13.1 Chicago Half Marathon (6.13.2010)

Discussion in 'Course Reviews' started by Course Review, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Course Review

    Course Review Barefooters

    Apr 3, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Reviewed By: BrunoRuns


    Date Reviewed: 06/18/2010
    Review Type: Race
    Barefoot Friendliness: 3 Average

    Lake Shore Path/Jackson Park
    South Shore Cultural Center
    Chicago, IL
    See map: Google Maps


    Just ran this race on Sunday. My furthest distance to date BF. I had a great time and made some personal goals. The whole race itself get's high marks from me with a few small exceptions.

    The Set Up: The shuttles and transportation were quite good. I was staying with friends and was driven to a drop off point so that was taken care of. The South Shore Cultural Center had a decent amount of room and Port of Johns for everyone. Bag check was easy and numbered and the warm up area had grass and part of the path involved. I got the usual looks before the race, but no real questions yet. 5,000 participants.

    The Race: This was a long corral start, 18 minutes from gun time when I crossed the start line. This is the longest I have waited to start a race every including 28,000 person marathons. The course goes around the Lake Shore path and Jackson Park, BOTH which are not the best surfaces for a BF runner. After the first mile, we entered Jackson park which was a poorly maintained park path full of potholes, gravel, rocks, and debris. I had to jump on the grass a bunch and run over a lot of crap that I thought was hurting my form and my feet. Back on the path, it went through patches of crappy gravel and even constructions holes. I would estimate that half the race was run on less than ideal surfaces. I guess that's what you get without a road.

    The support along the route WAS GREAT though. Plenty of water and bathroom stops for everyone even with the cramped path. At many points it was so narrow, we were literally passing people on the left into oncoming runner traffic. (another thumbs down in my book). Halfway through the race I was scared that my feet wouldn't hold up from all the rocks and debris but around mile 10, I was assured that I had done my training and was ready to finally pick up my pace a bit to finish strong.

    And finish strong I did. With BF, I haven't been running at full speed in order to pay all the attention to my form which has left me in my last 2 or 3 races with plenty of Cardio and energy left. I had half a tank left with only a 5k to run. I passed 1,000 people on my way to the finish and didn't let anyone pass me at all. I did the last 2 miles in 15 min flat after I realized I could beat 2 hours.

    The Finish: 1:59:29 was my D tag time and I am quite proud of it, seeing how I was basically on a sight seeing pace for the first 10 miles of the race. The festival had a band, Chicago Deep Dish, lots of goodies and a well organized set up. Durring the race I had tons of questions and comments on my feet and a few after the race. I am always open to spread the BF Love. I stretched out, got my cool medal and Tshirt and went on my way.

    Against my initial thoughts, I was able to tough out the rough course, but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone looking to run their first half marathon distance, or their longest BF run to date. It worked for me, but I am afraid I wouldn't do it again till I was bit better built up so I could avoid most of the "ouches." Hope this helps some folks!

  2. joohneschuh

    joohneschuh Barefooters
    1. Germany &...

    Feb 19, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Note: This review was copied from the old site. I started with the first one on the list, the others will follow soon.

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