Where's The Beer At Chicago?

When I started running in 2005, I really wanted to lose weight quicker. I just saw people rack up more calories burned in a quicker time than I was on the ol elliptical machine. Now, I preface this by saying, I have NEVER liked running, like never. I was a catcher in softball because I was lazy and didn’t want to run. I was a defensive player in lacrosse so I didn’t have to run down the field. I never had a fleeting thought of joining soccer for the sheer amount of running up and down t he field. I instead played volleyball – not too much running there. But, in 2005, everything changed. I started with 0.5 mile week one then bumped it up 0.5 mile per week until I ran my first 5k in March 2005. I finished that sucker in a grueling 36 minutes with my dad.

From that point on I was addicted. By February 2006, I ran my first Half Marathon and September 2006, I completed a Full Marathon (never again folks, never again).

But I digress…

My dad was my running partner the entire time I was training/running inBoston. He was awesome. He paid for the races/t-shirts because he was so proud I was out being active and it was something we would do together. As I continue running races here inChicago, I am noticing a major difference betweenBostonraces andChicagoraces…


Every Boston road race I participated in would have loads of free beer and snacks at the end of the run. I mean, we earned it. Right? But, it was a great way for people to relax and socialize after the run. Especially during the awesome “Summer Run” series that hosted 1 themed 4 mile run every month of the summer (Reggae, Jazz, etc), but each ended with a huge band, party and … beer. The beer was great too: Harpoon, Sam Adams, etc. Real Beer.

So far, I am seeing a really different theme here in Chicago. You run then you maybe get one ticket for a beer or a piece of pizza, but that is about. I am kind of shocked at that. I would thinkChicagopost-race parties would be on par, if not crazier, thanBoston’s. But, I guess I was wrong. Following the “Terrapin 5k,” we got a voucher for one beer and one tiny slice of pizza. Following the “Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon,” you could apparently wait in line to get a wristband to then wait in line to get two free MGD 64s. Really?

(Obvious Chicago exception will be the Hot Chocolate run in November, which has the best post-race snack around - chocolate fondue!)

I am not saying please give me all the beer I want after a run. I am really just noting how each race decides to host the “post-race” wind down. It's interesting.

What do the races in your area do for the “post-race” party?