Rally for Autism 5k – Libertyville, IL

Let me just preface this race report with saying that

this was the best. race. ever.

A day after proclaiming that I would never run another damn race again, I let Kim talk me into signing up for the Rally for Autism 5K in Illinois.  She’s very persuasive.  Not to mention the fact that this would be my first out of town race, strollers were permitted, and that this race was for an amazing cause, it was practically a no brainer to say yes.  Or Maybe it was because my brain was still all melty from the race we ran the day before in 80 degree-weather-at-9 AM-with-1000%-humidity, hmmm…). But honestly, running for a worthy cause like Autism research and supporting families affected by Autism was icing on the cake.  So, Kim signed me and The Husband up for the race and we planned to run with my son in a jogging stroller.  Admittedly, I was a bit apprehensive about running another race in the summer, but figured how much worse could it be than my last sweltering race that took place in Hell.

So let’s get started with the race recap!  We picked up our bibs and tech t-shirts (aww yeah, tech t-shirt!!) after our flight to Chicago.  Pick up was super easy and we were greeted by smiles and friendly faces from the race coordinators.  Kim surprised us with a race shirt for LP to commemorate his first 5k with this awesomely customized shirt:

My First 5k : ) photo by Kim Skaff

On race day we were blessed with the most amazing weather I have encountered in August in a really long time.  A sunny 70 degrees with a slight breeze. In August. In Chicago.  The race coordinators must be good friends with the race gods to score that kind of weather in the middle of August.  We couldn’t ask for anything more.

Kim’s friend kindly let us borrow her jogging stroller so we didn’t have to haul ours from NYC.  Kim volunteered to push him in the jogger and she was great at it!  I wish I could bottle some of her energy for myself! Not only was she running while pushing a stroller, she entertained LP the whole time with her silliness.   I think there may have been the occasional wheelies, too. I may or may not have loaded the stroller with essentials like water bottles (mine), useless sun visors (mine) and select baby items (not mine). Hope that stroller wasn’t too heavy for you, Kim!

The race was held at the Independence Grove Forest Preserve and it was gorgeous.  Jaw dropping gorgeous.  We had sweeping views of rolling hills, trees and lakes! At one point the path curved and  you could see all the speedy runners blazing a trail before us.  It was inspiring! The course had a couple of bridges that we got to run across.  What is it about running across a bridge that’s so fun?! The scenery did a lot to take my mind off of the actual running.  Kim and LP were great pacers, we couldn’t really bust out of the pack because it was just too tricky to do that with a jogger and that really helped me not to go out too fast.  I loved being able to run with a pack! I usually get left behind pretty quickly so this was a nice change! The volunteers did a great job of cheering us on along the way and get this, there was not one, but TWO water stops.  Say what!? I’ve given up on actually trying to drink water out of a cup while running, so instead I took the opportunity to splash some in my face.  The best thing about taking water cups from the water station is crushing the cups in your fist and throwing it off to the side like a bad ass.  That will never get old for me. Never.

Steve, Kim, and I wore orange running shirts and we got a few fun compliments about them along the way.  We even ran into another gentleman wearing an orange shirt and Kim asked him if he wanted to join our Orange Shirt Club.  I don’t think he was interested in joining. Sad face.

We kept a pretty manageable pace for me and ran the race in …drum roll…34:27! Which just happens to be a personal best for moi.  Thank you, thank you.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to slip that into everyday conversation with random people since the race.  “So how was your weekend? Mine was pretty good, PRed a race, what did you do?” and “Sure, I’ll have fries with that, after all I broke my previous Personal Record just the other day”.

One of the things I absolutely loved about this race was deciding to stick together with Kim and The Husband.  They are faster runners than I am, so it felt good that they weren’t worried about breaking PR’s or anything like that.  We crossed the finish line holding hands – which had to be a bit tricky for Kim since she was pushing a jogger. And bonus! I didn’t feel like death after the race, I felt freakin great! Plus, I got to meet a lot of Kim’s friends from her running club which was really cool.  She knows a great bunch of people!

I just have to mention the post-race food: hot dogs, chips, fruit, muffins, and bagels! What a spread and I was all too willing to consume any and all calories I expended during the race.

My son enjoyed “running”, too.  After the race he took the opportunity to wander into pictures with Kim and her friends.  He has no shame.

This race had such a good vibe and I really enjoyed it.  I was excited to shave off a few minutes off my last PR and to run the race alongside Kim and The Husband.  And because you are still reading this recap, I just want to mention again, that I PRed.  In case you may have missed that part in the post.

Did I hear someone yell “sppeeeeech!”.  Well ok, if you insist:

Big huge thanks to Kim for doing all the stroller pushing; Kim’s husband for being our official race photographer; and the race coordinators for pulling off such a well organized and fun race! Another big thanks to Kim’s friend for lending us a stroller!  Having LP with us the entire time was such a treat! Thank you treadmill and humid basement!  Humid basement, if it wasn’t for you, I probably wouldn’t have been so appreciative of the amazing weather we had!


10 thoughts on “Rally for Autism 5k – Libertyville, IL

  1. bobbi says:

    I didn’t know you PR’d!!! WAHOO!! CONGRATS!!! What a perfect perfect day we had, and it was so fun to meet you and your hubs and munchkin too. I agree – best race ever!

  2. Steve (The Husband) says:

    Very exciting to PR! That will keep you coming back for more, I’m sure.

    I have to agree, it was a perfect day and course. The course helped take the running off our minds. Its so much more enjoyable running when you have cool things to look at. And to see the other runners ahead to motivate us to keep going. The only part that threw me off was thinking we were done, when in fact we were not. So close and then we needed to do an additional mini loop around the parking lot to complete the 5K.

    And just think, the summer is almost over and the cool temps are coming. That means maybe some outside runs and a better basement temp.

  3. Very glad to hear you enjoyed the Rally and that you PR’d…we do our best to make the race as professional as possible and when we get blessed with weather like that it just makes everyone so much happier! So I guess it is time to say pencil us in for August 10, 2013.

    • Gina says:

      Congratulations on a executing such a successful race! I will pencil this race in for next year and keep my fingers crossed for another great forecast!

  4. Courtney says:

    I am SO proud of you and your PR!!! SO SO freaking proud of you (maybe the humid basement isn’t as evil as we think it is!)!!! I can only imagine how exciting and fun it was to run with Steve, Kim, and Luca! His shirt is TOO cute!!! I love it (Kim is amazing)!!! You two motivate me more than you even know!!! I am so glad that the weather was awesome and the course gave you amazing scenery to look at!! That has to be a huge help!!! You crack me up talking about crushing the water cup and throwing it on the ground- I can so see it!!

  5. kilax says:

    Ha ha ha – even the humid basement got mentioned in the speech? WOW! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Congrats on your shiny new PR! I am so happy I got to be with you for it! It was a lot of fun to run together for this race. We should do all upcoming (yes, there will be upcoming) races this way 🙂

    I think running across bridges is fun too. Unless it’s the Queensboro. Yeah. For the Chicago Marathon, they cover half of each bridge with carpet because the bridges are grated and that is hard to run on (remember when the Dave Matthews Band (it was them, right?) dumped their waste over one of these bridges and it landed on a tour boat? ewww).

    Come back and run with me! And eat more fries. nom. Those ALDI* fries were good.

    *NY translation – ALDIS

    • Gina says:

      ALDIS fries! Sniff, I didn’t get any. Guess I will have to go to my local Aldis and get some! I really liked running with you! That def added to the enjoyment of the race!

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