Thursday, August 7, 2008
32nd Distance Classic Sunday
With Olympic fanfares already blaring from our TVs, what better time to salute the man who should get most of the credit for Running Boom 1, Mr. Frank Shorter. We all know he won Olympic gold in 1972 at the Munich Games, but you may not know he was the first winner of the Chicago Distance Classic on a hot day in 1977. Since then, the race has transformed from a 20K into a half-marathon, and has had other stellar winners, including Brian Sell, who is running in this year's Olympic Marathon in Beijing. CDC, the oldest road race in the city, goes off for the 32nd time on Sunday. Race time in Grant Park is 6:30 a.m., but the field will be spread into a four-wave starting format as the runners traverse a generally southerly out-and-back 13.1-miler with some tight bike-path sections likely. Look for a gathering of around 10,000 with more females than males competing. Things certainly have changed since the '70s when the guys ruled the roads. Hats off to John (the Penguin) Bingham for buying this race a few years back, getting it back on its feet and then growing it into what it is today.
I got down to the expo (photos . . . yep, that's a Saturn) early Saturday. There was some excitement floating around the Chicago Hilton & Towers. This race should be fun. It always is. Check out http://www.chicagodistanceclassic.com