Sunday, January 8, 2017

rise and shine 5k recap

Disclaimer: I received entry for Chi-Town Rise and Shine 5k to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

You can read my shorter review here.

Me and Eric before the race start.

I've found myself a new annual tradition for New Year's Eve and OF COURSE it involved running! The Chi-Town Rise and Shine 5k was held on Saturday, December 31 at Millennium Park. Packet pickup and the race pre- and post-race are was set up at the Chase Promenade and the race is one of a kind with a course that goes through Maggie Daley Park and Millennium Park (so far, no other race course has done that).

Always hard to decide on gear the night before for winter running, especially until you
 know what the winds will be like. My best attempt at a Flat Runner,
hoping I had everything I would need.

I found out about this race early/mid-December and knew instantly I wanted to be there. Swag included a pom pom hat and tech gloves with the logo on them (unique, and they turned out to be good quality, too!). What better way to start off your New Year's Eve and earn your right to party? 

They had packet pickup on Friday from 11am–7pm at Fleet Feet Old Town, but also on race day from 7:30–8:30am at the race site, thankfully. I give mad props and appreciate any race that offers day of without charging $30 to do so. It can be hard for people that aren't in the city to grab their packets on a Friday. Traffic is always pretty miserable, but even worse on Friday, and it's such a pain to drive 2+ hours to do so. Anyway, as you can probably tell, I chose to do pickup on race day haha.

I pre-paid for parking at Millennium Park Garage for $15 on Spot Hero (I think you'd get that same rate if you paid day of, but I know that garage is usually around $35 so wanted to make sure I got that cheaper rate). We arrived a little before 8am, went up to get our packets, and then went back to the car to stay warm and drop off our stuff rather than doing gear check, which was available. It was pretty chilly standing around (not too surprising - it's Chicago in December), but what made it cold was the wind. The temperature was 39 degrees, feels like 31, 13mph winds, 52% humidity.

Packet pickup was quick and easy - no lines and plenty of stations for the volunteers to scan your QR code from registration or look you up by name. Nice thing with the gloves and hat is you didn't have to worry about sizing. Also in the bag with the hat, gloves, and bib number, we also received lip balm, a box of Wild Garden Roasted Hummus crackers, and two Clif Bar minis. There were also full sized Clif Bars on the pickup table, so I grabbed one of those too.

There was stretching at 8:30 and corrals opened at 8:45. I ran into an Instagram friend and we chatted a bit, as well as seeing my friend Kathleen who I convinced to register (I didn't have to twist that arm too hard haha). Kathleen and I bonded over our Dopey Challenge 2015 training and running and being in Chicagoland area we of course have kept in touch.

Anyway, before entering into corrals I was able to find Eric, a fellow BibRave Pro, for a quick chat, hug, and of course photo. I was lucky enough to get another hug from him right after the race too. He's such a sweetie. Anyway...

Yeah, I was doing a lot of Stories on Instagram during the race haha.

The race began at 9am and runners went down Randolph Street going east, which was great because it's nice and wide to allow everyone to spread out so that the LFP congestion was little to none. I also loved that the course had no out and backs, which also helped with any congestion that could have happened. We hopped on the LFP going south – on the lower part that's against the lake. I warmed up pretty quickly during the run and took my gloves and hood off before hitting mile 1. The sun was shining and the wind died down, and it seemed Mother Nature was smiling down on us runners. 

Each mile had a mile marker and clock. There was a water and Nuun stop around mile 1.5ish? I'm not quite sure. The course turned and we headed back north on the upper LFP, turned west back on Randolph and turned a quick corner to run through Maggie Daley Park and then across the cool, windy bridge to Millennium Park. The finish line was just east of Pritzker Pavilion. Once you crossed, you received a bottle of water. A quick walk over to the pre- post-race site and you could grab half a banana, hot chocolate, a mylar blanket, Bai, David's Tea, more boxes of crackers, and Clif Bars.

The bridge I was talking about.

Almost finished!

I ran with my mom and we did 45/30 run/walk intervals. Even though I had only managed two short runs that week (my first since getting sick 3 weeks prior), and they did not go well at all, I was surprised at how well I was doing. I didn't have too many coughing attacks, so that was nice haha.

Happy I was still feeling pretty good.

At 10am they did the awards on the stage, with age groups being divided into 10 with I think 19 and under starting, then 20–29, etc. through 60+. First through third age group winners received a grey branded hooded logo.

The Finish Line.


Next up was the post-race party at Sweetwater Grill and Tavern. Unfortunately, they weren't prepared for the large group of us that went (not sure if they didn't realize most people would go there afterwards or what the deal was), but it took about 30 minutes to get our free drink. I felt bad for the workers, but if they had known, they could have had the mimosas pre-made rather than creating one for every participant on the spot. I think it would have gone smoother if they had carafes of them mixed and just needed to pour. Everyone seemed to be choosing that option over the Corona Light. The place was pretty packed - all of the booths and seats were taken up by runners eating brunch and getting a drink.

Kathleen and myself keeping warm at Sweetwater.

They had a Snapchat filter! How fun.

After we got our drink (we didn't mind waiting since we were killing time), Kathleen, my mom, and I went to Girodano's for lunch. Stuffed Pizza. Yum. It was nice to catch up with Kathleen in person and a nice way to sort of end the running year. My racing season never ends, as I have at least one race every month, but I felt accomplished for the day and had a fun time.

Some crazy hair haha.

Results were online the next day and photos were up about a week later (in a Facebook album which you can download your images for free - thank you - the only time consuming part is finding yourself since they aren't tagged haha). They also had a survey they wanted participants to fill out to get opinions on how the race/packet pickup/course etc went — showing they are interested in improving (though I didn't see much other than the post-race party needing any extra attention).

Awesome times.

I'll definitely be doing this race again next year. I think it was on the 'smaller' side this year with maybe 1200 participants, but I bet it grows each year, which they said they planned on making it a yearly event. Though it was on the 'smaller' side, I'd say it was a great turn out for having just over a month to get people signed up. If you're in Chicagoland next year for NYE, I'd tell you to check this race out and earn your right to party on NYE :)

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