This 10K was a tale of two conditions. For 3.6 miles on Sunday, 1,175 of us were on a flat, somewhat wind-aided race course (at least going east) as we challenged ourselves at the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival 10K. Then came the turn north for the rest of somewhat uphill Miles 4 and 5, twisty Mile 6 and the slightly uphill home stretch. Did I mention the in-your-face headwinds over those last 2.8 miles? The conditions affected some people but not all. My race went well for 4 miles as I met my goal of 6:55 pace. Then, things went in the toilet, and I hung on for a P-worst 43:50.
But let's salute the top threes. On the men's side, Chris Setzler, 36, of Wonder Lake, won in 33:58.72, while Nathan Kennedy, 22, of Bolingbrook, was runner-up in 34:17.56. Next was Verdo Gregory, 29, of Chicago, or should it be Gregory Verdo? He finished third in 34:29.48. In the women's ranks, Olivia Aranda, 29, of Rockford, took the "gold" in 37:47.98, with Pal Blair, 27, of Chicago, placing second in 39:03.94, and Katy Hillard, 26, of Sycamore, ran third in 40:17.65. Kudos to my Elmhurst Running Club teammates Doug Pearson (35:27.09) and Christine Lipa (40:56.7), who each placed fifth overall. Pearson, 40, of Elmhurst won M40-44 and Lipa, 48, of Glen Ellyn, won F45-49.
This second-to-last CARA Circuit race of the year was a good mix of runners from Chicago as well as farther west to Rockford and beyond. It also featured people who had run recent marathons and people who had not. As always, the race organization was very good.