This past Saturday I proudly participated in the Big 10 K. For those of you who do not know me personally- I am obsessed with college football- more specifically Michigan State football- Michigan State is one of the schools in the Big Ten Conference. I happen to be an alum of MSU.
This 10k/5k is the second year of this race. It takes place in Chicago and its really about bringing the greatest conference together for a fun event.
In terms the event itself – there were three days allowed for packet pickup – which is nice because even though I live right in the city I think A LOT of people came in from out of town to do this race.
Packet pickup was at Fleet Feet – which has become one of my favorite “multi sport” stores. I also really like them because they have a “love it or return it” 30 day return policy. And whenever I have ever been in doubt about something they always remind me of this (I have yet to return anything).
I also like packet pickups at Fleet Feet because its organized and it is streamlined well so areas aren’t super congested.
The event itself was nice, but next year I hope they do some adjusting with dates and venues to ideally hold the race in a larger area. 10,000+ registered for this race- meaning a large outdoor space is required along with coordination with the Chicago Transit Authority so there is adequate public transportation . Regardless of how many people were registered the start area/post race party area was congested. Getting into my corral at the start was extremely difficult and waiting for my medal at the end I had to wait almost 20 minutes after finishing to get my medal, and the beer and food lines were really long.
Due to other events needing to be set up nearby I understand why they chose this location (it started and ended at the Adler Planetarium). The planetarium/course was beautiful but just could not comfortably accommodate the amount of people who registered. And so many people were fed up with the long beer line that I acquired two more beer tickets while I waited.
I do hope they continue to do this event because I did have a great time and it was an excellent course, and I love anything Michigan State/Big Ten Related, but in the future I hope they are able to utilize a more spacious venue.
In terms of the course I had an excellent day. The planetarium is about 1 1/4 miles away from my apartment and I didn’t feel like walking because I didn’t get a great sleep the night before- so I rode my bike. They used corrals which was nice because I had to deal with little congestion during my run. The course is flat and familiar to me. I went out as fast as I could tolerate – surprisingly I was pacing at like a solid 9 minute mile and feeling good. I held that for a mile and a half or so and slowly slowed down- I stayed around 9:45 for two miles and ran at 10:06 at my slowest.
Overall I finished in 1 hour and 2 minutes, and wish a 10:03 average pace. Totally a PR!!!!
After I finished it was time for some beer and cookies- and then I hopped in my car and drove to Michigan for a mini-vacay. But not before some important photo-ops.
All in all the BTN put on a great race- with the help of Fleet Feet and some fantastic volunteers. I will say that my good review was in no way influenced my only affiliation is that I graduated from MSU and therefore will always hold some love and profound bias regarding Michigan State.
I also say that I am super proud to be a Spartan because MSU had the second best showing- to University of Illinois. So I will take that. I will totes be ready for this 10k next year- and hopefully run that sub 60 🙂 Sparty On folks.