“Disclaimer: I received entry into the BTN B1G 10k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews.”
I will be honest, I wasn’t sure I would run this race again, I ran this in 2014 and wasn’t super impressed. However, with my love for the Hawkeyes and the opportunity to run for Bibrave, I decided to give it another shot. (spoiler alert, I am glad I did!)
If you want the basic review of the race, check it out at Bibrave.com. On the blog I tend to post all the pictures and all my adventures.
Registration for this race is about $50 for the 10k depending when you register. There is a 5k as well, but register early or you may think it costs too much. However, there are a lot of fun things included with your fee. The most “fun” thing is a school specific, gender specific, short sleeve tech tee. (keep reading to hear about all the other things.) Also depending when you sign up, Ram offers freebies.
This race is also different as most participants wear their race shirts to race in, school pride!
When I ran this race in 2014, I wasn’t too happy with the packet pick up process. Friday after 5pm in downtown Chicago was my only option, and it was a nightmare. However, Ram Racing has taken over this race and has started to offer options with their packet pick ups. Josh and I opted to get our stuff mailed to us, it was a small fee, but we had our things a week or so before the race. They also offered pickup starting on Tuesday and lasting through Friday at at Fleet Feet store. Also with the appropriate waiver someone else could grab your stuff for you.
I mentioned Josh was running this race too, but we picked up Hawkeye friend, Kelly on the way,and would be meeting Bibrave pros – Frank, Heather and Cass at the race. (and anyone else who wanted a koozie)
We drove into Chicago on Friday afternoon / evening, had a hotel reserved downtown, and a parking spot reserved with the Park Whiz app.
Supper was at our usual spot in downtown, Miller’s Pub. They seriously have something on the menu for everyone. Fish, fried chicken, pasta, burger, omelet, etc….oh and we can’t forget the beer!
After dinner we caught up with the Olympics and the opening ceremonies. We had time to lay out our gear and then with an early wake up call, we called it a night.
RACE DAY! – Saturday, August 6
Gear: Orange Mud Endurance Pack, Sparkle Athletic Skirt, ProCompression Socks, Aftershockz Trekz Titanium, BibRave Tank, Adidas 7″ boyshort, XX2i USA1, Nike Hawkeye Hat, Hawkeye tattoos, Nathan Race belt. Moving Comfort bra, Garmin Fenix 3
It was a nice sunny day, and a cool start in the 60’s. The temps would rise to about 80 for the day. Race start time of 7 am. The 5k started after the 10k.
My before the race plan was to meet up with the fellow pros, and anyone who wanted a Bibrave koozie, near the starting line. We hung out there for a while, but were encouraged to get into our assigned corrals at 6:30 am.
I was joining Heather and Kelly, so we rounded the corner for our corral. There are plenty of corrals for this race, but I am still not sure of the seeding process. In addition to people being seeded into speedier corrals there is the usual sneaking into the wrong corrals. (However once we were off, I didn’t experience any problems with crowded streets or people stopping in front of me)
The course was new this year!! YAY! I was most excited to not be running through McCormick Tunnel, and the more narrow Lake Front Path on the South Side of Soldier Field. Instead the course ran north of Grant park and looped around by the Shedd Aquarium to run back north on the Lake Front Path, where there were 3 different areas to share amongst everyone.
I enjoyed running with Kelly and Heather as we ran intervals. Although, I am not sure they liked my encouragement about running up Mt. Roosevelt during a running interval…hey, it was just a friendly nudge.
There were a couple of water and Nuun stops along the way. Then there were also 2 fun stops with water slide inflatable things. Of course, I had to do the first one! Then my socks were wet. Also at this spot they were playing each school’s fight song. Heather did not appreciate Kelly and my singing of the Iowa Fight Song. We’re good!! “The word is fight, fight, fight…”
We all came across the finish line and were in search of the medals and some water. We weren’t the last finishers, but they ran out of towels to dip in the cold water (which was all gone too) It took a while to find a bottle of water, but we got one, there was also Goose Island Beer in the finisher’s chute too, it was busy. There were also bananas and Clif bars. We claimed our medals (with a ticket on the bib), with school specific ribbons. The medals were huge!
The new location also allowed for plenty of space for the post race festivities. Kelly and I found Josh at the Iowa tent, helping hand out the sunglasses. Each school had a tent with their swag to giveaway and a statue to raffle. There was also photo opportunities with mascots, cheerleaders, traveling trophies (Paul Bunyan’s Axe was there) and the B1G Championship trophy.
This new spread out area also had the post race sausage, more beer tents, a meet & greet with Kyle Schwarber, the tailgating area and the football “combine” type activities. There was something for everyone to do. Although it would have been nice for an actual chair in the shade.
After we got all the Hawkeye things, we met up with the rest of the gang at the nearby “Ill-annoy” tent. (ha but we convinced them of a better spot for a group picture) Even met up with twitter friend Jim, and he claimed a koozie. It was nice to chat about the race with Frank, Anthony, Cass, Tyler, Kelly, Heather, Marge and Josh. I have said this many times before, but races are the most fun if you can do it with friends! (no matter what school they cheer for)
It was time to move along, and the post race was closing up. However, Heather and Marge were down for a post race donut before we said our goodbyes.
Josh and I were sad to leave them, as we weren’t sure when we would meet again. We drowned our sorrows in a bag of Garrett’s popcorn (it was this race 2 years ago when I was introduced to this stuff, it was the race freebie if you were one of the first few to sign up)
We met back up with Kelly at the hotel, and she was getting ready to take off on her next adventure of the weekend. We all left the hotel. Josh and I headed to a Potbelly for lunch and an ice cream sandwich.
It was a quick trip to Chicago, but I really enjoyed the BTN B1G 10k this year. I am glad they made the changes to the course and post race. If you are a B1G super fan you need to get to Chicago and do this race. Who doesn’t like a little, friendly, pre-football season rivalry?