Cinco de Miler Race Recap

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, guys! For a holiday that really has very little to do with America at all, we’ve seemed to embrace it as a country. I’m not going to argue, I like Tecate and guac as much as the next person, but I did learn something startling on Sunday: a 12 oz margarita has 540 calories. As you’d say in Spanish, mierda!

Luckily, I’m prepared to indulge a little this evening after running the Cinco de Miler race Sunday. This was the first time I’d ever run the race, which is held at Montrose Beach and attracted about 3,000 runners for a 5-mile jaunt. I wrote more on that on BibRave, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun run with a fiesta atmosphere! I loved that it was five miles instead of a 5K and it was so pleasant not to feel crowded during most of the race. It’s also later in the year than the Shamrock Shuffle, meaning I was running comfortably in a tank top and leggings!

The course kept me on my toes! We started off going through parking lots and it was actually at an incline (very unusual for Chicago!) There was a mariachi band at the first mile marker, which I loved. Right after that, the path narrowed dramatically to the two lane Lakefront Trail – one mile was close to enough time to let the field narrow, but it was still fairly congested at this point and hard to pass people. The path opened back up around mile three. Throughout the race course, we ran on asphalt, gravel, and even packed sand, which was a (short-lived) challenge!

Here are a few tips for keeping your nutrition on track during any fiestas tonight!

If you’re gonna drink: If you want the taste of a marg without all the sugar and empty calories, ask for tequila with a splash of lime juice. Add your own low-cal sweetener if you want! If you’re more of a Tecate person, just know that there are about 140 calories in a 12-oz can.

If you’re gonna eat: Guac, not queso. Fajitas, not burritos or tacos (and don’t use all the tortillas). Black beans, not refried beans. Avoid loading up on chips before your meal even arrives, and ask for them to hold the cheese, sour cream, and rice that comes on the side. Go for a side salad or grilled veggies instead. And a taco shell salad may sound healthy, but those shells have tons of oil and fat. Get your salad sans shell, and use salsa or pico de gallo as your fresh, veggie-packed “dressing”!

Make sure to get in a good sweat before or after your meal and have a fun fiesta with your friends! Bonus points if you actually know what Cinco de Mayo celebrates. 

(Disclosure: I’m a BibRave Pro, which means that BibRave gives me free race entries from time to time, including the race entry detailed below. As always, I only write about the races that I like and would recommend.)

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About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.