I love the concept. There are some great races out there these days with themes that draw runners to what promises to be a good time. There is the Rock-n-Roll series, The Elvis is Alive 5k, the Terrapin 5k, the Cinco de Miler, Soldier Field 10 miler, to name a few. The Guaranteed rate Disco Dash promises to join those races as an 'event' type race that draws people not only for the run, but the party afterward. Saturday's post-race party featured a concert by the band 'The Shagadelics'.
It was a relatively small race on the Lakefront path in Lincoln Park with about 600 runners. But they were blessed with terrific weather, and a festive crowd of runners, many of whom were dressed in their best 'disco era' costumes.
I was honored to serve as emcee for the stage portion of the festivities. That meant I got to introduce the founders of the Peapod Project, which is the charity that benefits from the race. They provide 'memory boxes' to parents who lose infants shortly after birth, helping them to preserve their memories of these children taken from them, tragically too soon.
Those duties interfered a little my pre-race routine. I managed to get a couple miles in for a warm-up, but then never really had a chance to stretch or get myself mentally focused to race. At least that's the excuse I'm going with for my sub-par race.
Really though, this was a very familiar course on a part of the path I used to run daily several years ago. And the path was pretty busy with what seemed like thousands of runners ramping up the mileage on their long runs in training for the Chicago Marathon or another fall race.
We were all enjoying a great Chicago morning. For me, this was an especially fun race because several of my friends decided to run it also. My friend Greg Sanchez actually ran 15 miles as part of his marathon training before lining up for the 5k. Then he ran a really good race, beating me by a few seconds.
In my role as emcee, I also got the opportunity to put a medal around the neck of my good friend and training partner, Rick Staback. Rick easily won the 50-59 age group and finished third overall in the race. He's training for the master's national championship 15k next weekend, and jumped into this race to get some good speed work. We started out together in the race, and I watched him run away from the pack with a couple other runners early. Good luck to Rick this weekend!
The Disco Dash really is all about fun, but also is for a great cause. The Peapod Project provides memory boxes to parents who lose an infant child. It helps comfort them through one of the most difficult times of their lives, and it becomes more important later in their lives. The race sponsor, Guaranteed Rate, a mortgage company, really helped grow the race this year, and promises to make it even bigger in the next few years.
This one of a number of races coming up that have been on my calendar for some time, but seemed so far off during the middle of the summer. Other than the Rock-n-Roll half
marathon a couple weeks ago,I was enjoying a little respite from racing. I guess that's over. The other day I started thinking about the upcoming race schedule, and realized I've got a race coming up just about every weekend for the next couple months!
So congratulations to everyone who ran on Saturday. If you'd like to check out the results, you can find them here: https://results.active.com/pages/page.jsp?eventID=1984591&pubID=3
I'll see you on the roads.....