The Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon is the 2nd race in my TourPass 3-Pack (the first race taking place about a month ago in Seattle). I was supposed to run this same race back in 2012, but life got in the way so I had to defer and run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 10K instead. I wanted to run more destination races this year and the timing worked out to run RnR Chicago. I’ve been to New York City 3 times already and wanted to see how Chicago compared to it, in respect to the city itself, tourist attractions and of course, food! I heard that Chicago weather in July was pretty bad, but we experienced an unusually hot and humid weekend when I visited! Because of that my results were less than ideal: 1:52:21 (8:35 min/mile), age group: 124/807, gender: 682/4877, overall: 1,015/12,075. I had initially planned to run about 1:35, so that was almost 20 minutes slower! But I wasn’t the only one who ran slower than expected, the weather really caused a toll on runners during this race. I guess not all races can be in ideal weather conditions.
The course itself wasn’t bad, it started and finished the Grant Park (it’s like the Central Park of NYC). It takes you through the city and local neighborhoods, with a lot of straight paths, which get tough after a couple of miles. We also ran along Lake Michigan, which would have been a lot better had there many a breeze during the race. The course also has you run along Soldier Field, which apparently is the oldest NFL stadium. We also ran through a few tunnels, which I am not a fan of. First, it causes my GPS to lose connectivity so the rest of the race distance and pace is off. And because there’s no access to outside breeze, it gets quite warm in there.
As much as I hate to admit it, I actually had to walk a few times during this race! I don’t think there was any way around it. I guess I could have been training in similar conditions to get my body used to the heat and humidity. I just felt drained within the first few miles of the race. I tried to be strategic about when and how often I walked during the race. For example, I tried to do it every x miles for about 30 seconds. At the water stations, I just (power) walked through most aid stations to try and get as much fluids as possible. The only bright spot is that I was able to pick up the pace the last half mile of the race and have a strong finish.
Here are my GPS splits for the race (which are most likely off because of the interference while running through the tunnels):
The official splits show how I ran progressively slower:
Here are some photos from the race: