ZOOMA Women’s Half – RECAP

Hey everyone!!!  Yesterday I participated in the ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon.  It was so much fun, and I really had a good day.  This was not a race I had originally planned to do, but it appeared one day on Groupon and I couldn’t pass up the Groupon (instead of paying like $125 for entry- I paid $50) – yeahhhhh.

I couldn’t resist this for a few reasons: 1) I remember seeing this race advertised last summer – and it seemed like fun 2) it was so cheap (thanks groupon) 3) I am a lot more motivated with my training when I am able to incorporate races into my training.

Overall it was a well organized, and well executed event.  The course was perfect for the amount of people signed up.  Packet pickup was simple and and easy.  There were two packet pickup days/locations, I went on Friday, and Pat came with me it was at the Aqua Building (which Pat and I are obsessed with – if you have ever been on a Chicago Architectural tour – you know the building – if you haven’t it is the building in downtown Chicago that has the curvy/mismatched balconies)….Anyways…. Packet pick was fast and easy, the “expo” wasn’t huge, it was nice that there were vendors there all the same.  The goodie bags were awesome -they are small reusable bags, with a tech shirt, a hat, and some socks (nice swag).

Aqua’s restaurant Filini was having a pasta special for both the packet pickup, and Lollapalooza goers staying at the hotel, so Pat and I decided to eat dinner there.

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It was delicious, and the restaurant is really cool on the inside!

After that I went home, and Casey and streamed some Lolla shows, she helped me tape my knees, and I did my usual pre-race prep (set out my clothes, set out my food, pack my bag etc).

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The morning of I got up and had breakfast.  My long run for the this weekend was a 16 mile run for my Nike training program.  So with doing a half marathon I knew a majority of the 16 miles would be done in the race.  Therefore I would need to run three another time – either right before or after.  I ultimately decided to do a light 3 mile jog/run from my apartment to the start line.

 The race itself was small, and well organized – the course was familiar- the Lakefront Trail, and for the amount of runners – the trail was perfectly accommodating- and perfect because the day was a bit humid, and the breeze off the lake was really nice.  Additionally the course went through on of my favorite areas of the trail -Promontory Point Park.

 Overall – it was a fun race, it was well organized, there were aid stations a plenty, the volunteers were wonderful (at a few they even offered to fill my hand-held), the course was accommodating to the amount of individuals registered, and the post race party was nice as well – even though I didn’t really capitalize on it (at the end I was hot, and tired, and just wanted a cold muscle milk, and a cold bath).  I did bump into some ladies from run club along the course, and at the end, so that was nice as well.  They also offered a shuttle back to the downtown area from the race site.

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In terms of my performance – I was very pleased, it was another humid day (typically something that screws with me), and I ran 3 miles prior to the race starting.  My time was 2:16:33 – which is only a minute slower than my best time – AFTER running 3 miles.  I was pleased to say the least!

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My goal was to run all 16 miles, at a consistent pace (which I did), and fuel adequately along the way.  I had my hand-held, and a pack of Margarita Clif Bloks.  Goal: met.  The bonus of the race being so cheap, was it was a lot easier for me to think of it as “just another training run” – only with a bib.  I think that mindset really helped me be successful.

I would do this race again – however at the time I signed up, if I had paid full price it would have been pretty expensive.  The medal was cool, and the small piece at the bottom is detachable (it’s a necklace).

Afterwards I made a little recovery cocktail with some Nuun and La Croix, and Pat treated me to a sushi extravaganza.

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Since there are various ZOOMA events across the country – I would definitely recommend a ZOOMA event.  Stay tuned this week for some more Marathon Training updates, and neat stuff.


  1. I was visiting family in Chicago that weekend, and the Groupon caught my eye too! Couldn’t pass it up! Although, I think I would have been a bit disappointed if I did pay full price. I like the larger runs, because for portions of this one I was just running by myself, like a training run. Thanks for the tip about the medal, I didn’t realize the bottom was a necklace! Nice finish time!!

    1. Thank you! I know – I can appreciate small races – but I feel like they should come with a small(er) price tag. This was very different vs the past two races I did as the weeks prior I did Rock N Roll Chicago which had 20,000, and the B1G 10k which had like 10-15,000 runners. I had the same feeling between miles 9-11 – it was like a training run with convenient water stops haha.

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