Chicago Half Marathon Ignited by Athlinks

2018 Athlete Guide

Welcome to the 22nd annual running of Chicago’s Hometown Race, the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K presented by MY FIT KEY.

The Chicago Half Marathon celebrates Chicago’s rich history with a nod to the 125th Anniversary of the World Columbian Exposition held in 1893 at the same site where we will celebrate your victorious crossing of the Finish Line.

In this 22nd year, we also look to our future as Jackson Park will soon undergo a major facelift, welcoming the Barack Obama Presidential Center.

A few changes will take place this year, most notably the introduction of the Healthy Way of Life Expo where you will pick up your race materials. With a new location, fitness demonstrations, the Lagunitas Shake-out Run and more, you won’t want to miss the fun.

Please take a moment to review this year’s Athlete Guide which is full of all the important race weekend details.

Welcome to race week – game on!

Expert Answers: Non-Running Exercises to Increase Your Speed

Our expert has tips to get you moving faster and more efficiently.

Q | I’m a runner, and I’m curious if there are any exercises I can do beyond running to get faster?

A | Because we run on one leg at a time, unilateral power movements are especially effective at building speed.

“Training modalities that have the individual on one leg have a great carryover to running performance,” says Andrew Long-Middleton, a personal trainer at Life Time in St. Louis Park, Minn. Practicing unilateral power movements “will translate into a more efficient, faster runner,” he explains.

Long-Middleton recommends exercises like the Single-Leg Bound (below) for building speed. Perform five to 10 sets no more than twice per week after a warm-up.

It’s important to remember that single-leg power moves increase the force affecting your lower legs. With running and jumping, some people may experience shin pain. Take care to land softly when jumping, and periodically check in with your body by running your thumb down your shin. If you feel pain, it may be helpful to increase the recovery time between sessions and make sure your whole-foods diet is well balanced (calcium; vitamins D, K, C, and E; phosphorus; and magnesium all play vital roles in bone health). If the pain continues, see your healthcare professional.

(For more on unilateral training, check out “Taking Sides: The One-Sided Strength Workout“. Learn more about speed training at “Speed Workouts X 3“.)

Single-Leg Bound

Single Leg Bound

  • Standing on your right leg, swing your arms back slightly, and gently bend your standing knee to assume a single-leg athletic stance.
  • Swing your arms forward for momentum and jump off your standing foot. Drive the left knee up for additional power.
  • Land softly on your right foot, slightly bending your knee, while allowing your arms to swing behind you once again. The distance of the bound will vary from person to person, but aim to keep each repetition about the same length.
  • Repeat the movement on the same leg without stopping until the distance between bounds shortens — or no longer than 20 seconds.

Illustrations by Colin Hayes

A version of this article first appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of Experience Life magazine. Click here to subscribe

WEB EXTRA!

Modifying and Progressing the Single-Leg Bound

Make It Easier: Double-Leg Bound

Newer exercisers can begin with a two-legged bound to get their bodies accustomed to the stress of power movements. Perform the above move while jumping with both legs. Once you build up your comfort with the bilateral version, try the exercise on one leg.

Make It Harder: Triple-Tuck Jump

  • Perform three single-leg bounds on one leg, then jump to bring that knee to your chest.
  • Land softly, and immediately perform the next series of three bounds on the same leg.
  • Stop when height or distance shortens, or no longer than 20 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

Lauren Bedosky is a Minnesota-based health and fitness writer.

Chicago Half Marathon Celebrates Chicago History In 2018 Shirt and Medal Release

Chicago’s Hometown Race Draws Inspiration from Chicago’s Past to Lead Us Into the Future

The Chicago Half Marathon and 5K presented by My Fit Key is held annually in Chicago’s historic Jackson Park, once home to the 1893 World Columbian Exposition.  In 2018 Chicago celebrates the 125th Anniversary of the World Columbian Exposition.

