Freezing frozen fun run

Though it began as a grassroots effort in January 2010, the F^3 Lake Half Marathon has grown to accommodate thousands of hard-core running enthusiasts who don’t let a little cold weather stop them from racing 13.1 miles in Chicago — in January. This year’s F^3 Lake Half Marathon — and new 5K — will be on Saturday, January 28th.

“This is a real ‘bucket list’ race, the perfect way to stay on track over the holidays and earn bragging rights,” says F^3 Founder and New Eastside resident Kimberley Stedman, who brought this unique event to life.

How did this all begin?

Stedman: After traveling to various destinations for winter half marathons, my friends and I decided to create a “budget-friendly” fun run that followed the Magellan Half Marathon course. It started in Lakeshore East, and — that first year — race headquarters was my apartment in The Tides. We even had a beer sponsor provide a free pint to runners after the run.

How was F^3 Events born?

Stedman: Because we needed a permit to continue the fun run, I created F^3 Events LLC, which became an official company in 2011. Every year since, we have continued to grow, so in 2015, the winter half marathon officially moved to Soldier Field. Now we have use of the United Club for indoor gear check and race headquarters.

What makes the F^3 Half Marathon special?

Stedman: We are the original winter half marathon in Chicago! Our race, organized by an all-female team based in Chicago, offers a top-quality goodie bag including a long-sleeve soft tech shirt, swag and a huge medal! We also work with local nonprofits who are the beneficiaries of the event.

Is there anything new for 2017?

Stedman: We are partnered with Chica- go Endurance Sports, who will provide pacers for the event this year.

Want to register? Dust off your Yaktrax, unearth your arctic running clothes and visit www.F3Running.com. Use discount code MAGELLAN17 for $8 off the registration fee for either the half marathon or 5K.

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