I loved getting the chance to be part of the first year of a new Chicago NYE tradition! It was a 5k course starting and finishing in Millenium Park.
Registration opened in November and prices increased every few weeks up until race week. I did feel like the peak pricing was steeper than I would normally pay for a 5k. I also feel like lots of people don't make their NYE plans until much closer to the actual day than they might plan for any other race.
Packet pick-up was offered the day before at Fleet Feet - Old Town. Since I couldn't make that, I was pleasantly surprised that race day packet pick-up was offered. It was very quick and I only waited in line less than five minutes.
Instead of a shirt, the swag item was a hat and gloves with the race logo on them. They were exceptional quality for an otherwise giveaway item. They were really warm and cozy! I have so many race shirts, so I'm happy to get something I know I will get a lot of use out of!
Before the race began at 9:00 am, there was a stretching session lead by an instructor from a local gym. Then, when we lined up, the emcee was very energetic and did a good job at getting everyone psyched up to start! The corrals were organized by pace, which helped keep this small (1,025 runners this year) organized quickly and efficiently. The race started down Randolph and lead to the #ChiLFT (lakefront trail). It was a sunny day, so it was nice to be able to enjoy the view along the lake. The course eventually found its way past an aid station (water and Nuun were offered) and then into the relatively new Maggie Daley Park. Beautiful park to run in! The finish line was back in Millenium Park and was very energetic. Some snacks and bottled water and Nuun were handed out.
All in all, I really enjoyed this 5k. It was light and fun-spirited. I would definitely do this race again!!