Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reed, Haskins Rule 27th Chicago Triathlon

With the decision on whether Chicago gets the 2016 Olympics coming up on Oct. 2, the city hosted its last major international sports event before then on Sunday when close to 9,000 people participated/competed in the 27th Chicago Triathlon in and along Lake Michigan on a cool day for late August. Matt Reed, 33, of Boulder, Colo., was the overall winner of the international distrance event in 1:48:27. Women's champion was Sarah Haskins, 28, of Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1:59:48. With temps in the 60s, times were fast. Men's runner-up was Matt Chrabot, 26, of Virginia Beach, Va., in 1:49:24. Timothy O'Donnell, 28, of Boulder, was third in 1:49:58. With Matts going 1-2 on the men's side, Sarahs went 1-2 among the women. Runner-up was Sarah Graff, 27, also of Colorado Springs,in 2:00:23, and third went to Becky LaVelle, 34, of Los Gatos, Calif., in 2:02:43.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Runners Hot on Cool Day in DeKalb

With temperatures in the 60s, it was not your typical sticky conditions for the 28th Corn Fest 10K in DeKalb on Saturday. As usual, the field was superb with 18 men getting in under 35 minutes and six women coming in under 38 minutes. The men's race was close to a photo finish as Jeff Jonaitis, 28, of Tinley Park just beat Matt Thull, 34, of Milwaukee, 30:53.82 to 30:53.89. They led an impressive pack that included third-place finisher Lars Juhl, 32, of Chicago, in 31:00.47; fourth-place finisher Emisael Favela, 32, of Cicero, in 31:07.29 and fifth-place finisher Chad Ware, 24, of Deerfield in 31:26.37. Besides the top 18 going under 35:00, the top nine dipped under 33:00! On the women's side, Melissa Todd, 34, of Kansas City, MO, won in 35:09.48 with Amanda Domich, 24, of Crystal Lake, a distant runner-up in 36:26.65. Olivia Aranda, 30, of Rockford, was third in 36:53.26 with Columba Montes, 30, of Chicago, fourth in 36:56.10 and Suet-Fei Li, 33, of Schaumburg fifth with a 37:11.18. CARA age-grade scorer Doug Pearson e-mailed me that Nancy Rollins, 62, of Evanston, had the top score with a 941.3 after running a 43:19.69. Lois Gilmore, 78, of Beloit, WI, was next with a 918.2 off of her 58:00.85. They had a really strong race today in DeKalb. On a personal note, I'd like to thank everyone who cheered me on. It was my first Runners' Choice race of the year, and I enjoyed every minute.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Birkie Marathon in 2010? That's Right!

Many of you know that my other sports passion is cross-country skiing. I will be skiing my 30th American Birkebeiner 51K in February, but that's another story for another day. The "Birkie," as it's affectionately known by the Nordic ski crowd, which includes thousands of runners just like you, also puts on a great fall event called the American Birkebeiner Trail Run, Relay & Trek. It includes a 26.2-mile (marathon) relay, 13.1-mile run, 5K fun run/walk and a 21K Nordic Walking Trek on the hilly and super-scenic Birkbebeiner trail (30 feet wide). This great day of racing for serious and casual athletes is set for Saturday, Sept. 26 this year in the Hayward-Cable area in northwest Wisconsin. There is a Nordic Walking Clinic the day before. Now, the big news. Birkebeiner Executive Director Ned Zuelsdorff just told me in an e-mail that the Birkebeiner Board of Directors approved a full marathon for the 2010 Trail Run at its meeting last night. This will give next fall's marathon runners a unique alternative to the other established 26.2-milers in places such as Chicago, Twin Cities, Fox Cities, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Columbus, Des Moines, Detroit and elsewhere. For information on this year's Birkie trail event, which does NOT include an individual marathon, go to or call 715-634-5025.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Egle Has Landed! 47-Year-Old Wins

Mike Egle of Glenview isn't getting any younger, but he's running as though he were 20 years younger than he is. The 47-year-old ran a 16:12.0 on Saturday to win the Rally for Autism Run 5K at Independence Grove in Libertyville. Second went to 18-year-old Zach Krause of Genoa City, Wis., in 16:15.7 and third went to Kenneth Mulhollon, 39, of Lake Geneva, Wis., in 17:17.8. Shanna Piggott, 31, of Round Lake was the women's winner in 20:19.6. Laura Preisen, 29, of Chicago, was second in 20:48.3 and Brenda Zeck, 44, of Third Lake, was third overall and first master in 22:56.6.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hamstring It Was for Charlie; Nancy Mines Medals!

Charlie Kern is back from Finland-Holland and confirms his hamstring was too sore for him to run the 1,500 at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. Kudos to the 40-year-old from Elmhurst for his big win at the World Masters meet last Thursday in Lahti, Finland. The photo shows Charlie on the Lahti podium the day after his big victory. Meanwhile Nancy Rollins placed second in the F60 1,500 at the National Senior Games in San Francisco with a 5:52:62. Winner was Candy Puterbaugh from Utah, who ran 5:46:09. Later, Nancy took third in the 800 meters with a 2:57.32. Puterbaugh won that one, too, with a 2:53.84. Nancy also placed second in the 5K and 10K road races, losing both events for the F60-64 titles to Sabra Harvey of Texas. It was 19:55 to 20:59 in the 5K and 41:58 to 43:55 in the 10K. There is no shortage of talent in the Chicago area.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Korean Fest 5K Race to Chesang, Li