The 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition ushered in a new area and changes with the introduction of many new products, entertainment and technology. The first ferris wheel and brands such as Quaker Oats, Wrigley Gum, Aunt Jemima and Pabst Blue Ribbon to name a few.

As Chicago prepared to set the stage a contest, sponsored by Chicago’s Interocean Newspaper, was designed to place Chicago on the map and leave visitors with a lasting impression. As a result of this contest multiple Chicago icons were born. Most notable; the Chicago Y symbol, and artist Charles Holloway’s goddess and with the motto “I WILL”.

The Y symbolizes the three sides of Chicago; north, south and west. Forever divided by the branches of the Chicago River.  This symbol is found throughout Chicago in architecture and municipal seals.

Chicago Artist Charles Holloway entered one of these contests with his goddess figure suited for battle. Reflecting her defiant attitude, she wore a breastplate that read “I Will.” With her crown depicting a phoenix rising from the flames, she also seems to symbolize the resolve of Chicago to rise from the ashes of the Chicago Fire, which destroyed much of the city.

I WILL become the motto of Chicago. Symbolizing the spirit of the people of Chicago rising from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire.

As we celebrate this historic event, we celebrate the changes coming to Jackson Park. The park will soon go under an expansion to include the site of the President Barack Obama Library and the existing golf course to transform to an 18-hole Tiger Woods Golf Course. 2018 maybe the last time we hold the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K in this exact location and certainly will be the last time we hold the event in it’s current state.

We couldn’t think of a better time to bring the Chicago motto and Holloway’s goddess to the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K.

2018 Chicago Half Marathon and 5K Participant Shirt

Half Marathon Participant Shirt

5K Participant Shirt

Chicagoland Half Marathon Series Medal

The Chicagoland Half Marathon Series honors participants who take on both the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon and Chicago Half Marathon within the same year with the 26.2 Challenge medal.

It takes a lot of ambition and will to take on multiple endurance races just 5 months apart. It is with this, we reveal this year’s 26.2 Challenge medal featuring the Chicago “Y” which will hold the Chicago Spring Half Marathon medal and Chicago Half Marathon medal together as one.

26.2 Challenge Medal

26.2 Challenge Medal Set

Inspiration

Welcome My Fit Key to the Chicago Half Marathon | 5K

22nd Annual Chicago Half Marathon & 5K Announces New Partnership with MY FIT KEY

Chicago, June 6 — Life Time — Healthy Way of Life today announced a new partnership for one of its marquee Life Time Events, beginning a two-year presenting sponsorship between MY FIT KEY and the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K.

The 22nd Annual Chicago Half Marathon & 5K Presented by MY FIT KEY, will take place on Sept. 23, 2018 and will introduce the endurance community to DNA testing for athletes.

“More than 12,000 runners from across Chicagoland, the United States and the world join us for a truly unique Chicago event with sweeping views of the famed Chicago skyline and premium race amenities at the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K,” said Dan Lakin Senior Run Brand Manager at Life Time.  “Together with Life Time, the nation’s premier healthy living and entertainment brand, MY FIT KEY will help deliver the premium experience that makes the Chicago Half Marathon a signature event in the fall racing season for new and veteran athletes at every level.”

Fritz Gartner, President of MY FIT KEY said of the partnership; “MY FIT KEY is excited and proud to sponsor the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K.  This as an ideal opportunity to showcase one of the fall’s most anticipated races through one of the country’s most beloved cities, and we trust our products and services will help endurance athletes better understand how their DNA impacts their performance.”

The Chicago Half Marathon & 5K Presented by MY FIT KEY is the second of two races in the 2018 Chicagoland Half Marathon Series, which also included the May 20 Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K.  Participants who complete both half marathon distances will earn a custom, 26.2 Challenge finisher medal at the final event. Currently, more than 1500 athletes are registered for the Series.

