Wednesday, July 31, 2013

race recap: b1g ten 10k in chicago

entrance to the b1g ten race tailgate

i'm really excited for all the races i have coming up but i was extra excited about the b1g ten 10k. i think i was so hyped because it was my first non-5k race distance in a year and because it was a bit of a kickoff for college football season (which is one of my favorite things in the world). the b1g ten race brought all the b1g ten fans together for either a 10k or 5k race. and there was a huge turnout - nearly 2.5x the amount of race participants compared to the first year (think 11,000+ people). nuts!

the 10k started at 7am, which meant for a very early morning. the race recommended you get there by 5:45 if you wanted to do bag check, etc. for those thinking of doing this race next year, i highly recommend getting there early. there were no lines at any of the alumni tents, or the race bag check (and you could get a nice picture in front of the chicago skyline). early in the morning without the crowds it was easy to check everything out. after the race, everything was a mad house, so i'm glad we got there early to get our alumni sunglasses and take my picture with the b1g ten trophy!

the four of us before the race

pre-race in front with the b1g ten trophy

they had cute little picnic tables set up for each school

one thing i have to mention (because it impacted me) was that they were very clear that the race corrals (a-j) would close at promptly 6:45am. they weren't lying about this. a last minute bathroom emergency had me running back to the porta potties around 6:40. by the time i got back, the corrals were closed and i couldn't get in! they shoved all of those who didn't get in the corrals (which was a ton of people) into this general holding area. people were confused and it was a little choatic. i followed suit of some others and jumped the fence into any corral that wasn't being guarded. this meant i was starting in corral "f" when i was supposed to be in corral "c". a little annoying, but i was just happy to be out of the mass of confused people and not at the very end of all the corrals. starting in corral "f" also meant that i didn't reach the start line until 9 minutes after the race had officially started.

immediately after crossing the start line, all the b1g ten mascots were there to cheer you on. i made sure to stay on the left side so that i could slap hands with them as i started the race. it was a fun way to get hyped up! they were also playing school fight songs which was getting the crowd excited. i was proud when my alma matter fight song came on and i saw a bunch of spartans clapping and cheering. :)

anywho, the course was an out and back on lake shore dr, coming back along the trail that parallels lake michigan. for those of you who have done the chicago rock 'n' roll half marathon, it was basically the last half of that course (unless they've changed it since i ran it in 2010). i wasn't crazy about this, but it gave me a good reason to stay "in the zone" and focused on my run. i needed it because i was terribly under fueled for this race. my stomach was upset all morning so i didn't finish all my pre-run fuel. i knew this was going to be trouble so i stopped twice on the race route to have some gatorade. that was a big, big mistake. with 1.5 miles left in the race i got the worst cramps that left me hobbling to the finish line. my pace slowed and all i could do was focus on finishing.

sometimes, that is how the cookie crumbles. despite the slow finish, i am happy with my overall time. it was a pr (this was only the second 10k i've ever done) and i am fairly confident i could've kept a pace under 8:30 if i had been properly fueled!

cheesin' with my medal post race

breakdown of splits:

mile 1: 8:27
mile 2: 8:23
mile 3: 8:28

mile 4: 8:41
mile 5: 8:43
mile 6: 9:06
(according to garmin)

official time: 54:07
(according to bib chip)

overall, i thought this was a fun race. brandon, my sister and her boyfriend all agreed this is one we'd want to do again. logistically, the race was pretty well organized except for the mild confusion and annoyance of the corrals closing and people being displaced. i never had an issue getting a porta potty right away (extra bonus points right there) and the atmosphere of the entire after race tailgate was just great. they had free gluten free sausages (amy lu brand which is awesome), free beer, corn hole and you could attempt a field goal and throw some footballs around.

race swag - t-shirt, wristband, sunglasses
rally towel and one of my fave medals!

close up of the medal

one thing that was a bummer was the race broadcast on the b1g ten network. they really hyped up the hour long tv show and it ended up being 90% football predictions, 9% elite runner recaps and barely 1% of the normal runners. the coverage would've been way better if it focused on the crowd, real runners in the race, school spirit awards, etc (aka i wanted to see myself on tv)!

a google+ gif of the tv screenshots i took.
go b1g ten mascots! 


  1. Amy @ Long Drive JourneyJuly 31, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Oh my goodness, this is the best idea for a race! I would LOVE to do an SEC (best conference, just sayin') race like this!

    I'm glad you were able to power through the stomach issues. That is seriously the worst.

  2. Interesting race, never heard of it, though I can't say I've ever looked for something like that :) Sorry you got all shuffled around, but a PR is still a PR :)

  3. I can get a little obsessed with college sports (mostly my Alma Matter) so thats why I knew to look for it. And yes! A PR is a PR baby!! I need to recognize that!

  4. You should write to the SEC and tell them to do a race. It's so awesome! I can only imagine the rivalries that would spur up at an SEC race!

  5. great job!!! You live and you learn (re gatorade) right? Fun race though and awesome finish :)

  6. Thank you! And yes, totally live and learn. I guess that's the whole point. Sadly, learning isn't so fun :) haha

  7. As a huge Big Ten fan, this race has been on my to-do list since they started doing it. Your post only solidified that feeling. It looks like you all had a lot of fun!

  8. A ton of fun. I don't think you could go wrong! I think it would be fun even as a spectator :)

  9. I would love to do this race sometime! I didn't know they gave out medals too, very fun. Great job on the race!

  10. Thanks Paulette! I think you'd really enjoy this race. They had a Chicago brewery there, too!


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