The Magnificient miles rock on!
I just finished the 2012 race. The only problem with this race in my mind is the timing of it, it was a very hot day in Chicago even though it started at 6:30 AM in the morning.
I agree with all the points outlined by pkrause. It is indeed a great course, (I mean it is Chicago!!) the corrals are nice, the spectators are out cheering on runners. The only problem I have with the Rock n' Roll Series is that it is sponsored by Cytomax. I drink Gatorade when I train, which may just be a personal preference for me, however I do feel that Gatorade is much more common and more people train with Gatorade. Not that I believe Gatorade should sponsor ALL races, but just the races that I register for... I'm Kidding, however we all know the cardinal rule that you should never try something new on race day, something that you haven't trained with before, well if you have not trained with Cytomax, this race might surprise you. I ran it last year and spit out the Cytomax at the first Aid Station and had to run the rest of the race with just water which I was not prepared for. This year I did it with just water knowing that I did not like the Cytomax beverage. If you are running another Rock n' Roll series event this year or the Chicago Rock n' Roll next year buy Cytomax before the race and test it out, or else you might have to do it on water alone.
I just got done with this race (version '10) and would highly recommend it for others for a few reasons: (1) Chicago - any race here will be bigger (in both runner and spectator parcticipation) than most any other races you could find. While bigger is not necessarily always better, it is almost always more fun. I would rather be surrounded by 1,000s (running and watching) in downtown Chicago then running on the flatest, fastest course by myself in a suburb; (2) Corrals - All races should have them, some don't. Starting with people who run the same speed makes the start smoother and the race better overall because you are able to pace yourself off of your peers. This race did a great job with staggering small corrals; and (3) Course - The course is flat and fast (too bad I wasn't on this particular day). If it weren't for being a little hot in August, this would be a go-to race for a PR; and (4) Marathon training - if you are training for the Chicago Marathon, this half fits nicely into any schedule no matter how beginner or advanced. If it fits into my schedule, I will definitely be doing it next year.
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