2017 Chicago Half Marathon

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Chicago Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

This was my first time running this race and it did not disappoint.  I’ve always been envious of the medals from previous years.  This was a well organized race with thoughtful consideration for the runners and a fun filled post race area!  And free race photos!!  Here are some of my highlights:

The Registration:  Signing up for this race couldn’t be easier and there were plenty of timely discounts to entice you.  I didn’t realize just how many runners raced this event.

The Communication:  There were plenty of emails and updates on their social media sites as the race got closer.  This was extremely important as the weather wasn’t ideal for planning your PR at this race.  The weather was unseasonably hot and humid and the race staff did a great job of giving us tips in the days preceding the big day.

The Expo:  Could you ask for a better venue for a Health & Fitness Expo?  I think not!  Soldier Field was such a fun place to get your race packet.  There were plenty of photo ops outside with the ever so cool #chihalf hashtag sign right out front!  Plus with the entrance to Soldier Field with the flags above is a memorable pic.  The layout seemed a little odd for the flow though.  When you entered, you needed to go to the right and through the vendors to get your bib, then back through the area to the other side to get your shirt.  If you wanted to peruse the vendors, then you needed to go back.  Maybe it’s intentional to get you to see the vendors that took the time to bring their services to share with you.

The Swag:  The shirt for the half marathon was great!  It’s an orange long sleeve technical shirt that was extremely comfortable.

The Race:  This is one big well thought out event!  I parked at the Museum of Science & Industry lot which is about a mile north of the starting area.  Not a big deal as the walk through the north section of Jackson Park is a good mental preparation.  The corrals were well labeled and there was some great motivational music.  While I didn’t use the prerace port-a-potties, there seemed to be plenty of them.  I met up with fellow BibRave Pro Heather for our prerace selfie and chat!  The race began at 7am sharp after the Star Spangled Banner and corrals moved quickly.  This is a fun race through the south side with the first three miles starting to get hot as the sun was rising.  Weather was definitely hot and humid and the racing staff anticipated this and came well prepared.  The energy along the course was amazing as we ran along Lake Shore Drive that was closed to vehicles.  The volunteers were incredible and even though they sat out in the heat, they were full of smiles and motivation!  The sprinklers and fans were appreciated along the last few miles.  The conditions were not easy and the runners safety was taken into consideration by allowing half marathon runners to switch to the 5K!  The finish line, as beautiful as it was, was filled with a huge crowd and 2 amazing things: Cold iced towels and popsicles!!  I didn’t hang around for the post race festivities but it looks like the beer truck was popular!!

The Medal:  This is the biggest and heaviest medal I have ever received!  The Chicago Half Marathon series does an incredible job with the race medals!  You can tell just how proud they are of this race by the quality put in for their runners.  

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Yiannis Christodoulou

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