On a hot, humid day, Matthew Chesang, 25, of Eau Claire, WI, topped a strong race with nice prize-money perks at the Korean Festival 5K in Chicago. Chesang ran a 15:16.4 to beat runner-up Abdelmounath Harroufi of Albuquerque, NM, who ran 15:27.1 and third-place finisher Emisael Favela, 32, of Cicero, IL, who clocked 15:39.8. In the women's race, it was Suet-Fei Li, 33, of Schaumburg, IL, topping the list with an 18:12.3. It was close as Christina Overbeck, 24, of Chicago, finished second in 18:16.3 and Columba Montes, 30, of Chicago, grabbed third in 18:28.1

Friday, August 7, 2009

Next Up for Charlie Kern: Amsterdam: Update

Elmhurst's Charlie Kern will run in the 1,500 meters on Saturday at the Amsterdam Open. After winning the World masters M40-44 title on Thursday, he'll be in an open field this time with runners who have broken 3:40 heading the lineup at the Olympic Stadium in The Netherlands' capital city. "I've always wanted to run in a European meet," Kern told me before he departed. Now, he gets his chance. NOTE: Charlie was not in the final results from Amsterdam. It might have been because of his sore hamstring. I have no facts. Our best to Charlie, no matter what happened.

CARA Names New Executive Director

CARA has named Valerie Bushey as its new Executive Director. Thanks to Bill Fitzgerald who has served as interim director. CARA's announcement follows (Courtesy of the CARA Newsletter).

CARA Welcomes New Executive Director

The CARA Staff and Board of Directors would like to welcome our new Executive Director, Valerie Bushey.

Valerie came to CARA from the Women's Sports Foundation where she was the Director of the GoGirlGo! Chicago Regional Office. Previous to that she held leadership positions with the Department of Defense, the Chicago Park District and the National Educational Service. She holds a Master's degree in Sports Management from Indiana University and a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education from Augustana College.

Valerie is also a two time collegiate Track & Field All American in the Heptathlon and is originally from the great city of Chicago.

Please make sure to welcome Valerie when you see her at CARA events. She can be reached at

We are very excited to have her on board!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kern Does It! He's World Masters Champ

Charlie Kern, 40, of Elmhurst, IL, accomplished a major goal today in Lahti, Finland, when he won the 1,500 final for the M40-44 age group at the World Masters Athletics Championships. Kern's time was 4:04.75 in what had to be a tactical race. Kern, who is well-known for his expertise in coaching in the Elmhurst area, has shown he can do what it takes, despite a sore hamstring, suffered two weeks ago at a 10-mile race near Chicago. Second place went to David Cowlishaw of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 4:05:43, and third went to Matthias Luck of Germany in 4:08:14. The last two occasions at which I saw Charlie, he was directing the Run for Hunger 5K in Elmhurst on July 26 and sitting on a bench resting his hamstring while coaching the Elmhurst Running Club three days before he went to Finland. Charlie always has been a class act. Now, he's a world-class act. He'll be running an open 1,500 in another European meet later this week before he heads home. One more time. Go, Charlie, go!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Charlie Kern Wins World Semi!

Charlie Kern, who has coached many of the great York High School distance runners over the years, is competing this week at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Lahti, Finland. Charlie got off to a great start today, winning the second of two semifinal heats in the Male 40-44 1,500-meter run. Charlie, who also coaches the Elmhurst Running Club's speed workouts (not this week), ran a 4:12:58 for the third-fastest qualifying time overall. Matthias Luck of Germany ran a 4:11:42 and Gianni Bruzzi of Italy clocked a 4:12:09 in the first heat. Sixteen runners qualified for the final. Go, Charlie, go!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Goucher Blows "Em Away at Rock 'n' Roll Half

Kara Goucher made her rehearsal for the IAAF World Championship Marathon in Berlin on Aug. 23 look relatively easy on Sunday, breezing to a win on a perfect morning for the Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon in Chicago. The time was 1:08:05, not an American record (Deena Kastor has it with a 1:07:34 in 2006, but darned good for having zero opposition. No one else was even in the picture, male or female. Chad Ware, 24, of Deerfield, was first male in 1:08:24. Goucher, who, according to Chicago Tribune writer Phil Hersh has been running 120-mile weeks, looks ready for a memorable performance in Berlin! There were 14,438 finishers, with 9,438 of them being females. Has the once male-dominated sports been turned 1980 degrees? After Goucher, 31, of Portland, Ore. (Nike-land) won, toweled off and did interviews, second through fifth on the women's side went like this: Connie Abbott, 23, Kansas City, 1:21:50; Amanda Domich, 24, Chicago, 1:22:28; Suet-Fei Li, 33, Schaumburg, 1:22:36 and Jackie Pirtie-Hall, 27, of St. Charles, MO, in 1:23:19. After Ware, second through fifth on the men's side went like this: David Williams, 37, Milwaukee, 1:08:49; Emisael Favela, 32, Cicero, 1:09:14; Daniel Jess, 28, San Antonio, TX, 1:10:33 and Christopher Peverada, 22, Chicago, 1:11:36. Being called the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half-Marathon is a bit misleading. This was not the first edition of this race, just the first one called Rock 'n' Roll. Originally founded in 1977 as the Chicago Distance Classic 20K and won by that year by Frank Shorter, the event, which once aided the Lung Association, has a long rich history, including ownership from 2003-2009 by John Bingham Racing. Today's race definitely was big though. Congrats to all. For another take on the day's events please take a look at Brenda Barrera's report at the following link: