Saturday, July 26, 2008
The X-Factor . . . Humidity
The X in the Xtreme 10-miler at Waterfall Glen this morning (July 26) was more the humidity than the hills in my opinion. For many of us, to stay in the game, we had to cut back the engines a bit or risk crashing. In a CARA Circuit race, you don't want that to happen. So in general, times were slower than last year, but that isn't to say there weren't fast times. Stanford-bound Chris Derrick, who just graduated from Neuqua Valley HS in Naperville, blasted to a 52:44.7 (5:16 pace) despite the approximately 90 percent humidity and temps near 80. He destroyed a quality field that included runner-up Emisael Favela, 31, of Cicero (55:49.8) and third-place finisher Jack (or Jacek if you like) Kafel, 32, of River Forest (56:55.1). Derrick, as you might know, missed his chance to re-write the books at the Illinois HS meet in May when he came down with mono. I'm glad he had a chance to win a good race like this before he goes off to school. On the women's side, Alona Banai, 24, of Oak Park, claimed the victory with an impressive 1:04:51.5. Banai had done some recreational running, but just started running seriously last year. Her sports background in high school was synchronized swimming! She received her masters in plant biology at Northwestern this past June. Second woman was Meg Sullivan, 28, of Palos Heights (1:07:20.6), and third went to Julie Wankowski, 38, of Glen Ellyn (1:08:20.5). Sam's Club was the major sponsor of this fine event directed by John Gervase. My M55-59 age group could be called Sam's Club as well. Sam Cortes ran 1:01 and change to obliterate the rest of us. Eric Burgess ran a strong second. I was next, quite a ways back, followed by Fritz Gareis. The photo shows 2-3-4 in the age group. Sam never stays for the hardware. Well, we all survived for another day. 657 of us crossed the finish line. What a tough morning for racing!