This review might not be the most comprehensive due to the nature of the race, but it certainly was an interesting experience.
The For The Love of Kids race was a 'virtual' race which was exactly what I was looking for in a February race. I'd travelled for the December and January races, and knew I'd be travelling for March and May, so I wanted to find one that I didn't require as travel as the other ones had so far. After a little searching through some trusty half marathon listings, I'd found this race. And to help raise money for Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp - even better!
Registration was easy and pre-race communications were very clear, and not overly intrusive. Organizers were very clear about when you'd get your shirt, bib, and medals as well as how (and when) to upload your time.
The other appealing factor to this race was the flexibility - the idea was for all the racers to run on February 14th, but I was due in Seattle for a work trip, so I did my run when it fit in my schedule, and just logged my time on the 14th. Easy peasey.
While I had anticipated February in Chicago to be miserable (thinking back to last year and all the snow and bitter cold) I had mentally prepared to do the whole race inside on the treadmill. When my self-selected race day rolled around, there was not a snow flake on the ground and I believe the temps were somewhere in the 40s. Not too shabby, right? I ended up doing the race on the treadmill anyway (yes, I may be slightly crazy). Figured it would be easier for me to deal with the water issue if I ran inside since all the water fountains along my usual "long" run route have long been turned off.
Mentally it was a tough 'race' - there was no encouragement from the crowds, nobody else to run with or pace myself of from. Just me and a few movies loaded to the iPad. Despite not feeling the best about the run, I still managed to shave some time off my Walt Disney World Half Marathon time - down to 2:14:00.
Overall, it was an interesting experience, but I would not necessarily recommend it for somebody who wants the true 'race day' experience. But for me, it fit perfectly into my race schedule.
Up next? The Phoenix Half Marathon in Mesa, Arizona on Saturday, March 3rd. Really looking forward to this one!