Fort 2 Base 10 Nautical Miler

I can honestly say that the Fort 2 Base race is my favorite after running it the last couple of years.  Every year when I’m scheduling my races, I always start with registering for this first.  While I like to try and run different fun races every season, I still have a couple that I just have to be part of.  The military themed races will always have a special place in my heart.  Running from the old Fort Sheridan Army Base to the Great Lakes Naval Base always gives me the chills.  I grew up near Fort Sheridan and can vividly remember my many military brat friends and sadly seeing them get transferred out over the years.  While it is still a mere shadow of what it used to be, the support is still there.

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The race packet pickup for me was downtown Chicago at the Runner’s Edge store on Clark Street but there were a couple of dates to choose from including the Libertyville store.  There was also a race morning option too right before the race began.  The packet came with a great race shirt.

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As for the race morning, I parked at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science in North Chicago which was easy parking.  From there, you took the plethora of buses over to Fort Sheridan since there was no parking at the start area.  The bus ride was pretty short as it was the weekend.  I met up with a fellow social media runner Kathy and it was great to put a face with a name!  At the start area, there were tons of port-o-potties as well as gear check and registration tables.  The race probably has about 1000 runners and the course was a little different than last year due to construction.  I definitely liked this years course.  The start of the race began with the National Anthem and then off we went!  We ran through the old Fort Sheridan parade grounds for about 2 miles before hitting the Sheridan Road trails.  Who doesn’t love running around Leonardwood loop seeing the old tower and running past General Patton’s old dwelling?!  After that, the course just meanders through Lake Forest and Lake Bluff along the trail with small crowds cheering you on.  There were plenty of residents there to cheer you as you went by and a few kids with squirt guns that actually felt great as humid as it was.  The trails are quiet and a few oncoming bikers made it interesting.  The volunteers as always were friendly and cheering you on and I thank them for being there for us in plenty of spots.

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My second wind came as we finished mile 8 and headed into Great Lakes Naval Base.  That’s where the support was immense!  Running past the greatest training Naval Base in the country with the active personnel waving you on at every turn gives you goosebumps.  Hero Hill changed a bit as it was longer but less steep than last years but still a great challenge on the legs.  Right about mile 10, there was a water featured banned above you with ice cold water!  Loved and needed that!  The homestretch is what it’s all about.  You finish on the parade grounds to hundreds of supporters and military folks.  Medals were handed out by the ranking officers from both Military bases.  And that medal!!!!

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I love everything about this race from the course layout to the support from our military and a great after race area with massage tables, medal engraving, food, and a general merchandise tent.  This race will continue to be #1 for me each year as long as I’m able to run!

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