Weather conditions were perfect this past Saturday for the Chi-Town Half Marathon and 10K sponsored by All Community Events; close to 4,000 runners, joggers and walkers gathered at Montrose Harbor for the event.
Many wore the thin cotton participant hoodie to keep warm pre-race. The race started at 7 a.m. and in an effort to avoid a bottleneck at the start, there were three time seeded corrals that were delineated by color with the fastest going first and walkers last. While it took some time for all athletes to cross the start line, the effort kept the overcrowding to a minimum and there was plenty of space after the first half mile for runners not in the front of the pack.
Both 10K and half marathoners started at the same time heading north along the lakefront with a turnaround just north of Foster. Participants then made their way back south with 10K runners splitting around mile five. While the 10K runners went to the finish, the half continued towards downtown and made the turn back to Montrose at Armitage. There were limited bikers on the path and hardly any puddles which made the open course manageable for everyone out there. Aid stations were approximately every two miles with enthusiastic volunteers and plenty of hydration.
The overall winners for the half marathon were Jeremy Reilly (Chicago Athlete’s Mens Clif Bar 2016 Athlete of the year) with a time of 1:17:15 for the men and Talia Pyatetsky at 1:23 for the women. Rounding out the men’s podium was Zach Sayre(1:17:22) and Derrik Sweeney (1:18:18) and for the women’s was Jacqueline Ave Maria (1:24:33) and a close third went to Britney Whitehead (1:24:43). Both races were extremely close and would have been exciting to see them round the last quarter mile with the finish line in sight. The 10K men’s podium had Matthew Jeromin (35:40) as the winner and Colin Morlock (36:20) in second and Dan Janecek(37:06) in third. Fiona Carlon (39:13) was women’s overall 10K winner with Marlene Patterson (42:40) in second and Dianna He (44:03) in third.
All athletes finishing the race were given star medals, the usual refresh items and a hot dog and beer. As an avid hot dog eater, the novelty food was a perfect way to celebrate my half marathon. I was battling a cold all week and had the “running demons” taunting me to downgrade to the 10K but avoided the temptation and completed the distance I registered for. With a live band, sponsor tents and nice weather, the finish area was full of runners and support crews enjoying a spring afternoon.