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Old June 22nd, 2019, 02:29 AM   #1
kufman
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Default Chicagoland 2019

Who is in this year?
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Old June 24th, 2019, 12:52 AM   #2
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I've been asking skaters in person and I pretty much always get the same answer: the course is awful. Sandwiched between better courses with more participation in Montreal, Trexlertown, and then Minnesota Half (and even Le Mans and Barcelona), I don't see skaters outside the region making the trip to Chicago. Sad, but true. This used to be one of my favorite races.
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Old June 24th, 2019, 01:50 AM   #3
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Ya, that is the sentiment I get a lot too. Honestly, I wouldn't skate it if it wasn't so close to my house.
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Old June 24th, 2019, 05:48 AM   #4
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It was good to do once. But I'm not flying out from California to do it again until the course is repaired or replaced. It's really a shame. With the demise of Napa/Barbary Coast and the disintegration of the Chicago course, there isn't a viable full marathon in July. And it really difficult to justify the travel cost for a half if you have to fly. I guess Montreal is a full but the fares to get there are frightening or were the last time I checked.
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Old June 24th, 2019, 07:39 PM   #5
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I haven't skated the new course, but a person I talked to who skated it last year said it was ok. But, this person rarely says anything negative about a course. Just looking at the course map, I don't think it's a great marathon set-up, at least for me. I like point to point style races, or courses that have some "open sections." I actually think the old course was ok, minus the pavement conditions. The new layout seems like it has too many turns and such. I hate to complain, but it just looks like it would be hard to build a lot of speed. But, I've never skated it, so I don't know. Most people would probably disagree with me, but if they were looking to shorten the length of the course (as they've done), I would rather have seen them just make the course the old 10K loop that you did several times. Yeah, you might have to skate it 24 or 25 times, but that 1-mile course had some ok pavement and it had some hills, but it was still possible to keep your speed up. Also, it would have kept it somewhat spectator friendly. But, I'm guessing this would have been difficult to control since skaters would probably lap each other and it would get difficult to know who was on what lap #. It's not a great idea, but I'm just trying to think about how to make-do with what they have to work with.
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Old June 25th, 2019, 12:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkateMO View Post
I haven't skated the new course, but a person I talked to who skated it last year said it was ok.
I skated Chicago last year. The course was definitely not OK. Turns generally do not dissuade me. Coarse pavement wouldn't keep me away. But moonscape and passages without an obviously safe line for a *solo* skater do.
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Old June 25th, 2019, 08:12 PM   #7
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Yeah, sorry to hear that about the course. As I said, some skaters take what ever they can get and always see the positive. Not saying you are wrong for having a negative opinion of the course...I would have been in the same camp you were. But, the person I spoke to is always up-beat about anything race related, so not surprised his view was a positive one.

I really feel guilty saying this because I applaud the fact that Chicagoland is still going on, but from an outsiders perspective (having no knowledge of the logistics or cost), it just seems like they don't care anymore about the "product" they are putting out. It doesn't seem worthwhile to host a race just for the sake of keeping it going. Maybe that isn't the case...maybe the changes they made were done to improve the experience; I don't know. But, just hearing your feedback and the feedback from Brian, and my own experiences for many years, it just feels like it's thrown together with not a lot of care about the actual experience. Totally on the opposite end of the spectrum is Duluth. I feel like Duluth has really made an effort to continuously improve the experience, even if the numbers don't always reflect it (my opinion).

I don't have the answer. It's hard to criticize when we should be grateful for any events at all. At the same time, bad events don't help the situation. I remember a couple of the courses at the Indy series they had in 2011 or 2012. Granted, it was extremely nice that people went to the time to put that event on, but there was one course that was so rough it was causing axles and bolts to come loose on skates. It was a course that if you lived in the area, you probably wouldn't even consider doing a training session on, simply because it wouldn't be enjoyable in the least. So, yes, it was an event, but at the same time, it wasn't a fun experience for those that participated.
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Old July 21st, 2019, 03:33 PM   #8
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I didn't notice until this morning that they changed the course again. All divisions start together at 8:30 which would help with the tar snakes. Thirteen hairpin turns aren't great, but it otherwise looks decent. I'll be curious to hear from the participants. Here are live results.
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Old July 23rd, 2019, 04:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gopherfan View Post
I didn't notice until this morning that they changed the course again. All divisions start together at 8:30 which would help with the tar snakes. Thirteen hairpin turns aren't great, but it otherwise looks decent. I'll be curious to hear from the participants. Here are live results.
The course was better and worse without the parking lot section. The tight 180's at both ends of the horseshoe were awful because it was wet from rain and there was sand, mud, and stone on the west side due to construction. IF it had been dry, the course was tolerable but not fun. It was nice that they did some actual announcing for the awards at the end. By my rough count, there were a total of 152 that did some sort of race (7k, half, full). Several of us noticed that our Strava distance was short of 26.2 or 13.1 but the times were slow even for a slightly short course. I skated on 4x110 because it felt smoother than 3x125 on the rough pavement. Some people say the exact opposite. I think it is very much dependent on body weight and skating style.
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Old July 23rd, 2019, 01:27 PM   #10
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My helmet cam video

https://youtu.be/qeyxT79SeJI
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