On Saturday, November 2, hundreds of endurance athletes headed to the Chicago lakefront trail to participate in the Lakefront 50K/50 Miler. Often touted as the gateway to ultras, this race is well-organized, greatly attended, and loved by anyone who has participated in the event.
The Lakefront ultra-races take place in the spring and fall and feature different distance options. This fall, there was a 50K and a 50-mile option. 50 milers began their race at 6:30 am, while the 50K-ers began at 8:30am. Runners enjoyed ample, pay-box parking at the Foster Avenue Beach House in Lincoln Park, just a few steps from the registration area.
All racers shared the same start/finish line and most of the course, with the 50K running a 5.17-mile loop six times and the 50 milers running a 6.25-mile loop eight times. The course was extremely well marked, with aid stations located every 2.5 miles. Additionally, with the looping format, runners were able to access their drop bags 2-3 times, depending on the distance.
What began as a chilly morning quickly turned into a picturesque fall day on the Chicago lakefront. Runners were treated to a sunny fall morning on the LFT with stocked aid stations and helpful volunteers.
As always, RDs Pat Onines and Jeff Fleitz kept the day enjoyable for runners eliminating common race day stresses and maximizing the beauty of Chicago. One of my favorite things about the Lakefront 50 races is the pre-race emails. Here’s a line from an email preceding Saturday’s races:
“Please do not cross the finish line more than once as it will confuse and befuddle my results crew. Most of them are my closest friends and they confuse easily.”
I have participated in the spring and fall occurrences of this race and every time I feel like I am part of a big ultra-family. Racers are kind and encouraging, aid stations are incredible, and the RDs are nothing short of amazing in their execution of such large-scale events. I can’t speak more highly of these ultra-events and encourage you to check on the Lakefront 50 races this spring.