The Joliet Park District caps off their JPDRun3 series with the Red Eye 5k, a unique road and trail style race, designed to challenge runners’ fitness levels and provide some fun competition amongst friends.
The race is hosted at the Joliet Memorial Stadium, which is makes it very convenient for locals and out-out-towners because it is right off the expressway and has a nice, large parking lot. The race starts on the outside of the stadium, starting off on blacktop before quickly changing to grass while you run through soccer fields and enter the golf course section of the route. Running on the golf course grounds provides some additional challenges for urban and suburban runners that are used to doing all their runs on concrete and blacktop. The soft grass and sometimes uneven terrain can take you out of your comfort zone and force you to run hard by effort, not by looking at your watch for even splits.
As you circle the gold course, you switch from running on fairways to greens, blacktop cart paths, gravel sections and back again, providing a great mental challenge as you weave from section to section. Many participants have found that this is a great race to do with family and friends as the unique layout of the event allows for a different kind of friendly competition that a typical road 5k can’t do. It all culminates with a half lap around the track of the stadium, providing some exciting final sprints between competitors.