Breakdown: Unlike the gusting winds and rain of the 2012 race, this year’s Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K (newly christened the Magellan Development Chicago Spring Half, for shorthand) offered runners a warm spring morning in the mid-seventies with sunny skies and a light breeze. The course remained the same, with both races starting in DuSable Harbor, following the Lakefront Trail out and back and finishing in The Park at Lakeshore East.
And though the nicer weather was a welcome change for runners of this year’s event, it also meant that there were a lot more non-participants enjoying a stroll, run or bike ride on the (unclosed) Lakefront Trail to contend with. Still, mile-markers were clearly placed and volunteers were readily available with plenty of water and Gatorade. The placement of the starting line does make for a more easily manageable start, but it also leads to a bit of confusion as runners pass back through the starting track on their way to the finish line (which is about a third of a mile further).
It’s the post-race party in The Park at Lakeshore East that makes this event worth the price. It also makes it abundantly clear why Magellan Development Group (creators of Lakeshore East) is eager to host this event: it highlights the manicured beauty of their planned community, with runners being granted tickets to a well-stocked “picnic” (featuring eggs, pancakes, sausage and coconut water) in the park amidst the many sponsor booths.
Price: $70-$80 for the half, $55-$65 for the 10K
Course: Starting in DuSable Harbor and finishing in The Park at Lakeshore East make for nice bookends, though the unclosed Lakefront Trail leads to a bit of crowding among those just out to enjoy the morning.
Organization (gear check, etc.): All run smoothly. I switched from the half to the 10K at packet pick-up with no hassle (though there was a $5 transfer fee).
Goodie Bag (includes shirt): Mostly just a virtual goodie bag, along with a presentable yellow polyester/spandex blend t-shirt and a nice finisher’s medal.
Weather: A bit warm but overall an exceedingly pleasant day for a run (and a post-race picnic). (Zach Freeman)