Thursday, July 26, 2012

Spontaneous 5k fun run in Chicago

I'm in Chicago this week for work-related training and have been to Chicago/IL quite a few times in the past. Even though I'd run in this state, I hadn't raced in this state...until tonight!

I don't travel for work as much as I used to but when I do, I ALWAYS check local running calendars to see if there is some sort of fun run I can participate in. Since I usually travel mid-week, there isn't much change of finding a race I can join.

Until today!

Not knowing how work was going to shake out this week, I didn't want to count on being able to do the Run for Gus 5k. Not only did it work out for me to do this fun run, I also was able to get a co-worker and our trainer to join me! My co-worker runs causally and my trainer doesn't run, neither had ever done a fun run, but both were interested in bypassing the usual post-training, group dinner to join me in this race. 

I got to wear my "new" RunningSkirts cerise flower skirt. Finally! (been sitting in my drawer for 2 months)

So awesome!

This was a very small race benefiting pediatric brain cancer research. It took place in Lincoln Park / Diversey Harbor and included entrance into the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. I was  a little nervous about my co-workers, wondering how they would like paying $40 to sweat it out in the heat & humidity but I think they were happy about having a different experience. We all three finished in one piece and agreed we would be limping a little in training tomorrow!

The course was flat and included passes by the Diversey Harbor Marina: 

This guy intentionally jumped into my photo.

kids playing post-kids run

Go A! Finishing her first 5k ever!

the start/finish line

Nature trail around the nature museum. Lots of cute little rabbits running around through the wildflowers. Trail also included a pond w/ ducks & heron.
After wandering around the nature museum, we noticed that the runners inside the patio area of the museum had...BEER. That convinced me that we were going into that museum. Yeah, there was a butterfly house, yeah they had all kinds of interesting animal exhibits, yeah they had green smoothies, coconut water, and pizza, where was that beer?

Out on this lovely, huge patio overlooking the pond was a sweet party full of sweaty people. A dj was playing Katy Perry. Where was that beer? Finally, at the far end of the patio was the beer table. I was reaching for my belt to pull out some cash but when we walked up we realized...this was free beer! And they didn't seem to care how many servings you took (though I only had one - empty stomach & all)! And it wasn't any beer, it was locally made Goose Island Summertime Ale!

A's celebratory post-race brew.

Goose Island goodness!
It was warm, moon was out, scenery lush, company interesting...a fantastic finish to the day and spontaneous Chicago 5k. 

The stats:
Finish time: 29:47 (9:36 pace) = I wasn't "racing" but I could NOT have gone any faster without getting sick.
Overall place: 353 / 642
Gender place:  127 / 327

First place female finish time = 16:21,  5:16 pace. So fast!

Illinois is officially off my "to be raced in" list! 


  1. That is so awesome that you got your co-workers to do it with you. How fun! And I LOVE your skirt. I had been eyeing that one for a long time, but never pulled the trigger. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  2. That looks like so much fun!! And FREE BEER!!

  3. I see VErmont is done. What race did you do in VT? Sorry I missed it.

    1. I think I need to take that one off - it was a virtual race while I was there for a wedding and I'm thinking I shouldn't count that one. ?? Need to decide on my rules!

  4. So jealous of your trip! Eatin' all that Rick Bayless and runnin' in my old 'hood - used to go for runs and take walks from my apartment to the Peggy N. museum :)

  5. That sounds like the perfect race, so awesome your coworkers joined you! :-)

  6. That looks like so much fun! And... of course... the BEER looks pretty tasty, too. :)

  7. oh so fun! and getting your coworkers in on the action is pretty cool too. nice that there was a midweek race.