The Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler and 5K took place this past Saturday; the CARA sponsored event has been a longtime favorite for Chicagoans as a tuneup for spring half marathons and the kick off for longer distance outdoor racing. Changes this year included moving the start/finish area to the Wilson Track that had both distances finish Olympic style with a victory lap before crossing the finish line.
This race has great all around logistics with multiple packet pickups in the Chicagoland area along with morning of pickup, ample free parking race day and the option to downgrade race morning should you need to change from the 10 miler to 5K.
The race started at 9 a.m. sharp with the 10 mile and 5K starting at the same time. Both distances stayed on the same course for approximately 2.7 miles. The course was straightforward, well marked and utilized the lakefront gravel and asphalt path. Aid stations were stocked with fluids and had cheerful volunteers supporting racers.
The slightly different course still incorporated the famous Cricket Hill with one up and down for the 5K and two for the 10 milers. Both distances had a hill climb with less than half mile to go; it definitely got the heart racing before dropping onto Wilson track. Dave Pappas was on the mic to call in finishers both both distances.
Runners received lots of swag including a reflective half zip, finishers medal, Lagunitas Beer, fruit, water, popcorn and other post race goodies. The move to the track not only provided a fun finish for runners but created a perfect post race area – runners could recover, visit vendors and cheer on other athletes rounding the finish all at the same time. Another bonus was there was no mud in the post race area thanks to the astroturf. Personally, I thought it was a nice change for the race.
The overall winners for the 10 Mile race were Chris Robertson with a time of 51:39 for the men and Osbie Birru at 58:30 for the women. Rounding out the men’s podium was Zach Baker (52:00) and Tim Hurd (52:47) and for the women’s was Karen Lesiewicz (1:00:47) and a close third went to Nora Ferguson (1:00:58). The 5K men’s podium had Casey Green (17:59) as the winner and Ryan Duffy (18:50) in second and Peter Keith (19:15) in third. Samantha Harding (19:34) was women’s overall 5K winner with Jeannie Sullivan (20:55) in second and Marija Spaic (21:48). There were also Athena and Clydesdale divisions for both distances along with age Group winners.
Race proceeds supported CARA. This was my fifth time participating in this race and enjoyed the new changes. Along with this race, I recommend you checking out CARA’s GoRuns this summer; with the one mile or 5K distances, even casual walkers can participate.