Universal Sole Burgers and Beer 5K


The Universal Sole Burgers and Beer 5K took place on Monday evening at Soldier Field.  A fast field of over 500 athletes participated in the evening race along Chicago’s lakefront.

The race beneficiary for the 2017 Burgers and Beer 5K is Girls in the Game, an organization dedicated to helping every girl find her voice, discover her strengths and lead with confidence through fun and active sports, health and leadership programs.

Packet pick-up took place at Universal Sole in Lakeview over the course of several days leading up to the race, as well as on-site in the hours just prior to the race start.  Participants received a custom glass Burgers and Beer 5K beer mug, as well as one complimentary beer, burger and chips at the post-race celebration.

It was a beautiful night for a 5K on the lakefront path.  In past years, the Burgers and Beer 5K had seen stifling temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s with high humidity.  This year race participants were blessed with fantastic July racing conditions with temperatures in the low 70’s.

The race began promptly at 7 p.m. and the fast field of athletes took off on the out-and-back course, heading south on the path to the turnaround at 31st street.  Coming off of Ironman Racine 70.3 on Sunday, I didn’t intend to run hard, but got caught up in the cooler temperatures and swept away with the fast field.  That said, I was barely a mile in when I encountered the front runners heading back north to the finish line just south of Waldron Drive.  With more than 30 athletes finishing under the 20-minute mark, this was a fast and competitive weeknight race!

One of the great things about the Universal Sole Burgers and Beer 5K, (and all of the Universal Sole races), is the community atmosphere that’s evident in the camaraderie between athletes and even the personal anecdotes added by the announcer as familiar faces cross the finish line.  Upon finishing, athletes were able to grab a variety of Clif bars, Nuun hydration and water before walking over to the post-race party for their included burgers, chips and beer.  Post-race beer, burgers, (meat and vegetarian options were available), and chips were quickly and efficiently distributed and athletes hung out on Soldier Field’s south lawn until after sunset.  The evening wrapped up with awards and Universal Sole’s classic raffle, featuring prizes including gift certificates to the store in Lakeview and various items from race sponsors.

The Burgers and Beer 5K was born out of a grassroots event at Universal Sole’s Lakeview store, which brought athletes together for an easy three or five mile run, followed by craft beer and burgers from various bars in the Lakeview neighborhood.  The Burgers and Beer fun runs take place monthly, typically on the first Monday of the month, beginning at 6:30 p.m..  The next Burgers and Beer fun run takes place at Universal Sole, (3052 N. Lincoln), on Monday, August 7th.


Overall Male Winners:

  1. Clayton Mendez, 15:55
  2. Roger Pinon, 16:20
  3. Steven Bugarin, 16:27


Overall Female Winners:

  1. Lauren Zumbach, 17:52
  2. Amanda Porter, 18:39
  3. Katelyn Draths, 19:08
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Kristan Huenink has been exploring the city in her running shoes for the better part of a decade and coaching runners from beginners to marathoners nearly as long. She enjoys road racing at all distances, having completed countless short-distance races and nearly 20 marathons. When injury demanded she seek alternative physical activity, Kristan took her PT’s advice and decided to give tri a try. She has fully embraced the multi-sport lifestyle, completing multiple sprint, 70.3 and Ironman-distance races, as well as qualifying for USAT Age-Group Nationals and earning Ironman All-World Athlete Bronze status. Kristan is a USAT-Certified Coach with Grit Endurance in the West Loop, where she coaches Computrainer sessions, group run and triathlon training programs of all distances and levels, and one-on-one personal coaching. When she’s not training or coaching, Kristan can be found devouring the latest endurance sport literature and studying training data from her Garmin in pursuit of her next PR.


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