At 7 a.m. Sunday morning on Lake Shore Drive, about 12,000 runners ran the Chicago Half Marathon in a record-setting heat of 90º degrees on the South Side. This incredible race welcomed runners from 50 states and 42 countries. The Life Time 5k started at 7:45 a.m.
The Health and Fitness Expo took place at Soldier Field Friday and Saturday. Runners were welcomed with a huge celebration of the event’s hashtag “CHIHALF”, flags of all the countries representing and fun music to get us pumped up. When I walked in the door the first thing I saw was a display of the iconic Huge finisher medal and many tables with fitness gear, vendors giving us details on the latest nutrition, and free samples of sport drinks, bars and chips.
Our Runner’s Packet included a runner shirt and bib. I received a bright orange gender specific (women’s) long sleeve tech shirt that says “CHICAGO” in all caps and the big numbers “17” for 2017. My bib, which I have to say was a pretty cool number “11111” had 3 tickets attached at the bottom for a shuttle, complimentary Lagunitas beer and Home Run Inn pizza. Shuttles were offered to and from Millennium Park and Belmont “L” station.
The course took us along Chicago’s south Lake Shore Drive, taking in the views of Lake Michigan, Chicago skyline and the Science and Industry Museum campus before a triumphant finish at the golden Statue of the Republic.
There were 10 aid stations with restrooms along the course and over 1,400 resident volunteers operating each station with a huge smile. Chicago Endurance Sports pace groups were available for: 1:30, 1:45, 1:50, 2:00, 2:10, 2:20, 2:30 and 2:45 finishing times. Our organizers supplied water, gatorade, ice, misters and open water hydrants to keep us safe as temperatures were in the 90s. The Event Alert System was at “HIGH”. The heat was getting the best of all of us runners, I saw many run/walkers than usual. Runners and spectators were reminded to stay hydrated throughout the whole race. At about mile 10 an open water hydrant created a beautiful rainbow over all of us runners. When we crossed the finish line, we were handed ice-cold towels, water, gatorade and popsicles to regulate our body temperature.
After receiving my finisher’s medal I entered the Finish Festival area which was a great place for participants and spectators to celebrate our accomplishment. We had great music on a stage from 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Awards were given to the top three overall male and female finishers.
Top Half Marathon male finishers:
- Damon King, 1:12:36
- Johnny Binzak, 1:12:50
- Kyle Larson, 1:14:18
Top Half Marathon female finishers:
- Courtney Peterson, 1:23:55
- Lorna Vargas Fonseca, 1:25:38
- Kirsty Lederer, 1:28:07
Top Life Time 5k male finishers:
- Chad Aubin 16:48
- Daniel Lindbloom 16:50
- Reid Basting 17:33
Top Life Time 5K female finishers
- Ann Kotze, 20:35
- Jasmin Searcy, 22:31
- Julie volchenboum, 22:43
This race was part of the Chicagoland Half Marathon Series. 1,200 of us ambitious runners participated in the Chicago Spring Half Marathon on May 21, 2017 and received a 2nd commemorative Half Series medal, so we felt pretty special walking around Chicago with some special bling!