Thursday, August 2, 2012

2012 Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon, 5K, and Video

Here's Holly's recap of the weekend and the Half Marathon:

I was super excited for the 2012 Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon weekend. We had a bunch of Team AllEars friends coming into town and knew it would be a great time. The weekend started with the Expo. We got there early and it wasn’t crowded so I was able to do some shopping. I broke a bunch of running rules by wearing a new watch and a new fuel belt on race day. Thankfully they all worked fine.

After the expo we met up with everyone at the Palmer House Hilton where we were all staying. We decided to take a walk up to Dick's Last Resort on the river. It was a nice day, not too warm. After a great lunch we kept walking up Michigan Avenue. Did some shopping and then we all stopped for a cupcake at Sprinkles. Carb loading, right?? By now we were all getting tired of walking and we did have the race tomorrow so we decided it would be better for us to stop for a beer and sit down than to keep on walking. We spent a couple of hours people watching on Rush street at the Cedar Hotel. Then it was off to dinner to meet the rest of our crew. We had dinner at Scoozi and it was very good and reasonably priced. Then it was back to the hotel for the early wake up.

A few of us met in the lobby at 5:30 for the 6:30 start. The Palmer House is a great location for this race as it is 2 blocks or so from the start. We got to the start area and all split up to get in our various corrals. It was warm, humid warm. I was already hot and sweaty just standing in the corrals. Soon we were off. I have done this race 3 times prior so am pretty familiar with the course. I was hoping for a PR, but after seeing the weather report I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I revised my goal to get under 2:30. Did I mention it was humid? I was already soaked by mile 2. I was on pace for the 2:30 until mile 8 or so. It was great seeing Laura, Marybeth and the thing-a-ma-jig at Mile 7. They are always a great pick me up. I ran into Liz at mile 8 and she said she wasn’t feeling well. I can see why, it was so freaking hot! I started slowing down around mile 10 and knew I wasn’t going to hit 2:30. I was ok with that. My legs just didn’t have it. I have been training hard for a marathon Labor Day weekend and I think it took its toll. I’m sure all the walking the day before didn’t help, but that was so much fun it was worth it. I finished in 2:33:13. The Rock and Roll group has the best finish area with icy cold wet towels, popsicles, and Jamba Juice. I met up with Dave and we headed over to the concert area. Enjoyed some beers and the band Cobra Starship. It was a really great weekend with great friends. Can’t wait to do it again.

Here's Dave's recap of the 5K (mini marathon):

As Holly mentioned, we hit the race expo on Saturday morning. I really don't like expos. Usually they are crowded and full of the same stuff row-after-row. Luckily we were early so the crowds were low and snacks easy to get to. Thanks Clif!. While Holly was looking at iFitness belts,I delighted in the antics of Charlie Tuna. Yes, a costumed mascot. As Holly mentioned we had a great time with our friends.

This may have been the biggest race I have been in. 5kers corralled with the halfers and I was in Corral 26 out of 28. Took over 25 minutes to get to the start line. 5kers split right within the first 1/2 mile and stayed on Lower Wacker until almost mile marker one. After that we were on the Lakeshore bike path and some sidewalks in the Grant Park Area. The last .4 miles were back on the streets.

Overall the course was nice. After the start we could all spread out a bit until we hit the narrower path and sidewalks. Lots of kids doing that whole run-then-dead-stop in front of you. The Lake Michigan and skyline views were great. I passed 3 bands along the way. It was super humid! You really felt this in the stretch of Lower Wacker. I walked the whole race in 42:59 with a 13.50 pace. I couldn't possibly hold everything they gave out at the finish line. Had to ditch the popsicle. The benefit to doing the shorter race is more post-race party fun! I got a beer before 8am, listened to the opening band, and took advantage of free wifi in the middle of the park. Lots of fun.

Here's our video from the race. Most of it is pre and post commentary, plus some photos from the 5K, and Cobra Starship snippets.

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