Skip to main content

Running in the Evening - Torchlight Run

Last night's inaugural Torchlight 5K was my first "official" evening run. Luckily, Maggie's write-up from last week's Jim Gibbons 5K had gotten me thinking about what/when to eat to get ready for an evening run like this so I ate a Clif bar around 4 o'clock in anticipation of being hungry and needing fuel before the race.

As I was leaving my apartment building I randomly ran into a girl who was also heading to this race and was about to get picked up by a friend who was also running, so I ended up catching a ride there with them. This was helpful in that I didn't have to run to the starting line as I had planned, but it also meant I had to ride around as we tried to find parking - not having a car I'm unaccustomed to this annoying challenge. But after passing the course, we found parking relatively easily at Adams and Wabash and then ran the mile to the starting line (fun fact - my apartment is only 1.7 miles from the starting line, so the driving only cut out 3/4 of a mile). 

We got there at 7:10, along with almost everyone else. Since they only had race day packet pick-up, the line was crazy:
But it actually didn't take very long though, as there weren't any timing chips to pass out and bibs were assigned on the spot, meaning volunteers didn't have to find our bib; they just gave us the next one in the stack.

The starting line was on a little grassy hill, which was interesting for a race on the Lakefront, and it seemed like people were more there to have fun than anything else. This could be because Life Time Fitness, who organized the race, sold almost 1000 Groupons for $15 entries into this race - attracting a lot of people who otherwise might not have run. Good call. Seems like a smart way to boost participation at the first year of an event and help spread positive word of mouth for next year.
At the starting line
My review of the race is up on the Newcity site. I'm trying out a new format that's less wordy and more focused on the particular aspects of the race.

This one was an interesting one because of the focus on the afterparty. 
The plan seemed to be: 
  1. Get people out to have a good time and do something physical 
  2. Reward them with a party afterwards to help them equate running with fun. 
This makes a lot of sense to me, especially if you want to get people who don't typically run out on the trail. But I noticed a lot of the people who finished relatively quickly (let's say under 25 minutes), finished, grabbed their stuff from gear check and took off. So this tactic might not really connect with those types of runners. It doesn't seem like that's who Life Time Fitness is going for, though.

Whatever the target audience, two beer tickets on a bib is a great innovation to me, though I don't know if it's worth trading in an official time for. But since I usually use my own watch to track my time anyway, I guess it's a pretty good trade off.

Speaking of my watch, I used the split function for the first time this race, which led me to think that the second mile was way off. I felt like I was running the same pace the whole time, but ended up with these splits:

Mile 1: 6:40
Mile 2: 7:51
Mile 3: 6:55

Maybe I'm just a really erratic runner and didn't know it, but that seems fishy to me...

I stuck around for a little bit to down my free beers, which brings me to:

Improvement on natural runner's high: Down two beers as quickly as possible right after finishing a race. It's very effective. (As long as they're super-light beers like MGD64 - that way your body is fooled into thinking you're just drinking water with a weird flavor added...)

On the walk home, as I was crossing Michigan and Chicago a group of about 50 skateboarders came through the intersection together looking awesome. I tried to catch up to them but the two beers slowed me down... I like this picture though - my iPhone knew to focus on them and nothing else.


  1. Sounds like your fueling strategy was a bit smarter than mine :)

  2. Only because I read about yours!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Daily Guide to Chicago Comedy Shows in April 2018

April 1: Character Assassination presents The Roast of Disney Princesses at Laugh Factory The latest entry in the Character Assassination roast show series pits a collection of Disney princesses -played by Chicago comics - against each other. Starring Allison Dunne, Alex Kumin, Sarah Shockey, Gena Gephart, Audrey Jonas, Eunji Kim, Samantha Berkman, Stephanie Weber and Mandee McKelvey. April 2: Comedy Overload Open Mic at Gallery Cabaret A weekly open mic open to all forms of comedy that takes place at a sweet venue in Bucktown. April 3: Shake 'Em Up Comedy Showcase at Shakers on Clark   This free two-hour comedy showcase is hosted by Darrick J and Nate Galloway. Comics get between four and 10 minutes each and the hosts let comedians know a bit needs work by hitting a bell and "shaking 'em up." April 4: Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O'Toole's Really you should be catching this weekly showcase at Timothy O'Toole's e

Life of Pi: The Pi Day Pi K Returns to Fleet Feet Stores Across Chicago

I have run a grand total of ONE time since crossing the finish line of the Chicago Marathon in October of last year. I know, I know, I'm disgusted with me too. So when I got Fleet Feet's notice about the Pi Day "Pi K" Fun Run this coming Monday evening (3.14 - PI DAY, get it?) it seemed like a pretty solid way to get back out on the running trail without getting myself up super early or registering for a timed race where I would embarrass myself. Also, my wife and I ran this race back in 2014 and had a great time. Plus, after an article I wrote for the Tribune about xkcd creator and all-around baller Randall Munroe speaking in Chicago at an Illinois Science Council (ISC) event , I know a little more about the organization behind the Pi Day Pi K and their mission. Quick excerpt from the Trib article: Founded in 2006 by nonscientist Monica Metzler (who also serves as executive director), the ISC was created to help engage adults in science and technology

Chicagoland's First Annual February Fool's Goal Half Marathon/Debacle

A few weeks ago I was looking through the race listings for the month of February and noticed that there are three different races this coming Sunday. All in different cities. As I was trying to decide which one to run I realized that they're all taking place at different times... and then I started thinking... Why not just run all three? I talked to my running homey Antonio and after some discussion about logistics, we realized that based on the timing and location of the races, this would be an insane dash from Chicago to Highland Park to Hoffman Estates to Channahon and back to Chicago, with just enough time to park, get our bibs, run the races and (after carefully stretching, of course) head off to the next one. That's also when we noticed that by a pretty sweet coincidence, the three races just happen to add up to a half marathon.  So, obviously we decided that it had to be done. We registered for all three and created a new race: Chicagoland's First A