Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Starting with a crazy “throw everything you think you will need in the bag” prep on Thursday…you could say my weekend started a little frazzled. I spent Friday with my dad and tried to get everything I thought I needed in my carry-on that evening.
I woke up early Saturday morning wanting to get in a few miles…but social media surfing won the morning battle and I wasted a couple hours just clicking & swiping. When it was time, we loaded up and my MIL took me to the airport to catch my flight to Chicago.
Once in Chicago, I hustled to my Lyft and headed to a blogger brunch I was invited to by Wendy! If was so great to match social media names to real names, faces and personalities. So fun! I was offered a ride to the expo by Wendy and I jumped at the opportunity to NOT have to walk or get another ride. The expo was large and there was a lot to see (see more on this below).
After the expo, Wendy dropped me off at my AirBNB and I settled in. I realized that I needed water for my run…so I started looking for general stores nearby. I found a Walgreens, got some snacks and water, and figured out what I wanted to do for running… I totally needed 15 miles since I didn’t get in any morning miles, but had some fun with it!
I first ran to a running store to pick up some Body Glide (rookie mistake) and then ran to Millenium Park, through Maggie Daley Park, along the Lakefront to Navy Pier, around the pier, then back along the lakefront past the Shedd, around Northerly Island Park, and then back to my AirBNB. I didn’t gauge the time very well and finished in the dark…but at least I ordered my Giordano’s on the way – it was 90-110 minutes until it would be delivered. Whoops!
Let’s touch base with the real reason I was in town and the perks of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon!!
Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago | Race Recap
expo / packet pick up
I was very happy that Wendy offered to give me a ride to the expo after lunch, and after a little wandering around McCormick Place, we were able to find the expo. First stop, packet pick-up!
Once we were able to get our bib numbers, bibs, check timing chips, and shirts, we took the “here we are at the fake finish line” pictures with our bibs and with each other.
On to the expo!
A few of the ladies from lunch also came to the expo around the same time, so we wandered around for a while together. A couple of my favorite things were taking fun pictures with props and meeting Kathrine Switzer! Of course Wendy and her are BFFs (long story, haha!) but we all got to have our moment with her.
One of my favorite booths/tents was the VICE CREAM – hello, ice cream with some pretty amazing flavors, please! I also enjoyed the port-a-potty changing rooms, and of course the Toyota vehicles all over the place.
Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early – I made the decision to run to the start of the race to warm-up and take up a few miles for my quota for the day. When I booked the AirBNB, I somehow thought the start was a mile or so away…the “or so” won out since it was closer to 3 miles… Whatevs, I just made sure to leave in enough time!
I was able to find Linda but the other bloggers were having a fun time getting to the starting area. I then went over to The Bean to try and meet up with other BibRave Pros but missed that meet up as well. I settled in at the starting area as the rain started to fall…
Overall, the course for Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago was nice! There were some awesome downtown “stuck between the buildings” views – but I could have done without the metal-grate bridge crossings…
My saving grace for this race was the aid stations.
While I carried a handheld (mostly for my phone), I used the aid stations as “walk breaks” and tried to run through the rest of the course.
There was SIS gel (a little different) stations alternating with Gatorade Endurance stops and water at each aid station.
I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the quantity or frequency of the port-a-potty situation…but there were a bunch at the starting area and throughout the course at the aid stations.
For the RnR races, they always have fun shirts and medals for the participants/finishers. I ended up ordering a men’s shirt (after enough women’s sizing issues through the years) and while it is a touich big, it is comfortable! There were a few other goodies in the “swag bag” that I have yet to use…
After the race, I would have loved to enjoy the post race concert and attempt to find people I knew…but it started pouring rain again and I needed to walk back to my AirBNB before hitting up the airport. As I was leaving the area where the finishing chute was located, I was able to see fellow BRP Aubrene finish and take a quick picture before walking as quickly as my soaked/sore body could take me back to my AirBNB.
All weather and training considering, I was pretty happy with this race! I kept my cadence high, ran well throughout, walked through the aid stations, and laughed constantly about how crazy the weather was being! This is not the first time I have run in the rain…and likely won’t be the last. But I had a good time, enjoyed the music throughout the day, and I can’t wait to go back to Chicago and see it bright and sunny!
Once I got back to my AirBNB after the race, I showered and packed up. I phoned a ride and he was there in a couple minutes. I should have paid for a solo ride and not a shared one…because probably the amount of time it took to pick up the other guy was the amount of time I missed my flight by. It was a mess – I was dead tired and overly emotional (very little sleep and lots of rain…) – but I was then able to relax for a bit, get little man a souvenir, and wait a few hours for the next flight to KC. A great, great weekend of running around like a crazy person in the books!
Now that the race is done (a few weeks ago…), it’s time to check out my Athlinks results! Do you remember a while back when I posted about the great race tracking company Athlinks? Since I didn’t see a “you have a new result to claim” thing, I looked up the race, entered my name and BOOM, there I was! I was able to easily claim my results for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon!
Have you needed/wanted to fly to a running event? This was a first for me – but my family felt better with me flying to/from rather than driving.
What is your traveling fear? Um…missing my flight or having my luggage lost. Carry-on only helps with the luggage scare, but the missed flight happened…
Have you run a Rock n Roll event? This is my second, and likely not my last!