Benefiting charity partner Chicago Run, the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K is centered around Chicago’s historic Jackson Park, once home to the 1893 World Columbian Exposition. The course highlights Chicago’s historic south shore and features a traffic-free Lake Shore Drive–the only Chicago race to completely shut down this main transportation artery.  Runners traverse the streets through Hyde Park and the Museum of Science and Industry before taking on the north and south Lake Shore Drive lanes and finishing at the Statue of the Republic or “Golden Lady” as she’s known to locals.

Participants receive a participant shirt commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the World Columbian Exposition, finisher medal (the largest in the midwest) and access to the legendary finish festival featuring a live concert, Lagunitas beer, pizza and more. Registration is $105 for the half-marathon distance and $40 for the 5K, and is available at chicagohalfmarathon.com

About MY FIT KEY

MY FIT KEY provides DNA testing for athletes.  We help unlock the potential for better training, improved performance, fewer injuries, and optimal recovery through genetic insights.  By marrying the knowledge, practice and standards of medicine with the science of DNA and genomics, we give athletes the tools to reach new levels of achievement, personal empowerment and health. More information is available at www.myfitkey.com

About Life Time® – Healthy Way of Life

Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across 135 destinations in 38 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation’s only Healthy Way of Life brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompasses the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages. More info is available at www.lifetime.life.

Chicago Half Marathon to host USATF – Illinois Championship

LIFE TIME PARTNERS WITH USATF – ILLINOIS TO BRING STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS TO CHICAGO

10K and Half Marathon State Championships Coming to Chicago

Chicago, IL  (March 22) — The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, and Chicago Half Marathon & 5K produced by Life Time® Healthy Way of Life, are partnering with the USA Track & Field (USATF) – Illinois Association to host state champioinships. Together with Life Time, the nation’s premier healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment brand, USATF – Illinois will be a driving force in providing a premier race experience for local developing athletes.

Set for Sunday, May 20, the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K will host this years’ USATF – Illinois 10K Championship. While on Sunday, September 23, the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K will host the USATF – Illinois Half Marathon Championship.

“Life Time has grown the interest and demand for a quality race experience using an athlete first approach and including participants of all abilities” said Gregory Evans, Long Distance Running Chair for USATF – Illinois Association. “USATF Illinois is proud to bring the national governing body to the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K and Chicago Half Marathon, adding another level of benefits to the participants and other race partners.”

“Partnering with USATF – Illinois is the next step as we continue to build on providing quality, premier race experiences for our athletes.” said Life Time Run Brand Manager, Dan Lakin, says of the USATF – Illinois partnership,  “Life Time is dedicated to improving our local communities, and providing events that are best-in-class. Whether an elite athlete or a beginner,  Life Time and USATF provide a vehicle to foster athletes at every level along their healthy way of life journey. We’re excited to to welcome the State Championships to Chicago at this years’ event and for years to come.”

An estimated 8,000 runners are expected to participate in this year’s Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K and another 13,000 are expected to take on the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K this September.  In addition to age group and masters awards; each race will offer a prize purse to the top 3 men and women:

10K Championship Half Marathon Championship
1st Place $500 $1,000
2nd Place $250 $500
3rd Place $250 $500

To place in a championship race, registered participants must be a current member of USATF at the time of the race. Information on USATF membership and it’s benefits may be found at USATF.org

About the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K

The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, in its 10th year, benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Participants will run either 13.1 miles or 10K (6.1 miles) starting along famed Grant Park traversing South along Columbus Drive, and run through Museum Campus and along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront before finishing in Maggie Daley Park. In its inaugural year, 1900 people signed up for the race, today it is one of the most in-demand racecs in Chicago selling out at just over 8,000 participants.
More information is available at ChicagoSpringHalf.com.

