Skip to main content

I Ran a Mile in Maggie Daley Park

Saturday morning I ran a mile in Maggie Daley Park.

That might not sound that exciting but it was part of a new race - the Run the Ribbon Mile Race - that had its first running this weekend. And while I haven't run a straight mile since high school, I had a pretty great time with this one (even if I did trail my wave by almost 20 seconds with a 6:32). As I said in my Newcity review, this is definitely a race with room to grow that should attract some attention from the running community (especially if mile races make their promised comeback).
Participants line up for a wave at the starting line for the inaugural Run the Ribbon Mile Race


The set-up around the ribbon was pretty cool, with runners and spectators lounging on benches and stretching out before or after their waves. There was also an announcer kicked back in a chair calling out names and placing during waves - and making some photo finishes even more exciting. Overall, it was a pretty cool set-up. Especially since the climbing wall was right in the middle of everything. It felt like running around a giant outdoor play area... which I guess is what Maggie Daley Park is really.

And running five laps made it even more entertaining - as you could see the other runners in your wave through the climbing walls as they circled the track as well. The start/finish line was positioned near the only building in the area, providing an obvious base camp and spot to spectate the finishes.

So here's my complaint about wave organization, which is at the end since it has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the actual running itself and is really my fault for initially over-estimating how fast I could run a mile):

After I got the first informational email from race organizers and saw that my selected pace group (5:31-6:00) was only a step above the "elite" group, I realized I'd made a huge mistake. I emailed race directors and asked if I could move down a wave to a slower pace and they said no problem. From the email: "You can definitely switch waves... You'll just have to line up with the wave you want to race in." Whew.

Unfortunately, on race day when I picked up my bib and event shirt - a pretty sweet soft cotton tee - I asked about moving to an earlier wave and was told it was too late to do that on race day. I mentioned the email exchange and the volunteer sighed and essentially told me that if I wanted to ruin the scheduling for everyone else I could go ahead and switch waves, but that assignments had already been made and this would really slow things down. So I decided to just stick it out and run with my original wave - Wave 10.

But when it came time for Wave 10 to line up, the volunteer setting up waves barked at me that I was in the wrong wave and needed to get off the course. Apparently I was in Wave 12 now. Another runner who was initially in Wave 10 with me got the same instruction as well. When I said I was definitely in Wave 10 according to the roster and asked if it changed she said, "There's only ever been one roster!" (I just double-checked my email and I'm definitely in Wave 10 in the original roster.)

I was hoping to move up so as not to relive my high school track experience of being last in the mile... but that didn't work out. I'm not sure why it was such a big deal that I not move up since the whole atmosphere seemed pretty laid back otherwise - all finishers were awarded a green PARTICIPANT ribbon in classic track meet style. It may have just been those few volunteers not understanding the system but it put an annoying damper on an otherwise smoothly run (and fun) event.

I still think I'll run next year. I'll just actually know which group to put myself in this time.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Daily Guide to Chicago Comedy Shows in April 2018

April 1: Character Assassination presents The Roast of Disney Princesses at Laugh Factory

The latest entry in the Character Assassination roast show series pits a collection of Disney princesses -played by Chicago comics - against each other. Starring Allison Dunne, Alex Kumin, Sarah Shockey, Gena Gephart, Audrey Jonas, Eunji Kim, Samantha Berkman, Stephanie Weber and Mandee McKelvey.

April 2: Comedy Overload Open Mic at Gallery Cabaret

A weekly open mic open to all forms of comedy that takes place at a sweet venue in Bucktown.









April 3: Shake 'Em Up Comedy Showcase at Shakers on Clark

This free two-hour comedy showcase is hosted by Darrick J and Nate Galloway. Comics get between four and 10 minutes each and the hosts let comedians know a bit needs work by hitting a bell and "shaking 'em up."


April 4: Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O'Toole's

Really you should be catching this weekly showcase at Timothy O'Toole's every week. This week's two hour …

Sunday double-header!

After the Run to Remember yesterday, today was a double-header, starting off with the 4-mile C4 Miles at 8 this morning in front of Peggy Notebaert and wrapping up with the 5-mile Cinco de Miler at 9:30 in Montrose Harbor. I was a little nervous about being able to make it to both, but I ended up with time to spare (thanks to the help of a cab that dropped me off at the packed turn-off to Montrose Harbor). Biking from the first race to the second would have been ideal... but I don't have a bike. And I wasn't about to run the three miles between the races carrying my gear check bag.
Anyway, my complete reviews of both races are up on Newcity.com: C4 Miles reviewCinco de Miler review The races really couldn't have been more different:
C4 Miles was a quiet, relatively casual event, with probably around 350 participants (half running/half walking) and no pace groups. Since runners quickly got spread out, other runners on the trail sometimes seemed confused about what I was d…

Chicagoland's First Annual February Fool's Goal Half Marathon/Debacle Completed!

If you were outside running yesterday, or even if you were just sitting inside looking out the window, you are probably aware that yesterday was a terrible weather day. All day. The temperature stayed between 34 and 40 with freezing rain falling on and off throughout the day.

But that didn't stop a trio of foolish runners from Chicago from completing the inaugural running of Chicago's newest half marathon:

Chicagoland's First Annual February Fool's Goal Half Marathon/Debacle