What you want to know about Chicago's Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon | August 14
A rocker and celebrity apprentice. A former “The Biggest Loser” competitor. Thousands stampeding through the streets of Chicago, rocking out along the way. A newly designed course that mimics portions of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon route—but 13.1 miles shorter. If you haven’t already guessed it, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon is coming to town this weekend. The Health and Fitness Expo opened earlier today and runs through tomorrow, but the big showdown, the half marathon that some runners have been training months for, kicks off at 6:30am on Sunday, August 14.
But what’s so special about these 13.1 miles? A lot, considering the Rock ‘n’ Roll races bring fun and entertainment to a sport that we can all take a little too seriously from time to time (or maybe that’s just me). It turns out though that there’s more to this race than you’d think. Take a look:
That rocker and apprentice? It’s Bret Michaels who’s headlining the concert after the run wraps up Sunday morning. Racers can cross the finish line in Grant Park and then chill out in the grass until Michaels comes onstage at 10am.
Thought you could only be a Chicago Marathon participant to sample the famed flat and fast course? Not true. You can be an RnR Half participant and get a taste of running through the streets of Chicago, too. This new course closes Chicago streets, a rarity for a road race, while providing a city tour through 11 of our diverse neighborhoods.
The course? It was designed by Olympian Alan Culpepper. And it’s easier than ever to cheer if you’re planning to be on the sidelines since you won’t have to fend for yourself on the Lakefront Path.
Who’s the “The Biggest Loser” contestant? That would be Dan Evans, the Chicago-area native who competed with his mom Jackie on the weight loss show and lost to Ali Vincent. Dan and Jackie are back in town to run—you last saw them on Father’s Day for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Tune Up 5K—and promote a non-profit organization they started, Kids Fit Foundation, which encourages kids to lead more active, healthier lives. But the icing on the cake for Dan is that he’s opening for Bret Michaels. “It all seems surreal—I’m opening for Bret Michaels.... in my own backyard,” Dan said.
Did you know this race benefits the American Cancer Society? Yep, it does. You’ll see lots of DetermiNation runners out there.
Run, jog, walk, shuffle, crawl. Do whatever you need to get yourself to the finish line if you start to wonder why you signed up in the first place—and then never put in the training miles. You have 3.5 hours to cross the finish line at this half marathon, which is still enough time to slow down the pace if you feel crampy and tired (worst case scenario of course). As long as you can keep a 16 minute-per-mile pace, you can call yourself a finisher.
Oh, the music. If you’re running, you can leave your favorite music mix at home. If you’re spectating, you won’t have to worry about screaming to keep the noise level from dropping. This RnR race promises to have bands on the course and spirit teams to help with that cheering.
Bragging rights. Get your medal engraved at Fleet Feet Sports after the race is all said and done. You'll have to wait until Monday, but it's free.
Who’s not excited to run now? Either you’re fueled to fly through Sunday’s finish line or you’re pumped to make this a must-do for next year.