The Hot Cider Hustle 8 Mile and 5k really is a race that everyone can enjoy. There are so many ways that this race stands out as a fun and challenging experience for runners all across Chicagoland.
Options are name of the game for this event. First of all, you have a choice of days to run. The 8 Mile and the 5k were held on both Saturday and Sunday this year. (Yes, the exact same race in the exact same location on two different days.) For people that have obligations on the weekend, the opportunity to choose your race day can be a big benefit. The race results are not combined, so there are two separate champions and two separate groups of age group winners. (I also have to believe that there are a handful of people that challenged themselves to do the race on both days.)
The choice of distance also aids in the popularity of the event. The 5k is a nice, short race which is great for families and speed demons alike. The 8 Mile is an odd distance, with not many chances in which to participate. The race strategy in your head is all about how you start; you have the discussion that the race is two miles short of a 10 mile but also 1.75 miles longer than a 10k. For those that prefer longer distances, this is a challenging distance that allows you to be done in a respectable time.
Are you a swag hound? This year’s giveaway was a ¼ zip sweatshirt. It is a nice, heavy top, but a different option for people that have piles of hoodies at home. Participants also received a coffee mug at the finish line, later filled to the brim with hot cider. Participants also received a taffy apple before leaving, something not typically seen on the food table at races.
The Hot Cider Hustle is a race meant for autumn. It is a great mix of “end of the season” fun and “post goal race” racing with a splash of apple flavoring thrown in.