When you live in the suburbs and see some of your running friends on a Wednesday night, they may ask when your next race is. When you say, “tomorrow,” sometimes you get some very confused looks.
Well known to runners in the city – plus a decent number of suburbanites – though, is that, in the spring and summer, Thursday night is “Race Night.” Almost every Thursday night from May until September, you can find an evening race somewhere along the lakefront path in the city. I have run multiple Thursday night races in the city, and they are all very laid back and full of energy and comradery. (I think it is because most people are just happy to be done with work.)
Last night, I was able to run the Universal Sole Four Mile Classic. A friend of mine had talked me into coming down – it isn’t usually very hard to talk me into doing a race – so I left work fifteen minutes early and headed for Montrose Harbor. The start line was filled with people that were just out enjoying a beautiful day in the park, ready to run hard, but not be stressed out about their times or place. The course headed north on the lakefront paths before coming back and, after a quick jaunt up and down Cricket Hill for an extra bit of “fun,” it was back to the finish line for a nice cooldown and some time to converse with friends both old and newly met.
Thursday night races have a different feel to them and I highly recommend trying to make it into the city someday this summer to give your legs a good “post-work speed session.” Events like the Universal Sole Four Mile Classic just add an extra aspect of enjoyment to the Chicagoland racing scene and provide a reminder of just how cool Chicago runners really are.