About the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K


The Chicago Half Marathon & 5K, in it’s 22nd year, highlights Chicago’s south shore. Stepping off from historic Jackson Park, participants traverse through Hyde Park before navigating along a traffic-free Lake Shore Drive. The Chicago Half Marathon is a flat and fast course offering up stunning views of Chicago’s famed skyline and a triumphant finish at the foot of the “Golden Lady” (Statue of the Republic).
More information at chicagohalfmarathon.com

Both races are part of the Chicagoland Half Marathon Series which includes the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K (May 20) and the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K (September 23) and awards participants for completing 2 half marathons within the same year. 

About Life Time®, Healthy Way of Life

Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across 131 destinations in 37 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation’s only Healthy Way of Life brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompasses the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages. For more information visit  lifetime.life. 

About USATF – Illinois

USATF – Illinois seeks to promote the sport and its local athletes across the state, and is one of 57 USATF Associations across the country. Visit illinois.usatf.org for more information.

Based in Indianapolis, USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. Information on USATF membership and it’s benefits may be found at USATF.org

Congratulations to our Chicagoland Run Club Challenge Winners!

The Chicagoland Run Club Challenge is a club incentive program created with the goal of building more meaningful relationships with the local run community. This program rewards club participation through special marketing opportunities, coaching outreach, complimentary race weekend amenities and prize purses.

 

Congratulations to our 2017 Winners!

 

For a full roster of results, please see the PDF.

Cruisin’ in the USA

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had never experienced such a sense of pure, ecstatic joy up until my 12th year of life when I received what would be a life changing gift: my first bike. As my hands shook, I did my best to delicately remove the red ribbon my mother had attached to the handlebars. I could barely see what I was doing through the tears welling up in my eyes. Having asked for nothing else for three whole Christmases, birthdays and heck, even national holidays (Labor Day sales always had the best selection), this light pink Schwinn Talula cruiser before me was the stuff of dreams.

Complete with a basket and bell, I could not wait to take it out and ride it into the sunset. Or, how it turns out, ride it around the block a couple of times before I had to change for church. Your first bike is a rite of passage. The possibilities and freedom that it allotted you as a young adolescent to explore the neighborhood and meet new friends; the independence it bestowed as you rode it to school. These are still the same sensations and attributes that cycling continues to provide even as adults.

Pedalin’ Prowess

In recent times, there has been a steady boom in the integration of cycling back into our daily lives. The boom is largely responsible for the new onslaught of bike sharing programs, commuting options and the reemergence certain sports, such as triathlon, to keep cycling in the mainstream. It is the flexibility and accessibility of these features, coupled with its environmentally friendly consumption and health benefits to its users that it continues to claim and revolutionize our cities today. In just Chicago alone, there are “200-plus miles of bike lanes and 13,000 bike racks…(With a plan to have) a total of 645 miles of lanes by 2020.” Below we look at some of the newcomers to the bike scene, the benefits to cycling and the importance of sharing the road.

Goin’ Green and Fightin’ Fit

The health benefits to cycling are numerous. The calorie burning from just an hour of riding a bike can be anywhere from 500 – 650 calories. It is great cross training for new swimmers as the intensity and range helps build your lounges and air intake. Riding a bike works on multiple muscle groups from your quadriceps to your calf muscles; helping to keep you on point, in one swift pedal, with leg day. The beauty of biking comes from your environment. We often get lost in our heads when running or lifting weights but biking keeps you present and keeps you energized as it allows you to take on challenges as they come: hills, crowded pathways, the open road. As we mentioned earlier, it helps with cross training from other sports such as swimming and running as it eases up the exertion placed on your arms and feet.

In cities like Miami, where public transportation is more of a hassle than a benefit, new bike lanes in the downtown area and public parks have allowed for a cleaner, more affordable option to get around. According to the National Household Travel Survey, “Americans older than 25 accounted for most of the increase in cycling…” Millennials seem to be the driving force behind the sustainability and fitness efforts behind the recent surge.”We are more aware of the pollution crisis and the affect our negligence will have on future generations. We are living through stronger storms and more volatile weather all due to global warming. If there is anything to be done, it needs to start now.” states Chelsea Walsh of Biscayne Bay. In an effort to combat our ever increasing air pollutants, many jobs have offered stipends or perks to those employees who commute to work. In addition, these new lanes and special parks are being built in once abandoned and derelict areas of the city that will be transformed with beautification projects that include gardens and compost areas.

