Race to Wrigley 2017 Recap

I love the Cubs. I love running. I love charity. So naturally, all three combined should create an event I love, right? Last year, it did. This year…this year was different.

I’m no stranger to the insanity of Cubs mania right now. It’s still all over Chicago, months later. It shows no signs of leaving, and is something that I live with—I love the high spirits and festivity! My love for that feeling of festivity is why I ran the Race to Wrigley for Charity last year. It’s a fun, square course through Wrigleyville that ends by running through the concourse to Wrigley. Last year, I PR’d! I loved it.

This year was a nightmare. I knew things were going to be bad when they created a special medal with the World Series Champions logo on the back. The race sold out, as expected, and I actually got into the race from the waitlist. Knowing this, I arrived 20 minutes early, which last year had meant I was at the start line for the beginning of the race. This year? It meant I was at the back. I tried to weasel my way forward through the crowd of participants in pajamas, rain boots, and uggs. I overheard several conversations about selling the medal on the way to the middle of the pack. I couldn’t figure out why so many walkers were in the main area until I heard that they were hoping to catch a glimpse of Cubs players. If there were any players there, I didn’t hear/see them.

After the start, I weaved back and forth constantly trying to pass the walkers, who had opted to avoid the walking corral. By the time I hit my first water station, I was very thirsty from using my clif shot blocs (which I love) so I stopped to grab a drink. Not so fast though, I had to wait in line behind a woman with a stroller in flip flops (a little cold for that) as two young teen boys (maybe 14 or 15) dunked paper cups into a cooler of Gatorade and handed them to us. Without gloves. It was gross.

I took a sip and tossed it, then waited in line, AGAIN, for water being prepared by adults. Still without gloves. The second water station was similar, so I bypassed it and opted to just wait until the finish line for a bottle of water.

By the time I got into the Wrigley Field concourse, I was trapped behind people taking videos as the trotted through, weaving distractedly into runners as they did so. I sprinted out and tried to finish hard, since my average mile pace was a FULL MINUTE slower than usual and I wanted to salvage a 27 minute 5k time if possible. Hah. Can you believe I was so foolish as to think I could cross the finish line? Yeah, no. I couldn’t cross the timing strip to record my time. I would say big deal, who cares, except that you had to pay EXTRA for that timing chip. A woman beside me lamented, as we tore off our bibs and thrust them into the crowd, across the timing strip, that she had come from Texas to this race as a lifelong Cubs fan. She was set for a PR, but we just couldn’t get across the finish line.

What was the holdup? A lack of volunteers. The ones that were there were trying so hard and I appreciate them, but there weren’t enough, and thanks to a massive number of people vying for the medal, they had to collect a tab from our bibs so all the runners, and no extras, got the medal.

Think I’m overreacting about the eBayers? Here you go:

This race was so disappointing. An event that could have introduced more people to the awesome sport of running was a money-grubbing, poorly-organized, runner’s nightmare. The one thing that does make me happy is that I’m sure the Cubs made a TON of money for Cubs Charities, and that’s what it’s about in the long run.

Did you run the Race to Wrigley? What were your thoughts?

On a more peppy note, see what I wore to celebrate my Cubbies below! The red top is from Nike (mine has the Opening Week 2016 patch from a special Nike event) and the leggings are Lululemon. The Saucony Kinvara 7s are the Chicago edition and my hat is from Wrigley Field! I also included a few photos of my favorite jersey to support my favorite Cub and Hoosier, Kyle Schwarber! (Photos are by Stephen Cheong-Leen)