trying for a PR. Also, I lined up way in the back and didn’t even make it to the starting line until 1:25 into the race. Who knew 2000 plus people would want to run a Sunday morning 5K? I was joggling the entire way and made it without a drop.
Shannon ran and was happy to finish without walking. She usually runs better when I run with her. The Brewmaster and John Kelly also ran. While both reported they enjoyed the race, neither seemed happy about their performance. They are both running the Chicago Marathon next week and were wise not to go all-out on this race.
Overall, the race was a fair experience. Previous years have been much, much better. I’ll probably do the race next year but if things don’t shape up…I’m done with it.
The course is great. They’ve got timing clocks at every mile and it is clearly marked. You even get a good sized crowd watching. This rarely happens in neighborhood 5Ks and as a juggling runner, I appreciate it even more. The food at the end of the race was good. They had fresh, crispy apples, bananas, and big oranges. They also had excellent cookies and Cliff bars. No bagels but that was fine.
Maybe it’s a result of the race getting bigger but the quality of their “goody bag” is getting worse every year. This race used to be known for the best goody bag in Chicago but they’ve definitely slipped. I can forgive that but what is practically outrageous is that they ran out of Large and Extra Large jackets. This was at noon on the day before the race. How can they have been so inept as to not order the right amount of Large and Extra Large jackets. What am I going to do with a women’s small? It’s really disappointing. Especially when you consider we had to register online and note our shirt size. Ridiculous.
The other bad part was the water situation at the end of the run. There wasn’t any. The only water they had was a table full of paper cups. I was about the 150th runner to finish and nearly all the water was gone. There were still 2000 runners behind me. I have no idea what they did. Fortunately, it was only a 5K so dehydration wasn’t really a problem. But it would’ve been nice to have a bottle of water or something. They had them in previous years.
Ok, enough of this. I’ve got to focus on the upcoming marathon and finish writing a college course I’m teaching tonight “Formulating Cosmetics”.