- It is a well-participated race with over 14,000 runners from different parts of the world – 48 states and 39 countries. I am pretty sure that Philippines is represented as I’ve seen the flag from the Health Expo and at the finish line.I like joining events that has a huge number of participants. It gives me an opportunity to meet people. Most importantly, I am a slow runner so there’s big chance that I still have quite a number of companions at the latter part of the race.
- They have a large selection of the official merchandise. There are different colors and prints of the shirts and it comes on sleeveless, short sleeves and long sleeve dry fit styles. I went back to the expo on the second day when I finally decided what I want to buy. I got a red New Balance long sleeve shirt, which I actually used during the race.
- Shuttle services were provided for participants coming from downtown. Accessibility is always a big concern for me especially if I’m running long distances. And one of their drop points was very convenient for me as I live near the Millennium Park. Just a block away from my apartment and I’m off to the start line.
- The route brings us to the different must-see places in Chicago. It started in Jackson Park and took us to the stretch of Lake Shore Drive that oversees Lake Michigan. At the other side, we can see the Chicago skyline. It is an easy route with not much elevation, which is good for half marathon beginners.
- I attended a few big half-marathon events already but still, the beer garden is always a treat for me after finishing a race. I got to enjoy a free beer sitting on the grass and watching band performances. And I always prepare for this chance by getting my beer garden wristband a day before the event.
- Last but not the least, the six –inch Finisher Medal. And I guess it explains for itself. 🙂