Overall Rating
Overall Rating (5 Reviews)
4.4
(5 Ratings)  (5 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.8
SCENERY
3.6
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
3.6
The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, produced by Life Time, celebrates the city’s emergence from winter hibernation, the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K delivers an intimate urban setting with a gorgeous lakefront course, charming finish line complete with a hot gourmet breakfast buffet, Athletico recovery zone, … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I love visiting Chicago and I do eventually want to run the Chicago marathon but I didn't want the Chicago marathon lottery to be the rate limiting step in my … MORE

    I love visiting Chicago and I do eventually want to run the Chicago marathon but I didn’t want the Chicago marathon lottery to be the rate limiting step in my 50 state journey so decided to do this half in Chicago as an excuse to visit and get a new state. Chicago is a very easy state for me to fly to so I just flew in on Saturday morning and flew out Sunday evening. If you are looking for a race that is very easy to travel to I would definitely recommend this one. It is in downtown Chicago so you can just take the subway from the airport to downtown. Pre-race communication was fine but the athlete guide was a little sparse. It had the most important information but not all the information I would like. Packet pick-up is the day before at the Chicago Athletic Association which is by the race start. There is no race day packet pick-up but packet pick-up was open until 6pm. I was excited there were samples of a new vegan food brand Nature’s Fynd which had delicious samples of vegan sausage and cream cheese. Bib pick-up was easy and included bib, a bag with some goodies and short sleeved tech shirt. Shirt is nice. I was very grossed out to open the bag of goodies to see a big box full of turkey bites since I don’t eat meat. Really wish they would have the bags as optional samples and not give them to everyone. In terms of lodging there are a lot of hotels right by the start but they are expensive. I splurged for this trip on the hotel since I was just staying one night and not renting a car. If you are looking for cheaper options outside the downtown area it is really easy to get downtown from any part of Chicago and the start is right by most subway lines. The start was a short walk from my hotel. You are assigned a corral and given a wrist band you need to wear to enter the corral. I think it would be better if they just put a sticker on your bib which I have seen some races do. The wristband was fine but I left my hotel and realized I forgot to put it on and had to go back to my room. Really my only production complaint about the race is there is not enough porta potties. There were huge lines at the start and also on the course. The start was well organized with corrals and had pacers. My initial plan was to stick with the 2:45 pacers knowing this was a flat course. The weather was also perfect. Glad I didn’t decide to stay in NY and run Brooklyn this weekend. The beginning of the course is on road so you can spread out. The majority is on a public, paved trail through a park. This is a bit boring but understandable. For a race to be reasonably priced in a major city and have great swag, great production and great post-race festivities and not cost an arm and a leg it pretty much needs to be on a public park. This was similar to a Central Park race in NYC but an out and back and not a loop. The course does have some nice views of the museums and lake and the way back offers beautiful views of the Chicago skyline. Some views just look like a park that could be in any city but it’s a pleasant park. The elevation profile is perfect with about 100 feet of ascent with just some small inclines and declines. It should have been a fast course but unfortunately I was again having some stomach issues and needed to use the porta potties a few times and the lines were ridiculous and I lost about 15 minutes total. Other than the porta potties production was great. There were 10 aid stations so I didn’t need to bring my handheld water bottle. All had water and electrolyte drink. 2 had gels. There were accurate mile markers and clocks every mile. Course was well marked and easy to follow. Some parts were a bit congested though which is the only thing that may make it a bit tough to PR. The end of the race also had a lot of pedestrians and you had to weave around a few people. I didn’t like the last quarter mile. It was under a bridge and dark and a slight incline. It’s kind of hard to judge my time. It was not very good but if you take away the 15 mins I spent waiting for porta-potties it wasn’t bad. At the finish line they announce your name. There are water bottles and bottles of gatorade. You also get your medal. The medal is really big and nice. There is a really good post race celebration with a brunch buffet. There is also a place you can get a potted plant. I didn’t take one since I didn’t have any way to bring it back home since I was traveling very light but it was great for locals. The buffet had fruit, pastries, breakfast tacos with the tortilla served separately from eggs, hash browns and bacon. It had good vegetarians and gluten free options. Not the best vegan options though you could have fruit and potatoes. I was going to a Cubs game and didn’t have time for lunch in between so just ate vegetarian but generally prefer to eat vegan. A tofu scramble option would have made the buffet perfect. Overall I thought this was a good race. Not the most exciting course but well produced with good swag. Would just recommend more porta potties and vegan food. If you are looking for a half in Chicago this is a good one but I wouldn’t call it a must run if you’d prefer a race in a smaller or cheaper city for Illinois.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The medal is awesome!! There were tons of aid stations along the course. The course is pretty easy - no steep hills. It was just very crowded and at one … MORE

    The medal is awesome!! There were tons of aid stations along the course. The course is pretty easy – no steep hills. It was just very crowded and at one part, the 10k runners cut right through the half course. The swag bag offered nothing that I wanted and left it all at the hotel. The start line was really easy to find.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    nickiruns77 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This is a race that I have run multiple times & will continue to do in the future. It features a nice course with the first miles on city streets … MORE

    This is a race that I have run multiple times & will continue to do in the future. It features a nice course with the first miles on city streets to ensure enough space for runners at the start and then the rest is mostly on the lakefront path. The race has a good number of aid stations. You can appreciate the beautiful lakefront for nearly the entire race and in the final half features nice views of the skyline. Following the race, they serve a warm brunch with a lot of good food, beer from Lagunita’s, and a band. They also have a fresh flower station so you bring home a growing flower. From start to after party, it’s a great experience and a great value.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    susie FIRST-TIMER '17

    Fun and great location! Event staff was great and worth the entry fee! Had a great time! First aid and water stations were plentiful and the atmosphere was true chicago. … MORE

    Fun and great location! Event staff was great and worth the entry fee! Had a great time! First aid and water stations were plentiful and the atmosphere was true chicago. Medals were cool too!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    dansolera REPEAT RUNNER '14

    This is a beautiful half marathon run on Chicago's south Lake Front Path. It is a free public path that is used by walkers and cyclists, and it isn't very … MORE

    This is a beautiful half marathon run on Chicago’s south Lake Front Path. It is a free public path that is used by walkers and cyclists, and it isn’t very wide, so it can get a little congested. It is also where I log 90% of my training runs, so I have a slight bias against it (why pay for a path I can run for free?). However, I do realize that I take this beautiful path for granted — not everyone has access to it so easily. But if you’re a middle- or back-of-the-pack runner, I imagine it can get pretty congested. That said, great medals, awesome post-race party and convenient shuttles to the start earn this two eager thumbs up from me. Also, it’s my standing PR.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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  1. Races
  2. Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K