Adrenaline Sports Management seems to have found a more comfortable home for the second annual Bunny Rock 5K, starting and ending near Montrose Beach (relocated from Diversey Harbor last year). The move allowed race organizers to use park trails and less-frequented portions of the lakefront path for the race course, which they did very cannily, to the benefit of both those in the race and those just out for a morning run or bike workout. Water stations and mile markers were well-placed and easily visible, as were the volunteers along the course.
The morning started out a bit chilly (around forty degrees) but the 9am start time gave the sun plenty of time to warm things up, while also allowing plenty of time for those taking public transportation (or parking farther out) to make the trek to the starting line. By race time the weather was ideal for a run, with a nice breeze coming off the lake.
The Easter-themed fanfare taking place in the grassy expanse of the base camp area added an additional layer of festivity to the proceedings. Aside from the large number of runners jovially sporting the cutesy bunny ears and pastel-colored sunglasses included in the goodie bag, a petting zoo and photogenic Easter bunny (not to mention a giant egg hunt) offered easy entertainment to runners with kids. Additionally, a cover band performed renditions of familiar eighties and nineties hits.
Before the race bunny ears seemed a bit gimmicky (and they are), but gathering in a starting chute and listening to a starting countdown amidst a sea of pointy white ears has a way of putting you in a good mood. And if you were able to keep your ears on throughout the run, you’re sure to end up with some unique race pictures. (Zach Freeman)
Course: 5. A nice loop near Montrose Beach, mainly using park trails rather than the busier lakefront trail. Clear mile markers and friendly volunteers.
Organization (bag check, etc.): 4. Bag check was no problem. Packet pick-up at Universal Sole was a little backed up when I went but still not an issue.
Goodie Bag (includes shirt): 5. Bunny ears and sunglasses, while not expensive freebies, allowed for a goofy camaraderie with fellow runners on race day. The baby blue shirt is appropriately cheesy.
Weather: 5. Ever-improving temperature with only light clouds made for perfect running weather.
Overall: 4.75. Recommended Race. The move to Montrose Beach was a smart one. Say what you will, Easter is a cheesy holiday. Luckily, this race makes the most of it, easily walking the line between gimmick and fun family entertainment.