You can read my BibRave review here – it's on the shorter side ;)
I ran the Back on My Feet Mardi Gras Chaser 10k for the first time in 2016. It was a great race, benefitted a wonderful cause (all proceeds go to BoMF Chicago), and delicious post-race snacks. I had such a great time, I knew I would be back for 2017 if my schedule allowed. Thankfully, it did.
This year's race was held on Saturday, February 25 at the same location as 2016 – Montrose Harbor. The course was pretty much the same as well. What wasn't the same? The weather. I wore SHORTS in 2016... and this year, well, I had to bundle up a lot. Good old Chicago in February. Just three days before the race, the weather was in the upper 60s. Race day called for a high in the low 20s and about 16–20mph winds. That equalled a windchill of 9 degrees at the race start. 9! It was pretty dang cold. I think it would have felt more manageable if it was 9 degrees and no wind, but that wind just cut you. When the race began, it started snowing pretty heavily too. What a difference from 2016 haha. Oh well, no matter the weather, I always have a good time.
I was so happy that a few other running friends and fellow BibRave Pros and family members would be there too. I met up with Frank, Mark, Tina, Angie, and Josh. My aunt and mom ran as well.
My mom and I got there around 8:15 (only took about 40 minutes to get there). There was ample free street parking near the start/finish line. We went to grab our packets. Mom got hers easily, but to my horror my name wasn't on the list! I knew I had registered for the 10k, but she checked the 5k in case – wasn't on there either. Of course I wasn't prepared and didn't flag the confirmation email, so I had to do some digging to find it. Luckily, I did in a few minutes (though at that point my hands were frozen as I left my gloves in the car thinking). I had to fill out a registration form (but not pay again) so they could get me a bib number and put me in the system. Not very painful, but strange nonetheless. I got a unisex medium white 1/4 zip tech pullover (the swag for this year – last year was a white long sleeve shirt).
We ran into Angie and Josh as we headed back to the car. We all said we would reconvene and chat via text so we could get warm again after pickup in our cars haha. Around 9:15 we got out of the car again to take some photos and chit chat. I went to the bathroom around 9:30 – no wait. There were about 10 porta potties near the start with a hand washing station. I think I went back to my car after for 20 minutes to warm back up before the start. And then, before we knew it, we had to line up.
|Looking good in our XX2i France2 sunglasses!|
Both the 5k and 10k began at 10am. They had some pace signs so people could line up accordingly. The National Anthem was sung and we were off. The first .25ish mile was on the street on a small, coned off section. I think this was because of some potholes/cracks in the sidewalk area. We could have used a bit more space, as it was pretty congested that first part, but soon we were on the lakefront path and it started to thin out. I began my run/walk intervals of 50/15 around .5 mile. It's also then I noticed my watch was set on walk mode! NO! I would have left it, but it doesn't have the data screens I like to use when I run, so I stopped and re-started it in run mode. Womp womp. This made it hard to really know what my pace was each actual mile, but I could tell I was running a good pace for me. I was able to keep Tina in my sights, and we did a few pass each other moments, and I said if I was able to keep up till mile 4, I would try running with her the rest of the way without my walk breaks. Somehow, I did just that.
|Me, Angie, Josh, and Frank :)|
|Four of us wore 2XU Hyoptik tights! Ha.|
I love out and backs because it gives me a chance to cheer on other runners and look for my friends. I high-fived Mark, shouted out to my aunt and Josh, waved at Angie. It's awesome. The turn around came a little after mile 3 with some Clif Bars (and my mom wasn't too far behind me, as I knew she would be), and then I hit mile 4 and started running with Tina. We chatted a bit and enjoyed each others company. It was really nice to be able to run with someone that could help me keep my pace and not go too fast, which is my problem when I try to run continuously. We stopped at mile 5 for some water. The volunteers weren't handing it out, and when I asked if there was any, they said it had frozen over. I took a cup anyway, and with a light squeeze the ice broke down and there was water underneath. Very cold, but I needed to wet my whistle. Mark met up with us around 5.5 and ran the last bit with us.
I thought that I had a PR, but wouldn't know for sure until I looked up my official results. I was able to get Tina's watch finish time (since we started and finished together), and that pretty much told me I did, but I like the official results to tell me for sure and by how much haha.
At the finish line I grabbed a cup of Gatorade, a banana, Clif mini bar, medal (instead of a ribbon it was beads, which was cool), Bai, Entenmann’s Mini Bagels (plain and cinnamon), Entenmann’s Little Bites, and a cracker type thing. Shortly after grabbing everything, we cheered on Frank and my mom finishing. Oh yeah at the finish line they also had mylar blankets.
We took some photos, said goodbye to Frank, and then decided to head over to the after party at Fat Cat. We were able to find a small parking lot for $2 an hour, so did that and then crossed the street to get to Fat Cat. When you walked in, they had the BoMF table with raffle tickets for sale (lots of raffle prizes – shirts, hats, jackets, etc) and you could also grab your beer with your bib beer ticket. After maybe 10 minutes, we were able to get a table large enough for our group and then hit the $15 buffet.
The buffet was stocked with some delicious food – Yogurt bar: Greek yogurt, house made granola, fresh fruit, sliced almonds, sprinkles, and honey, bananas foster brulee french toast, chicken fried chicken with gravy, red beans and rice, house made biscuits with Fat Cat home made jam and whipped butter, scrambled eggs, brunch potatoes, bacon. My favorite was the french toast, bacon, and potatoes (oh and the biscuits with jam and butter haha). I think we all ate enough to get our money's worth ;)
I didn't like the beer options, so just drank water to rehydrate. Even though it was a cold day, I still sweat plenty haha.
Mark and Tina had to get going before the hour was up (for parking), but my mom, Angie, Josh and I hung out for about another hour or so. It was great to chat and catch up with some of my best running friends. My mom had some friends there too, so after parting ways with my crowd we chatted with them for a few minutes before hitting the road.
I enjoy all races, but races where you have friends are even better. I loved spending time with everyone, cheering each other on, and of course, taking all the photos possible :)
|One last photo of the group wearing orange :)|
I'd definitely keep this race on your radar for 2018. It's really fun and is for a great cause (you can read more about that here).