I don’t always run in humid, over ninety degree weather, on pure asphalt, but when I do, it’s for aEric got me to join his team last race season. I know this race is in the middle of July and in the parking lot of an enemy territory ball field (go Tigers!) while the sun is still high in the sky so the runners can finish in time to sit in the stands and watch the All-Star game on the jumbo-tron, but this race was even warmer than expected this year.
Since the race started early on a weekday, I worked from home that day so I could make the trek from the boarder of Lincoln Park and Lakeview down to US Cellular field with the CTA Red line out of commission for construction until [theoretically] October. Fortunately we found out that the Red Line was still running, only on Green Line tracks. I ran into Eric on the way to the Brown line to make the transfer and ended up making it down to US Cellular field much faster than we anticipated. We decided to kill the extra hour by relaxing at a table in the shade. A chatty fellow decided that we would not enjoy some silent contemplation before the race and proceeded to talk to us until Jennifer and Courtney arrived after catching a ride from Kurt. We all caught up and did gear check when Eric spotted some fellow bloggers and we ended up doing a little photo shoot before proceeding to stretch before the race (still in the shade). Announcements were made, a touching story was read, and we were headed to our corrals. I knew I should have grabbed a water with all the time I was relaxing in the shade, instead I ended up in my corral on the opposite side from the water table with several hundred people between me and liquid refreshment.
As I rounded the last turn in the parking lot into the stadium I was grateful for the shade. Even though
Packet pickup – For this packet pickup, I decided to run to and from Fleet Feet as part of my daily run. It was a warm day but it was a fairly slow and casual run with a brief rest in the middle where I actually picked up my packet before continuing back home. I expected the packet pickup to be in the back area of Fleet Feet as it usually seems to be for races, but for this particular race they had a table set up in the front of the store where I picked up my shirt (at tech shirt this year which is a nice step up from the cotton t-shirt they provided last year). This packet pickup run ended up turning into a much longer even (unrelated to packet pickup) and I will probably blog about that event at a later time…
Gearcheck/Waves and Corrals. – Gear check was smooth and orderly as always. I got there early, so checking gear was lightning fast, others in the group who arrived later didn’t seem to take long to check their gear either. For this race it is nice that after the race, they move all of the gear inside the stadium so you can pick it up near where you finish as you check your times. Very convenient! Corrals were set up about average, though a little small but it isn’t that large of a race so it wasn’t a big deal. Wished there would have been water available on both sides of the corrals but I had plenty of time to get water beforehand so it is really just my lack of preparation for that one.
Course layout – This course is set up mostly on the black top of the parking lot outside the stadium. It loops around and zig-zags where it needs to in order to achieve the desired distance while making sure to end with a run through the stadium and a finish around the warning track circling the field. A great finish to a race.
Finish line – As I have said before, I love this finish. It is nice to come out onto the field with a camera on you so you feel like a ball player for a second and then to run around the outside of the field before crossing the finish line, grabbing a water (no snacks or bananas or anything that I could see but full concessions were open if you wanted to buy something afterwards), and finding a seat in the stands to watch the All-Star game. Good race, HOT day.
Official time: 25:20 [Distance: 3.1 miles] [Place: 65 of 567 Overall 10 of 37 age group]
MapMyRun Results: [Distance: 3.27 miles Time: 25:32] :)