Although it doesn't feel much like summer today, it sure did on Saturday morning when I joined 8,500 runners in the Soldier Field 10 Mile race. I came to the site armed with gloves and a long-sleeve tee, but thanks to the brightly shining sun, I ended up running in shorts and a tank.
The beautiful course runs south along Lake Shore Drive, then turns north at about 51st Street and finishes on the field (literally: your sweaty face is even displayed on the giant big screen). Afterwards, runners take over the stadium and indulge in the beers, brats and other freebies on offer. But perhaps the best part of the entire event was the pre-race festivities, which included a tribute to America's veterans and armed forces. There were some Marines in the crowd of runners and it was pretty moving to watch them jump to attention during the National Anthem (sung by Catherine Raney, country singer Tim McGraw's cousin–she'd smoke the competition on American Idol). It's easy to get caught up in the "no work on Monday!" rush on Memorial Day weekend, and this race served as a powerful reminder about what we're honoring that day. Kudos to the race sponsors, especially Fleet Feet and adidas, for a fabulous event that managed to be fun and poignant at the same time.