Breakdown: Despite being in its sixth year, the Teb’s Troops Miles for Melanoma Chicago 5K is still a relatively small charity race focused on fundraising and its mission, highlighted by the inclusion of a series of tents where racers can get a free skin screening from a dermatologist before the race and an inspirational post-race speech by WGN midday anchor and cancer survivor Dina Bair before the awards ceremony. Cheap for a 5K that takes place within the city limits, this is a fairly no-frills event, aside from the uber-generous goodie bag that’s packed to the brim. The course is fast and well-marked, making use of existing lakefront trails.
Course: Starts and finishes on the sidewalk just north of the Montrose/Simonds intersection in Montrose Harbor. The mostly out-and-back open course follows various sidewalks and portions of the Lakefront Trail, heading north past Foster Beach before circling back around. Since this is such a small race it didn’t crowd the trail.
Organization (gear check, etc.): Pre-race registration, packet pick-up and gear check were all incredibly quick and easy—partly because this was a smaller race but also because volunteers were on their game. It’s also impressive that this small charity run raised over $20,000 for the Melanoma Research Foundation.
Goodie Bag (includes shirt): This race takes the term “goodie bag” to heart, with a gear-check bag that includes a large selection of travel-size toiletries and packaged food along with the simple, white athletic race shirt. The race site values the goodie bag at $50.
Weather: A little warm with temperatures hovering around eighty degrees, though the light breeze and mostly shaded course helped. (Zach Freeman)