If you could host your own race, how would you run it? With the Alpine Races 39th Annual Half-Marathon & 5k Run/Walk on Sunday, it was clear that this was a race for runners put on by runners.
What makes this race different than most events is that the Alpine Runners, one of the largest running clubs in the Chicago area, organize and host the event every year. It’s no wonder that the race is featured on the CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit and drew some fast runners to the start line. It also drew families and a lot of the local running community as the race also offered a Youth Mile and Kiddie Fun runs.
The race took place around scenic Lake Zurich starting at Paulus Park. Everything went smooth with the event from having advanced packet pick up and offering it on race day as well to having several volunteers on the course and everything clearly marked. Parking near the start was plentiful as well. The hooded sweatshirts for the first 500 to register were also a nice touch. Even the light breakfast at the finish was great.
The race kicked off with the half marathon at 7:30 a.m. followed by the 5k at 7:45 a.m. Both course featured mainly out and back courses. The races started along Main Street before turning onto Old Rand road. The 5k runners then did a small loop in a subdivision for the second mile before heading back to the finish line. The half marathoners continued along Old Rand Road and wound north towards Old McHenry Road before doing a loop in the Copperfield Subdivision for miles five through eight before heading back to the finish. The end was actually one of my favorite parts as once you turned from Robertson onto Whitney it was a straight shot all the way to the finish, just over a quarter mile.
Running along the lake was a great site for the early portions of the race and it highlighted a suburban treasure that I will be sure to go back to. The course overall offered plenty of room and it never felt congested or crowded. The beautiful weather also made for perfect race conditions. With temperatures in the low 50s at the start of the race there were some fast times for both events.
A cool feature for the online results was the finish line photos attached to each athlete’s results. They also were printing instant results for each athlete at the finish.
The top male finisher for the half marathon was John Craig in 1:14:02 and the top female was Heather Crowe in 1:23:27. For the 5k the top male finisher was Phil Miceh in 17:22 and the top female was Jenny Gelinas in 21:03.