Fun event to round out the year Jan 8, 2016 | 5K Overall Rating: KatieD FIRST-TIMER '15 Follow This race is part of Lighthouse Event's Winter Series and is also their largest and signature event. The race was previously at a larger State Fair Park location and was … MORE This race is part of Lighthouse Event’s Winter Series and is also their largest and signature event. The race was previously at a larger State Fair Park location and was moved to the Oak Leaf Trail in Franklin. The course is an out-and-back course on a paved bike trail. There is only one minor hill near the beginning (and thus also at the end) of the course. There is also a wooden bridge crossing, it is a suspension type bridge so there is a bit of bounce to it. It also cannot be cleared so it was icy during the race. The rest of the course was very clear of ice and snow. A few changes were made to compensate for the smaller course. The 5K was split into 2 races, the “Competitive” and the “Be Easy”. If you finished in under 24 minutes in the Be Easy race then you would be disqualified. The Winter Series rewards the top 10 age group finishers with a medal. The top 10 age group finishers in both 5K races received medals, so it was a nice opportunity for people to receive AG medals or lead the race when they normally would not. I ran the Competitive 5K and there were quite a few people that finished after 24 minutes that ran this race, the average time was 27 minutes while the average time for the Be Easy was 34 minutes. Close to 1500 people ran the 3 races (there was also a 10K race, 2 loops of the 5K course). For this race there were also Finisher medals (not the case for the other Winter Series runs). The results for both 5K races were considered together for series points. The 10K race began first. This presented a parking problem for those arriving for the 5K. I arrived about an hour before the 5K and the only parking lot was full. I wasn’t sure if I could park on the side of the street, so I ended up parking down the street in an apartment complex. I saw later that people had parked on the side of the street leading to the Milwaukee County Sports Complex. It was advertised that there was plenty of parking, so I was a little disappointed since it should have been obvious that the lot would fill up quickly with just the 10K racers. Another change was that there were signs posted for paces (6:00, 7:00, 8:00, etc) to assist in lining up for the race. We were then released in waves. This eliminated the congestion that can occur early in the race. The only issue was that since the course is an out and back, it doesn’t leave much room for people coming the opposite way when runners are 2 or 3 abreast. I was running alone and I did not have an issue. My friend is a faster runner and she complained about this. The shirts for the Winter Series tend to be very plain but the shirt for this race was a bit nicer. There is a choice between a short sleeve tech shirt or long sleeve cotton shirt. A bottle of champagne or sparkling grape juice was also part of the swag. I didn’t get the champagne until after the race and they were out of champagne. Not an issue for me, though it may have been for others. There is an earlier packet pickup but the packet pickup the day of the event goes quickly. I did not have any issues with using the restroom before the race. Overall, I enjoyed the course and the race was fairly well organized, aside from the parking issues and running out of champagne. DIFFICULTY 2 PRODUCTION 4 SCENERY 3 SWAG 5 Please login to reply to this review.