The 12th annual Race to Wrigley 5k charity run kicked off on Saturday in Chicago. The race raised over $32,000 for Cubs Charities, an organization that improves the lives of children and families across the Chicago area.
The sold-out race started on Addison near Wrigley Field with the start area being heavily congested. There was a separate corral for walkers but no staging or separation of the faster runners by pace or a seeded time. This lead to a pretty crowded first mile as runners headed west along Addison before turning north onto Ravenswood Avenue.
From there, runners turned east onto Irving Park Road with a short segment north along Southport and then back along Clark before continuing along Irving Park to Sheridan Avenue. The remainder of the course was a southbound sprint to Wrigley field, where runners entered the concourse through the Budweiser Bleacher gate on Sheffield Ave. The finish line was south of the stadium near Clark and Cornelia.
The experience to run through the concourse is what drew many runners to the event, and while you didn’t get to run on the field, it was still enjoyable to see the new murals and statues along with highlight videos playing on the tvs.
The finish line featured a commemorative medal for the 2016 World Series Champions Chicago Cubs. The excitement of getting a medal lead to heavy congestion issues near the finish. There are opportunities to improve the finish line congestion as many runners later in the race were not able to run across the finish line due to long lines from the post-race refreshments and medal distribution overflowing onto the course. But with a few improvements for next year with the finish and start, the race is sure to be a continued hit. Without a doubt the celebrations in the Wrigleyville bars after the race showed that most runners still had a great time.
The cold weather at the start lead to some fast times. The top overall male was Nicholas Aubert with a time of 16:21. Stevie Parks was the top female in 20:53.