I fall in love with this race more and more each year I run it. I had an absolutely fantastic time and have already signed up for it next year!
Saturday afternoon Kyla and I went to the running expo at McCormick Place, which is the equivalent to heaven on earth for runners. I love this expo, not only for the free goodies but for the energy from all of the other thousands of excited runners.
How awesome does this race sound? I need to get my dad to sign up for it with me! We are a huge Chicago Bear’s family, so this seems like a must.
Kyla and I spent about an hour and a half at the expo and then walked to a late lunch for some good Thai food, and my favorite- Thai iced tea.
After lunch Kyla and I walked back to our hotel to drop off our race goods and chill for a minute. I won a box of Minute Maid at the expo. Whoo hoo!
Look at our loot!
Kyla and I went to Petterino’s for dinner and got wonderful spinach gnocchi, topped off with cappuccino for dessert. I love Italian food!
After dinner we headed back to our room to get our stuff ready for the race and get to bed early. The night before any race I like to get my stuff ready and check my alarm about 10 times. Before every major race I have a nightmare that I wake up for the race too late.
Yes, I had a nightmare Saturday night that I woke up an hour after the race started. Does anyone else have these silly nightmares?
Don’t worry, Kyla and I got up on time and made it to the start line 30 minutes ahead of time 🙂 One of the things I love most about this race is the energy before, during, and after the race. The start line is filled with 20,000 excited runners and great music!
I was excited that Kyla was able to experience it this year as a runner, not just a spectator.
This race truly flew by. I remember running past mile 1 thinking “wow, I swear we just started!” to turning onto Michigan Avenue from Harrison around mile 6 (one of my favorite spots) having a hard time believing we had already ran 6 miles. The whole race went like that for me- extremely fast and fun.
One of my favorite things about running races is the crowd support and reading the signs that people make. Call me crazy, but the crowd support and cheering make me faster.
Finally we were at mile 10.5 (another favorite spot) and the city was in full view as we were heading back along the lake. Kyla was doing fantastic!
We both crossed the finish line at the same time and that was a good feeling! Crossing the finish line NEVER gets old! Our time was 1:43:38!
I did not go into this race wanting to get a new PR; I just wanted to stick with Kyla the whole time since it was her first race. I told myself I would PR at next year’s race and aim for a 1:45 finish.
I had no idea Kyla and I would finish in 1:43! Our average mile pace was 7:55. I am unbelievably impressed at how fast Kyla can run, especially on her first half-marathon!
After the race we loaded up on water, chocolate milk and whatever power bar they threw at us. We hung out for a while in Millennium Park to stretch, and then headed back to our hotel to shower and get ready for the day.
This is the 6th year I have run this race and it gets better every time. At the expo I signed up for next year’s race- July 20, 2015. Can’t wait!
If you are ever looking for a fun, flat half-marathon I highly recommend this one 🙂
On my next post I’ll share more of what we did after the race and the next day (and the good food we ate of course!)
Kyla will also be writing a race recap and discussing her thoughts on the race that I will share.
The only thing I noticed was that the route was longer that 13.1 miles. It actually ended up being about 14.1 miles according to my Garmin. According to the official results we ran the race in 1:48, which would make sense if the route was actually 14.1 miles. The other runners I talked to also said their Garmin’s said 14.1 after the race.
Other than that (which is not a huge deal since it into a qualifying race) the race was fantastic! Congratulations to all of the other runners!
Did anyone else run this race?