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Thursday 5K Doubleheader on the Lakefront: ABC7 Gibbons 5K and Monsters of the 5K

Pre-race rain left the base camp a bit soggy for the ABC7 Gibbons 5K

As I mentioned last week, I went in for a double header this past Thursday with the decades old ABC7 Gibbons 5K at 6:25pm and the newly minted Monsters of the 5K/10K at 7:15pm. Since I went over the basics regarding each race in previous blogs I'll just touch on race day highlights for each here.


Pools of post-race water at the ABC7 Gibbons 5K
First off, the ABC7 Gibbons 5K was a lot bigger than I had anticipated. While there were only 747 chip-timed runners (I know this from checking the results) there were a lot more 5K fun run participants and 3K walkers. Pre-race the announcer claimed that registrations were up "about 45% this year over last year" so despite the race having been around for a while I'm not sure if they were ready to handle this many participants... at least at the starting line.

The starting line began on Columbus just south of Balbo and snaked around down Balbo. While there were pace signs clearly posted, the announcer only did the call for faster runners to get forward, which I personally feel is much less effective than asking slower runners to move back. Especially for such a tight starting line down a narrow sidewalk, this led to a little bit of a cluster at the starting line and in the first stretch of the race.

Once we got out on the lakefront, though it was a lot more open - despite it being an open course. There were plenty of volunteers to direct traffic and enough space to spread out and run. There was a little wind at this point but it hadn't picked up too badly yet. I ended up finishing with a 23:09 which I was pretty happy with. But I didn't have much time to bask in my own glory.

As soon as I finished I headed straight to gear check, grabbed my bag, changed into the ABC7 Gibbons 5K shirt, switched to my Monsters of the 5K race bib and started walking towards Soldier Field for the next race.


Post-race at the Monsters of the 5k/10K
I got to base camp for the next race at 7:10pm, checked my bag with the most efficient gear check guy I've seen at a race and ran to the starting line, which was actually a good distance away from Soldier Field on East Waldron heading south on the lakefront trail. I got to the starting line right as Universal Sole's Rhonda Anderson was announcing the start of the race and reminding runners about the three charities involved, along with Israel Idonije, who sounded the starting horn.

I thought I had stretched enough before the first race and gotten my legs stretched out again with the walk from Grant Park to Soldier Field, but I could feel the tiredness in my legs as soon as I started. Luckily (at first) the wind was at my back, blowing south along the lakefront and pushing me forward. It wasn't until we turned around and headed north again that I realized how strong the wind really was.


Still it was an open course with surprisingly few runners (I think a lot more people ran the 10K than the 5K, as is typically the case for races with two distances) so we had plenty of room to spread out on the trail. Official results haven't been posted yet but I think I ended around a 25:06, which I was fine with.

All finishers (both 5K and 10K) received medals. Usually I'm kind of against medals for 5Ks, but after running two in a row I was pretty thankful for a medal. I grabbed some free stuff (mostly Red Bull and Papa John's, though there were tons of other booths) and was about to leave when I ran into Tom Ahern from the media team and got a picture to wrap up the day.

If Monsters of the 5K and the ABC7 Gibbons 5K are on the same day next year, I'd definitely do this again. Both races were well-organized, for great charities, had sweet running shirts (Gibbons also had a gear check bag while Monsters provided a medal) and left me feeling happy I made it out.

And I didn't even get rained on on the way home.

Me and Tom Ahern

Comments

  1. Congrats on finishing (and making it in time) to the two races! Very cool.

    ReplyDelete

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