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Buffalo Grove Stampede race report

Waking up at 4:30am on your birthday is not how some people would choose to celebrate. But we got the kids dressed and headed to the northwest suburbs for a 10k. (And my final race before the marathon in October.) I wanted to get this review up on the blog while it's fresh in my head and before I head off to birthday festivities...there will be cake and tapas later.

There is almost nothing bad to say about this event. Congrats to the race directors, volunteers, and organizers on just a really, really well done race. The one comment I overheard and agreed with was maybe cups of water at the start on a warm, sunny day like today? We also had to turn around at a dead-end because one of the entrances was not blocked off yet at 6:15am when we were looking for parking.

That's it.

Otherwise, there were plenty of volunteers at turns, the roads were blocked off by police, the water stops were placed at the right spots with plenty of fluids, there were bananas and bagels at the finish, results posted quickly, plenty of toilets, the race started on time, plenty of easy parking (if you were early--there is also a shuttle), etc.. The longsleeve race shirt is not tech fabric so a good fall wear. Packet pickup was organized. In short, I highly recommend this race and would do it again in a heartbeat.

The start line temp was about 73 and sunny. But it warmed up to near 80 fast. Lots and lots of folks went out way too hard today so I ended up doing a lot of passing just by staying steady. (I even managed to edge in to 21st about 4 seconds in front of the next runner in my age group.) The race is pretty easily broken up into three parts: a suburban housing subdivision, a nature preserve, and a community park. The neighborhood, people came out on porches and sat in driveways to watch and cheer (somewhat) which was nice. The nature preserve is beautiful with shade in some spots and a mix of wetland, prairie, woods. Crushed stone path though. And there are a few slight hills on the course. Nothing horrible. The end of the race finishes on asphalt walkway and sidewalk in park with ballfields, playground, swimming pool, that sort of park.

The kids played on the playground for a bit but the main equipment was blocked off due to the approach to the finish line so you had to watch being able to cross the course. They eventually turned the splash pad on for people to cool down. The kids ran around barefoot on a baseball diamond and my son even got his first blister on his foot.

If you felt like spectating there were plenty of options though the course is light on crowds. No post-race "instant" printout was the old-fashioned kind where they post sheets on a bulletin board. But they were online by the time I got home and showered.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some celebrating to do. Bring on the sangria!