Finishing at the 50: Ten mile race ends at the home of the Bears

Imagine sprinting to the finish line of a race. You are dripping in sweat and out of breath, but the accomplishment feels great. What could be better than that feeling of success? How about having the finish line at the 50-yard line of Soldier Field? Those participating in the Soldier Field 10 mile run on May 28 will get to experience that feeling of achievement and awe.

The Soldier Field run has provided participants with a unique race experience. The 10-mile race starts outside of Solider Field and runs along the Chicago lakefront before ending on the 50-yard line in the home of the Chicago Bears.

According to the event staff at the Soldier Field 10 Mile, this is the eighth consecutive year for the race.

This year the staff estimates that there will be 15,000 participants.

A race like this can pose a challenge for some, but others are excited to take on the opportunity.

DePaul senior Anna Pemberton jumped at the chance to sign up for the Soldier Field run.

“I love distance running and 10 miles is one of my favorite distances. Plus what an awesome way to finish a race by ending on Soldier Field,” she said.

Pemberton has participated in many races in the past including several 5ks, the Hot Chocolate 15k, the Chicago Half Marathon and the Chicago Marathon. With credentials like these Pemberton proudly considers herself an athlete.

Accompanying her in the race is DePaul senior Stephanie Stasa. Although she does not consider herself an athlete, Stasa has participated in races before including the Chicago Half Marathon. She intends to run in more challenging races in the future.

“I am signed up for the Chicago Marathon 2011, so I think this race is a good way to start my training,” she said. “Also ending on Soldier Field really got me interested; I think it’s a great idea for the race.”

Stasa and Pemberton have both been training hard for the 10 mile race. The pair started their training in the winter and have continued doing workouts each week.

“We would run outside around Lincoln Park,” Pemberton said. “We started out running four miles and then would slowly increase up to 10 miles, so we knew exactly how it would feel.”

When the weather didn’t allow outside training, they moved their routine indoors to the Ray Meyer.

“We would run on the treadmill at the Ray when the weather was bad and sometimes we used the track. It all just depended on how crowded the gym was,” Stasa said.

During the week of the race, the two will alter their training techniques.

“I usually rest two days before the race and do a quick jog and some stretching the day before,” Pemberton said.

Stasa has a slightly different approach.

“I probably won’t run the day before. But I will eat a carb-loaded meal that Friday,” she said.

One unconventional approach the pair has included in their training is attending FEST the day before.

“It’s senior year and FEST is a highlight of that. I won’t do anything that will affect my running, and I even plan to get to bed early that night,” Stasa said.

Pemberton agrees saying, “I am definitely going to FEST. I won’t drink that much and it’s going to be an early night.”