Learning to Share the Road

While there has been a reemergence in the pastime, there are still dangers to contend with when out on the road. When bike sharing first emerged, there was a major outcry against programs such as Divvy and Citi bikes as many stated that it would flood the already brimming crowds of bustling cities.. Having to be aware of tourist pedestrian traffic while in your vehicle is one thing, but adding speed and inertia has led to countless accidents and hospitalizations. Whether the error lies on the cyclist or the vehicle varies in each situation but for the most part the fault is two-fold. Ride sharing benefits the city as an extension of tourism but riders are novices to the layout and without proper protection. They are more focused on finding where they’re going than to their immediate surroundings. At the same time, there are more experienced bikers who neglect the rules of the road and will swirl past traffic and stop lights to beat traffic.

Many vehicle drivers forget to share the road and will make lane changes or turns without being cognizant of our bikers. I know I’ve been the recipient of foul and imaginative slew of words when cutting off a fellow cyclist. Bike lane improvements have been proposed in many cities to add items such as buffers, plants and cement partitions to further protect both entities on the road. The latest study, published as a research letter Sept. 1 in JAMA, documents “a rise in cycling-related injuries and hospitalizations among adults from 1998 to 2013. Adjusted for age, reported injuries rose 28 percent, and resulting hospitalizations increased 120 percent. There was also an increase, to 56 percent from 40 percent, of accidents that occurred on streets.”

Safety First

Education plays a vital role if we want to make any progress in fully and efficiently integrating cycling into our daily lives. While the idea of buying a car without seat belts is bizarre, slow progress has been made in properly educating newcomers to keeping safe. Yasamin Sabeti, a local Chicago resident brings up a good point: “One of the things that scares me the most is seeing so many cyclists without helmets. It is the only protection you have between outside negligence and your brain. Not sure why this is still an option and not a requirement.” There are many gadgets out there today to keep you protected and safe; ranging from lights to side mirrors to reflective clothing. The industry is growing with the popularity rise, with many local bike stores seeing a surge in both attendance and sales.

The surge of sports such as triathlon and cycling have also helped to educate the populace by bringing the importance of safety to the forefront. Many events are certified by upper governing bodies such as USA Triathlon, who adhere to strict guidelines when competing in one of their events. Kids will see their favorite celebrities in protective gear and will follow suit. Many schools are hoping to implement videos and programs into their curriculum in an effort to bring light to the severity of negligence in the same manner that drunk driving videos have done to first time drivers.

In essence, there is much innovation coming forth from the cycling world and it is interesting to see how cities and their populace continue to integrate and grow with the surge. Whether you’re an active commuter or a novice unwrapping their first bike with shaking hands, there is no denying the many strides that have been made for our favorite pastime.

See below for links to amazing biking programs in a city near you!

Miami, FL

Chicago, IL

New York City, NY

Denver, CO

San Diego, CA

 

Works Cited
Brody, Jane. “Cycling 1o1 Needn’t Be Collision Course.” 21 Sept. 2015 https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/cycling-101-neednt-be-collision-course/

12,000 Compete in 21st Annual Chicago Half Marathon & Life Time 5K

 

Race draws participants from 50 states and 41 countries, athletes of all ages

CHICAGO, IL – 12,000 participants from 50 states and 41 countries around the world weaved their way through Chicago’s historic south side on September 24 during the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K – produced by Life Time – Healthy Way of Life. This year marked the 21st running of the endurance event, Chicago’s premier half marathon, and for many participants, a tune-up for the marathon in Chicago next month.

