The somewhat hilly 5K course for the Fall Fest 5K CARA Circuit Race really wasn't so bad on Saturday. I had previewed it on the bike on Thursday and was worried about the steep climb before Mile 2. I slowed to a snail's pace near the "summit," but most people around me did, too. The "up" side of courses like this are the downhills that follow the climbs. They were sweet. The race was well-organized, the course well-marked and the turnout light (325 finishers). Weather wasn't a factor. It was close to perfect, although the humidity was a wee bit high. CARA overall men's leader Dave Wilson, 39, of Brookfield, won it in 16:09.91, seemingly going just fast enough to beat runner-up Daniel Scheffler, 42, of Oswego, who ran 16:18:31. Masters star Mike Egle, 46, of Glenview, was nursing a calf injury, but still ran 16:50.33 for third. Reggie Jonaitis, 27, of Naperville, grabbed fourth in 16:51.98. On the women's side, Alona
Banai, 24, of Oak Park, who entered the race fourth in the CARA overall women's standings, won in 18:15.63. She held off always tough Sanya Syrstad, 43, of Warrenville, who ran 18:19.59. CARA leader Pam Blair, 27, of Chicago was third in 18:21.40, while Michelle Plummer, 31, of Gilberts, placed a distant fourth in 19:23:03. Hats off to my fellow Elmhurst Running Club teammates who placed first in the team competition. My 20:51 didn't make ERC's top five, but I was happy with it, all things considered. It was good to see so many friends from the other clubs, the Fossils (the best over-50 relay team anywhere!) and even the awakening XC ski community. Speaking of that, I went roller-skiing after the race. That was a wake-up call!
Photos of Dave Wilson and Alona Banai from the Run-Times photo archives!