“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Chicago Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review and find and write race reviews!”
I have always wanted to run the Chicago Half Marathon but never have. I love the course and the fact that this is the only course where you run on Lake Shore Drive for miles while it is shut down. The only other race that is similar is bike the drive. What held me back in prior years? The finishing requirement held me back. In 2013 the pace was closer to either 3 hours or 3 hours and 15 minutes for completion. Now the pace is more generous at 16 minutes per mile. I was also nervous about parking and how to get there. They have free shuttles to take you to the race. If you really want to drive there is limited parking at the MSI but it will cost you $20 if you are lucky enough to get a spot (gates open at 5 am).
This race is a great distance for fall marathons. It works well as the Chicago Marathon taper or for ramping up (like me) for the New York City Marathon. It is also the last big city distance race before the weather changes. If you are looking for a little less distance there is a 5 K race distance option.
I am a girl who likes her swag or at least can see the value of her race registration. The medals from this race are crazy large and I have always wanted one. If you are into race medals you should consider this race! If you do this race and the Chicago Spring half you get a bonus giant medal (would need to register for both races for 2019). Other swag includes a gender specific long sleeved shirt, FREE race photos, a post race Lagunitas beer and Home Run Inn pizza while enjoying the post race live entertainment.
The race has partnered with the USATF to host the Illinois Half Marathon Championship at this race. This means prize money for those that are members of the USATF that place during this race. It also means for more excitement during the race for racers and spectators. It also will bring more race support on course which is nice for the racers.
Want to join me in running this race? Race registration is still open online until Midnight on Thursday, September 20th. After that race registration will be open if available at the expo at the Roosevelt Collection Friday/Saturday. This is the last year for this iconic route (due to the Obama Presidential Library). Are you ready to register? Use the code BRCHIHALF18 for $10 off the half/$5 off the 5K!