On the 12th October 2019, the day that will be forever known as the time Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to break sub 2 in a marathon, I took part in the Chicago 5K. Although this is the second time I have come to take part in Chicago Marathon, it’s the first time I have personally taken part in the 5k. Last year Kirsty ran the 5K whilst I supported, and cheered with our kids. You can read about it in my Chicago Marathon 2018 review HERE. It was lovey to experience the 5k myself, and review it first hand.
It is a very early start, at 07:30, and this year I stayed with a fellow pacer in Lake Bluff. This meant I had to get the first train into Chicago, departing at 05:10. Having just arrived the night before I didn’t really sleep, so was wide awake at 04:00 anyway. I remember last year running in the torrential rain and having to find shelter, so I am so glad we had dry conditions this year. However it was 3 degrees, and it felt freezing at the start.
As I got off the main metro line it was a short 5 min walk, and you could hear the PA as you approached. A great atmosphere. One thing to note, there isn’t a bag drop. I hadn’t looked into this, but it would not matter, I would have had to bring a bag anyway. Just be prepared that if you have to bring a bag with you, and you are alone, then you will need to run with it.
I had worried about getting my race number as they said you had to pick it up at the expo. There is an on the day collection, but to avoid a rush I had it collected for me by fellow pacer Julian. As it turns out, the bib collection on the day was empty so I could have collected stress free. There were also lots of toilets and no queues, so again, pretty stress free. I watched the local news interview the race director for the Chicago Marathon, then got in my corral.
It was a lovely atmosphere as I said, and we were started with the National Anthem. Just before the start Paula Radclife come to the front, and it would have been rude not to get a selfie.
Paula said she was going to do a sub 21, and I thought that sounded like a good plan.
Paula lied, she set off at around a 5 min mile pace, she slowed but it was too fast for me today. As I’m pacing the sub 4 #funbus tomorrow I cant do anything silly. Paula finished in about 19:30, which would be just about manageable for me right now, not the day before pacing a marathon.
It is great to run through the streets of Chicago, a great warm up for the main event. It was a relaxed run, it was cold, and I ran wearing my jacket and bag, so not the most comfortable. But I finished in just after 22:00 minutes.
The finish is so well organised and the medal is fantastic. I picked up my medal and had a chat with Mark, he had run with Paula the whole way, but didn’t have his phone, so he dragged me overy to take a picture before I had even got my medal.
After medal collection we walked around collecting water, Gatorade and best of all, the high quality bobble hat. 35 dollars for entry, and the hat is definitely worth it.
Afterwards I made my way to Yolk for breakfast. If you know me you will know I have a good appetite. At Yolk be prepare to wait for a table, but once you are seated the service is quick. Top tip, if alone or happy to go to counter, let the staff know. I walked in an was seated straight away at the counter. Bottomless coffee, 5 egg omelette with toast and potatoes, I think I’ve earnt it.
Chicago Marathon tomorrow, who is running where???