Athletes trekked along a scenic route through Jackson Park, University of Chicago’s campus and a traffic-free Lake Shore Drive before crossing the finish line. Below are the unofficial results from the event:

HALF MARATHON
Female Male
1st   Courtney Peterson (26) 1:23:55 Chicago, IL 1st   Damon King (27) 1:12:28 Chicago, IL
2nd  Lorna Vargas Fonseca (39) 1:25:38 San Jose, Costa Rica 2nd   Johnny Binzak (25) 1:12:51 Chicago, IL
3rd   Krista Lederer (37) 1:28:07 Chicago, IL 3rd    Kyle Larson (27) 1:14:19 Chicago, IL

 

5K
Female Male
1st   Ann Kotze (29) 20:35 Chicago, IL 1st    Chad Aubin (28) 16:49 Bloomington, IL
2nd  Jasmin Searcy (31)  22:31 Chicago, IL 2nd   Daniel Lindbloom (31) 16:50 Evergreen Park, IL
3rd   Julie Volchenboum (47) 22:43 Chicago, IL 3rd    Reid Basting (27) 17:33 Urbana, IL

 The half marathon is the fastest growing distance of the endurance running event space. More than 10,000 of today’s participants challenged themselves to complete the half marathon, while more than 1,300 took part in the 5K distance. Women accounted for 58 percent of the participants, and while every state was represented in the race, more than 7,500 of today’s athletes hail from Illinois.

Additionally, avid runners of all ages participated, including a 91 year old and a 7 year old who completed the 5K race distance and an 82 year old and 11 year old who completed the half marathon race distance. The average age of both 5K and half marathon runners was 36.

Upon crossing the finish line, each race participant received a gold medal weighing one full pound and measuring six inches wide. It stands as the largest finisher medal in the Midwest.

The event was the second and final race in the 2017 Chicagoland Half Marathon Series. The sold-out program also included the Chicago Spring Half Marathon on May 21 and drew 2,000 ambitious participants competing in both races. Athletes who completed both half marathon distances earned a custom 26.2 Challenge finisher medal.

This year, the race generated more than $300,000 for several of its charity partners, including the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Big Shoulders Fund, and Hand-In Hand Hurricane Relief.

Today’s race results are available at the Chicago Half Marathon website.

Life Time invites athletes to warm up their Thanksgiving appetite by registering for the 40th Annual Art Van Turkey Trot Chicago on November 23 at www.turkeytrotchicago.com.

About Life Time®—Healthy Way of Life

Life Time® is a privately held, comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment lifestyle company that offers a personalized and scientific approach to long-term health and wellness. Through its portfolio of distinctive resort-like destinations, athletic events and corporate health services, the Healthy Way of Life company helps members achieve their goals everyday with the support of a team of dedicated professionals and an array of proprietary health assessments. As of Sept. 15, 2017, the company operates 127 centers in 27 states and 35 major markets under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. For more information visit www.lifetimefitness.com.

For more information about the Chicago Half Marathon, including participant results from today’s race, visit www.chicagohalfmarathon.com. Additional information on Life Time Athletic Events is available at www.lifetmefitness.com, on Twitter @ChicagoHalf and by liking the Chicago Half Marathon Facebook Page.

Race Status and Race Day Tips

ATTENTION RUNNERS:

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

With tomorrow’s forecasted weather, the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K is currently at a YELLOW event alert status. Because of this, any runners that are registered for the Half Marathon and wish to change their distance to the 5K may do so by lining up with the 5K participants at 7:45 am on race morning. There is no need for you to change your distance with our solutions team.

NOTE: Runners originally registered for the 5K will still receive the 5K finisher’s medal. Participants who choose to switch from the Half Marathon distance to the 5K will still receive the Half Marathon finisher’s medal. If you are currently participating in the Chicagoland Series, you may choose to receive your series medal at the Chicagoland Half Marathon Series tent.

Take a moment to review these tips from Race Guards, and what steps the race is taking to help you. Thank you, and good luck to all of our runners tomorrow!