Christy is my best friend from when we were little. I met her when I was only 6 years old. We lived just two doors down from each other. Only Robert's home separated our homes. Christy was my Maid of Honor in my wedding and I was her Matron of Honor in her wedding. We have kept in touch all these years even after I moved away from Illinois when I was 12.
She wanted to do her very first half marathon and I told her I'd run it with her. She booked this one in Chicago and so it was set. It was called the Women's Rock Half Marathon. They advertise that you will receive a necklace at the end of the race and a nice running jacket.
Christy's husband travels a lot so he was able to get us a FREE hotel room in downtown Chicago for us to stay in. It was super nice!
Good things about the race:
Nice bib for your scrapbook
Chip timed race and you get to keep the timing chip as a souvenir in your scrapbook
Nice running jacket, although it doesn't say Half marathon on it, so that is a bummer.
Nice finishing medal.
Organized for the most part.
good post race food
Things that could be improved for this race:
More water stops on the course - there were ONLY 2. I am serious. They were at mile 2 and 6.55. so you hit the mile 2 one again at mile 11, but you needed one at mile 4, 8 and 12. Plus being a super hot day even more would be appreciated, but 2 was not enough.
They need port-a-potties on the course. There were NONE. WHY? Ask them. Ok that's right I did ask them and they haven't answered my personal message on face book, my e-mail, or my post on face book. I guess they don't care to improve the race.
Instant results to print out for your scrapbook.
Volunteers on the course that know more about the race. The volunteers I would ask about where the water stops were they would say, "Oh I don't know where those are, sorry."
Here is my race story: I woke up feeling great. Started out the race and felt good until I was in the sun along Lake Michigan. Then I started to feel crummy at mile 3. By mile 5.5 I had to go to the bathroom and not just pee. So I'm looking around for bathroom, hadn't remembered ever seeing them,but hoped I would soon. I would ask every volunteer at every turn, where are the bathrooms. Every time they would say, "I don't know of any." This really worried me. So I held it in. By mile 7 and no bathrooms in sight I was sick. Very sick. My stomach hurt and I thought I would die. Running was downright super painful, but I plugged on. By mile 7.5 or so I finally saw an opportunity to empty myself. I saw tall weeds and a path to walk behind them. I didn't care who saw me by this point so I went back there and did my stuff. I felt somewhat better, but still overheated and miserable for the most part. There was only a water stop at mile 2 and 6.55 at this point. I was hoping for more water stops, but loosing hope quickly. Plus no bathrooms the ENTIRE course. Seriously this is the first half marathon in 17 that I have completed that didn't have bathrooms. There should be some at almost every mile and at the half way point for sure. Seriously.
Thank goodness there were public water fountains all throughout downtown Chicago along the running path. If those had been turned off or missing, then I am sure I would not have finished because at EVERY water fountain I would cup water and throw it on my head, back and face and then drink some to cool down. I was so hot and just couldn't cool off. Despite the less than ideal conditions both Christy and I finished with a time of 2:25:57 The full results are here.
Here are some pictures from before, during and after the race!
|A fuzzy picture taken from someone else at packet pickup. The race advertized hot men at the finish line giving you your Silver necklace. I didn't care about the men. To me they needed to pull up their pants. Being with Christy is all I cared about.|
|Our shoes the night before with our timing chips on.|
|Mashed potatoes with bacon that I ate the night before the race.|
|Christy in the kitchen of our hotel room. The room was super nice.|
|Our race bibs.|
|The start of the race.|
|The end of the race. Thank goodness that hot race was over.|
|Back to Christy's home with our new jackets and finishing medals on.|
|My finishing medal up close with my bib and necklace I earned.|