Hawkeyes, Humidity, and Bill Murray
“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Big Ten Network B1G 10k 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!”
Ok, I already gave it away, the race was humid…. oh and the Bill Murray thing… guess you will just have to read along and find out how it all played out.
As always my to the point review can be found at bibrave.com.
Background: This was my fourth time at the event. I ran in 2014 when it started/finished around Solider Field, going south along the lake. It was then moved to start on a city street near Grant Park, going through parts of the city, when I participated in 2016 & 2017. I was curious to see how the 2018 event would play out being back near Soldier Field, as it was not my favorite in 2014.
Saturday, August 11.
Josh was joining me on this trip, so we left later in the afternoon as he had to work a Hawkeye event in the morning. We arrived at our prepaid parking spot, after an uneventful drive.
The fun part now begins, checking into the hotel. We had a room reserved with a king size bed. However, of course, they have no more and we would be getting an upgrade to a room with 2 beds and 2 bathrooms. Um, we are 2 people, is that an upgrade? It’s not a big deal for a one night reservation… but come on, stop overselling!!!
Drama aside, we went to our usual dining place, Miller’s Pub for some supper. After that we returned to get our things ready for our 5:00 AM wake up call. We had our bibs mailed to us, so we didn’t have to worry about getting them.
Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Rabbit Tank, Knockaround Sunglasses, Nike Hawkeye hat, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Zensah Bra, Adidas Shorts, ProCompression Socks, Brooks Ghost 10, Spi Belt
Sunday, August 12.
Rise and Shine – It’s race day. We began the day with the usual coffee, but there was no breakfast options…however, I travel with snacks and emergency granola bars. We split that and ran to the starting area. We stayed about a mile away, and while the temps were cool this is where we learned how humid it was.
We met up with fellow BibRave pros Corey and Melissa. They were both running as fans of Indiana… so the friendly smack talk began. That is why this race is a lot of fun, all B1G fans are encouraged to wear the race shirt and proudly support their favorite team.
Then my long lost friend Heather and her mom Marge arrived and they are Illinois fans. We continued the smack talk and chit chat before it was time to get to our corrals.
There were only 4 corrals and then the 5k would start an hour after the 7 AM 10k. I was in Corral C. When I entered the corral, Heather noted that someone helping was Jan, the RD of the IL Marathon. I then remembered Corey said he bumped into Michael, the RD of the Urban Bourbon. Dang…they had big time help!
I was in the corral, and there was even a port-o-potty there. I couldn’t hear any announcements, so I have no clue if there was a National Anthem. I just knew it was time to go when the crowd crept forward.
As we got closer to the starting line, I could start hearing some announcements. They were basically really bad jokes and I was texting friends saying it was really annoying. Then I got really close to the start and the announcer was Bill Murray… LOL.
My corral crossed the starting line around 7:20 AM. After we snaked through a back road and parking lot we were headed south on the Lake Front Path. Within the first mile the lead runner was already on their way back, so my corral was sharing half the path. IT WAS CROWDED! IF you were on the edge of the paved path you needed to watch your footing.
The Lake Front Path is self explanatory with no major turns or hills, but it’s a scenic place to run and can never be closed. In addition to mile markers the course was lined with signs notifying people there was an event. This did not stop bikers or runners from also using the already crowded path.
The views of the lake are great, but I am not sure this course works well. The crowd didn’t thin out until we looped onto a street section, which was past half way, and on the way back. I will say I do like the elimination of McCormick Tunnel, but I am not sure which is the worse of the two evils. I also prefer the route from the past years, with a start on the width of the road. I am sure with race management changes came permitting issues or something…just my thoughts. Also maybe double the corrals, this thins people out. We also met up with the 5k start on our way back.
I will say the aid stations for a humid 10k were great! They had both water and Gatorade Endurance in paper cups marked for each, and there were maybe 3 stops. Really besides the crowded route, the running part of this went smoothly.
When I came to the finish line I noticed the first photographer all course. (The FREE MarathonFoto downloads were posted quickly. – Yes you read MarathonFoto and Free in the same sentence!) There was a volunteer with a medal and a bottle of water. Gatorade in bottles was off on side tables as well as a snack size protein bar. A really long line had developed to take a photo with the back drop.
I walked to the post run beer tent, where I was offered one of two Bell’s choices. I turned in the ticket on my bib and ripped off the one for the post race sausage. Where I also had the choice between sweet or savory. This area was off to the side of the parking lot. There was a lot of area to spread the post race festivities out.
I then went to the Iowa tent to score some swag and meet up with Josh. Also it was next to the Indiana tent where I would maybe meet the other pros. I ran into Josh, and he was talking to a fellow official Tommy.
When I made it to the Iowa tent I was sad to find out there was nothing really special as far as swag went. They had the usual schedule posters and magnet and a coozie. There was the backdrop for photos, but no props. This is usually the fun part, I have received a necklace before, a medalion to add to my medal, and taken fun photos. This was overlooked.
I rejoined with Josh and out of no where, Bill Murray was walking by… I was like, quick get my camera out. So I took this awesome photo just before he touched my Sparkle Athletic skirt. BILL TOUCHED ME!!!! Josh was like… we almost just had a “me too” moment. I am not sure why we get all excited with celebrities, but it happens. That was my moment.
Corey met back up with us and as we chatted some more, Michael from Urban Bourbon passed by again…so of course – selfie! He was telling us that things were a bit behind as the Beyonce concert the night before didn’t allow any set up until after midnight. He also said there were quite a few big race RDs on site. I enjoy chatting with other RDs, can never learn too much.
Heather and Marge met with us, it was hot and sunny now, no shade to be found or a place to sit. Luckily we were stealthy and moved into the Big Ten promotional tent that had been abandoned. We discussed our races and the lackluster post race, how things were different. Everyone received the same medal, in years past there was always something fun that made it school specific.
We had to get moving as we needed to check out of our hotel. We also got word there was a special event happening at The Bean – a Chicago wave! So we said our goodbyes and walked back to the hotel.
Time was passing quickly, we weren’t sure if after a shower and storing our luggage we would make it to The Bean. More hustling through the streets and we had a minute to spare. PHEW!
It was sooo cool to see all the black and gold. There were some announcements on what was going to happen and then we all proceeded over to make it happen.
We waved for an entire minute, then we waved as they did some close ups of the group. Then we sang the fight song. A chant of “Let’s Go Hawks” followed by “FTK” broke out. It was awesome to be apart of this. However, I would like to note, we stood in the back. Besides these photos, you may never see us at this event, and that is good… I get to wave to the kids at every home game in person, these people in Chicago do not get the chance. I would also like to think of us as spies… it’s nice to see I-Clubs doing their thing.
We were exhausted, we had about 9 miles on our feet. We still had to get our Garret Popcorn before we found lunch and made the drive back home. Chicago is always a nice, quick trip.
Ok back to the race – I felt underwhelmed this year, like something was missing, I felt the change in race management. I know what the event can be. I do still like the event and I hope to return next year to see it back with a little extra pizazz!
If you also ran, make sure to write a review on Bibrave.com and claim your results at Athlinks.com