Opening Day for outdoor running season in Chicago is nearly here.
Thousands will join the sea of green March 24 at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. For some participants the thrill of making it to the other side of yet another bitter winter is reason enough to hit the pavement.
But, runners know mother nature is the queen of spontaneity and what she could bring for the day remains unclear.
Take a look at this list of things to remember as you prepare for race day:
1. Headphones: Some like the sound of runners doing what they came for, running. Some need to vibe out with a favorite song. Which one are you?
2. Gear: Check the weather and dress appropriately. Remember, you can always throw unwanted layers in the popup piles at the start of the course if conditions change.
3. Shoes: Stick to the shoe you have already broken in. Post race, reward yourself with a new pair. Trophy.
4. Packet pickup: Stop by McCormick Place Friday and Saturday to checkout all things fitness and running. Grab your race packet with everything you need to know for the big day.
5. Emails: Pay attention to important email updates regarding race day from Shamrock Shuffle organizers.
6. Shakeout run: People like to run the day before just for a warm up or to make a day of it...run, feast, expo. This year, the event is also hosting a one-mile run the day before the 8K.
7. Transportation: CTA is the best way to get to Grant Park. Plan travel time, squeezing through the entrance and walking to your corral.
8. Your crew: Make signs, bring the bells and whistles. Let your friend know where you plan to cheer. Reserve a table for the crew to brunch after.
9. The Roosevelt hill: The hill at the end of the route is your glory moment to the finish line. Knees up, chest out and power through.
10. Celebrate: Embrace the moment, the views, the endorphin high and the adrenaline rush. You made it!
Happy running season!