• Jenna Kate, CARA Ambassador

BTN Big 10K Race Recap

Are you a huge college football fan? Then the BTN Big 10K is the race for you! The BTN Big 10K offers two race distances; a 5K and the signature 10K distance. While a race in August can be risky weather-wise, this year was absolutely perfect.

Packet pick-up took place at the Roosevelt Collection in the South Loop. In addition to picking up your bib and race shirt, there was also an option to browse through some clearance race gear.

One of the most notable things about this race is the t-shirt. Usually, races give all participants the same shirt, but the BTN Big 10K gives runners the opportunity to choose a shirt based on their favorite Big Ten Conference school, or a "Big Ten Fan" shirt if you can't pick just one. The front of the shirt has the school's logo and the back features a big 19. During the race, I noticed lots of shirts from years past, even one from 2014!

The course was a scenic tour of Chicago’s lakefront. Notable sights included Adler Planetarium, Soldier Field and Navy Pier. The race also utilized wave starts so the course never felt too crowded.

The finishers chute was well organized and got runners to the post-race party quickly and efficiently. A highlight for me was the awesome volunteers from the Special Olympics who were handing out the race medals.

In true college football fashion, the post-race party was a full-on tailgate complete with beer and chicken sausages.

My favorite part of the day was playing with all of the adoptable dogs at the Alive Rescue tent!

All in all, I highly recommend the BTN Big 10K as it is equal parts race and party!


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The Chicago Area Runners Association, CARA, is a non-profit organization committed to serving and advocating for the local running community. We are Chicagoland’s running club, providing accessible opportunities for all runners to train, race, learn, be social and volunteer. 

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