What a fun and exciting race! The Cinco de Miler did not disappoint. The race was themed around Cinco de Mayo and was a great celebration for this important Mexican holiday.
Race communication was good, slowly ramping up as the race date approached. The emails included a link to their site versus just putting the info in the email (which is fine by me). The only thing I noticed was that they seemed to have copied a lot of info to these pages from their marquee event (Hot Chocolate 5k/15k). I didn’t find all of the information to pertain solely to Cinco de Miler. Not a big deal, but made me feel a lack of effort on their part.
Packet Pickup was available at various Fleet Feet Sports locations throughout Chicagoland. I’m lucky enough to live just a few miles from where the race took place and therefore had Packet Pickup close by, but a friend who lives farther away enjoyed the suburban Packet Pickup options as well. The process was very smooth and quick— you could either show a QR code from your email or just give the last name. I did the latter, as I was picking up my packet and someone else’s at the same time. They did not hassle me for picking up the other packet as well. I was in and out in less than five minutes!
The goodie bag just had my bib and race shirt. The shirt was of unknown brand, as the label had RAM Racing’s logo. It was a patterned bright orange and red design, very bright and unlike any other shirt I’ve ever gotten from a race.
Race Day was an adventure. There was a threat of bad weather, but I still stuck to my plan of arriving on time and all, but made sure everything I wore was rain-proof. Parking was very close to the race location— though it did cost $20. Knowing what I know about events on Chicago Parks District property, the parking fee is almost never able to be waived. Understandable. The race start area was laid out very well, with abundant space. Plenty of bathrooms (porta-potties). I didn’t bring anything to check at Gear Check, but I did notice it was laid out well in tents with signs organizing by bib number.
As I mentioned, there was poor weather about 45 minutes before the race. A storm moved in from the north and brought rain and lightning. Without missing a beat, the race staff quickly & efficiently moved shuffled everyone to the adjacent parking structure for safety. The rain and lightning passed after about 20 minutes and we were directed back to the race area. The winds picked up and they had to take down some of the smaller tents and signage, but I think everyone totally understood and was appreciative of all the efforts of the race staff! Even with all of that, the race started on time and they did a great job of re-energizing the crowd! The corrals were not heavily enforced, but they did a great job of handling it.