The Thriller in Schiller is a trail run located in Schiller Woods Forest Preserve about 30 minutes outside of the city. Kelsey offered to drive us so I’m not sure if the preserve is accessible via public transit but it most likely is– it seems that it’s possible to get almost anywhere in Chicagoland with little hassle.
The race was super easy to find thanks to some signage (our directions just said “turn right” and didn’t provide a street name) and race day packet pickup went swimmingly. Speaking of packets, each of us received a bib, a tech t-shirt, a pint glass, and a few coupons to local sporting stores and RoadID. What an awesome amount of stuff for only $25!
It was bit chilly so we hung out in the car until a few minutes before the race when Kelsey, Emily, and I finally put on our costumes: CONEHEADS! [ remember that costume making party? ]
Group shot with Katie as a runaway bride and Alyssa as a ref.
It seemed that almost half of the field dressed in costume which I thought was great. There were some really cool costumes too like pacman, the characters from Wizard of Oz etc. The costumes made the race feel really run and laid back. This would be an awesome race for a newbie runner in general.
Before we knew it, the race was about to start. It wasn’t tip chimed (FYI) but the pool was small enough that we were able to position ourselves at a comfortable place in the pack. None of us were running this for time– more than half of us were injured and I’d run 18 miles the day before– we just wanted to have fun!
The first part of the race took us through the woods on a leaf covered trail. The trees were marked but it would have been nearly impossible to get lost because for the most part everyone ran together. There were also a few obstacles like trees across the path that we had to climb over or duck under. It definitely kept things interesting with cones :).
We looped around for a bit (do I even need to tell you how beautiful running in the woods was?) and then came to a big obstacle, a small river crossing! There was a big tree sprawled across the river but you had to be careful not to slip or you would step in muddy and cold water. We all managed to get across and stay pretty dry but then I turned around and took this picture of Kelsey. Can we talk about how no one behind her is in costume?
The course kept twisting and turning through the woods and then we emerged and crossed over a small road onto a wider path where we ran an out and back to the finish line. Katie and Emily were both dealing with their injuries at this point but the rest of us had fun high five-ing the people running the other direction.
About 37 minutes later, we neared the finish line.
Woohoo we did it! We were greeted at the finish line with our pint glass, our times (announced), and water, bananas, and candy. There was also beer and hotdogs for sale. How fun! We hung around long enough to find out that none of us had won the costume contest *sniff* and then freezing we headed back to the city with big grins on our faces, we’d had so much fun!
The Thriller in Schiller 5k is a trail run that literally took us over a river and through the woods. It was challenging but friendly enough for newbie trail runners like most of us. More importantly we all had fun and most of us will be returning on December 1st to run the Schiller Chiller (5k and 10k available).
I want to thank Art for organizing and putting on the event and for offering me a free race entry. I had a blast and can’t wait to run his next race!
Note: All pictures above are mine or were taken by race photographers and posted on facebook for anyone to use.
Have you ever run a trail run? Are you running the Schiller Chiller?