St. Paddy's Day 5k - Chicago Lakefront

Yesterday, my wife and I ran the annual St. Paddy’s Day 5k in Lincoln Park. I love this race since we literally walk outside our door to the Start Line. This year the race was a last minute addition as I am still recovering from a broken heel suffered in January during my Goofy Challenge races. But, I felt good enough in the past 5 or so runs to feel comfortable to race. My plan was to start in the back and just take it easy, seeing how my foot would react in a competitive atmosphere.

First thing to note was this race was cold, so cold! Last year’s race was about 78 degrees, where as yesterday it was about 27 degrees with the wind chill. There were some racers who were wearing crazy St. Patty’s costumes that seemed to have zero insulation. I don’t know if I could have stood that. 

So cold!!!!!!!!

We watched as the 8k racers took off and then lazily made our way to the corral. For most races, I’m usually near the front so starting at the back was new for me. I noticed the folks in the back were more relaxed and talkative, which was a nice change from the unusual and unsettling quietness of the A corral.

As the race got underway, I expected to dodge some slower runners, so I made my way onto the media on the trail. Unfortunately, Friday saw a massive rainstorm so the majority of the trail was inundated with massive puddles driving almost everyone to the median. Once we got onto the concrete of the lakefront path, we were all able to spread out and set on a pace. As I mentioned above, this race was going to be a “check out my foot” race, so I wasn’t focused on cranking out a good time (I barley looked at my Garmin). We made our way back onto the trail after Mile 2 and followed the outbound path back to the Finish line. Overall, I finished in 24:35 and took 65th place. I thought it would be further back, but the not having the stress of looking at my watch every 2 minutes I actually did pretty well; something to think about for my next race.

The race was done very well given the rain the day before and the cold of race day. Packet pickup and gear check was really smooth. The only two notes I can think of are the race shirts are cotton (big no-no) and more importantly, the turnaround point in the race put returning runners back into the path of oncoming racers. Overall, we could see them coming and could move out of the way, but this is a HUGE no-no for races and adds opportunity for serious accidents. I don’t remember this being an issue the last two years we ran this race.

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