Breakdown: It’s important to notice that the order of words in the title of this event (Kids Fun and Run) places kids first, followed by fun and then the run. That’s a pretty accurate depiction of the way WTTW structured this ninth annual family event in south Lincoln Park, which felt a lot more like a kid/family-friendly festival/party with a 5k and a 3k thrown in for good measure than a straight-up racing event. Starting off with a countdown from eleven (get it?) the course creatively wound around and through most of the area in Lincoln Park south of the zoo, with only the final mile keeping relatively straight. Volunteers and course markers did a fairly good job of keeping runners on the path but it did seem like the course was unnecessarily complicated (unless you consider that part of the fun). The real draw here was the chance for kids to meet their favorite WTTW cartoon characters (Curious George, Clifford, Arthur, etc) in person, get their face painted or bounce around on an inflatable slide.
Price: $30 ($20 for WTTW members)
Course: The 5k had a mazelike course, starting near the NikeFuel House and heading toward Lincoln Park Zoo, before winding south through the multiple trails around South Pond. It was definitely interesting to experience such a unique course, but a few more volunteers to ensure no one gets confused would be helpful.
Organization (gear check, etc.): Friendly volunteers at all stations, lots of kid-friendly booths and a large selection of healthy post-race food from Aldi. This one really was about the pre-, during- and post-race party. Information on the website said the race was on “Cannon Drive, South of Fullerton” when really it was on Cannon Drive just north of LaSalle—that’s almost a mile discrepancy and I heard several families (walking south from Fullerton) questioning the logic of this instruction.
Goodie Bag (includes shirt): WTTW gear check bag with a Clif Kid Zbar, a Umigo activity book and a fun (if maybe slightly cheesy) orange cotton event shirt.
Weather: A little warm (around eighty) and sunny but luckily both races finished before the rain started. (Zach Freeman)