Ditka Dash Recap - My First 5k

11:37 PM

On a cold and windy October 3rd, I participated in my first 5k. It is a poorly kept secret that I do not particularly enjoy running, but unfortunately I believe in balance when it comes to fitness. What better motivation is there to train than paying $50 to run as a Ditka? (Nothing.) After building my cardio endurance for two months, I slapped on my sweater vest-esque t-shirt and set off for Soldier Field.

The Ditka Dash had stations every half mile with volunteers to cheer us on, tell us where to turn around, and supply us with water. There were even a couple of DJs along the course and a mustache replenishing booth in case yours fell off mid run. These all would have been much more fun had the weather been better. A yellow alert was issued due to the chilly temps and 30mph winds along the lakefront. I was definitely splashed a few times by some killer waves. Nonetheless, the conditions weren't horrible for running. (Seeing Mike Ditka dance to Uptown Funk before we started was also great for our morale.)

On my way to the event, I met an unknown fellow Ditka on the bus. We chatted about our running histories, people of the CTA, and horrible online dating experiences. After learning I was there by myself, she invited me to run with her and the people she was meeting.  Joining the group made my experience so much more enjoyable. I didn't have to wander to figure out where things were, I didn't have to awkwardly wait around for my start time by my lonesome, and I had people to drink my beer -and get lunch- with when the race ended.

In the end, I probably ran two of the three miles, something I am willing to accept as a win given the crowd. I'm so happy I signed up for this event. Sharing this experience with others made the race so much better! (Thanks Emily!)

Next Stop: Chicago Perfect 10 - 10K

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