Where to run this weekend | October 22-23
The fall chill is in the air, the leaves are falling off the trees, the days are shorter and shorter. The marathon, Chicago that is, is over. Unless you’re heading out of town for a 26.2-miler, you won’t have to tackle the distance until spring (and even that’s a stretch since you’d be driving to Champaign or Kenosha to do it) or next fall when Chicago rolls around again—or better yet, the next time you get the urge to run a marathon, if ever. But while you don’t have to think about how you’re going to trudge through 26.2 miles—and all the long training runs that go with it—every other race just got a lot shorter. Or they feel like they did.
Some might argue that they also get more fun. Why? For the simple facts that you don’t have to stress about how to fuel on the course (at least to the degree that you do in a marathon), ward off blisters when your socks fail 15 miles in, and rely on your training runs (or lack of if you questioned why you toed the line in the first place). Now that you don’t have to run a marathon, check out these races that can keep your feet busy this weekend:
Zooma Great Lakes Half Marathon, Oct. 22. Ladies, here’s your chance for a girls getaway that automatically includes the workout—my favorite kind of weekend. You won’t have to travel too far for this 13.1 (or 5K if you want shorter) even though Lake Geneva and The Abbey Resort can feel like they’re a world away. Hang time with the girls, a finisher’s necklace, and an expo and party where you can shop ‘til you drop, sip wine and get pampered? It doesn’t get much better.
Wisconsin Dells Marathon and Half Marathon, Oct. 23. Had a bad day in Chicago two weeks ago? The temperatures are cooler, you’ve had an extra two weeks to train (or recover), and you need a run that’s not constantly interrupted by a wind-ravaged path (hopefully you stayed inside today). Here’s a race that’s not as flat as Chicago but offers up more fun since you can play at the waterparks after you’ve crossed the finish line—or before if you want to count it as a pre-race ice bath.
Frank Lloyd Wright Races, Oct. 23. Sure, this involves trekking it out to Oak Park on the green line, but trust me, it’s worth the train fare. This neighborhood race takes you past some of the famed architect’s local masterpieces, serves up a pancake breakfast afterward that’s indoors, and is celebrating 35 years in the running. But more importantly you can run a 5K, a 10K, or finish the 5K in under 45 minutes and you can run both (yes, people have done it).
The 5K Foot Chase, Oct. 23. The International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference starts on Saturday, which sparked the Chicago Police Department and Motorola to organize a run/walk to kick off events for the week. You won’t be chased by police officers as run near the Gold Star Families Memorial, but proceeds from the race will benefit the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. Think of it a little like the fall version of the Run to Remember.
Where are you running this weekend?