Close to 10,000 runners participated in the Soldier Field 10 Miler Saturday morning in Chicago.
The annual race honors past and present military personnel with fundraising efforts going to Salute Inc. The race’s mission is to “meet the financial, physical and emotional needs of military service members, veterans and their families.”
With the start and finish at Soldier Field, most participants driving parked at the surrounding lots free of charge. Pre-race events included presenting of the colors, honoring military who had fallen this past year, playing of ‘Taps’ and the National Anthem.
The start was staggered with two waves to decrease congestion. The course was an out and back going south from Soldier Field and very straight forward. Volunteers were enthusiastic and helpful at aid stations and along the course.
After a downpour the night before, the sun was shining race morning and runners hydrated with Nuun to battle the humidity that accompanied the sun. The last quarter mile of the race is the highlight of the race, as runners run into Soldier Field, through the tunnel and finish on the field. Due to a two-night run of Beyoncé, runners didn’t get to experience the grass but instead ran on a manmade floor. However, active duty soldiers were still present to hand out medals to finishers.
Many thanked the service men and women, and some even snapped selfies with military personnel.
After finishing, the post race party took over; music, vendors and refreshing food allowed runners to relax, celebrate their race and most importantly reflect on their freedom thanks to those who have sacrificed their service for our country.