Thursday, January 28, 2010

Verzbicas Gatorade XC Runner of the Year!

We all know Carl Sandburg sophomore Lukas Verzbicas has what it takes to be one of the nation's best distance runners ever. On Thursday, he received a special honor as Gatorade's National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Here is a full story from ESPN Rise. Way to go, Lukas!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CARA Awards Luncheon a Big Plus

I've got to give CARA, its new executive director, Valerie Bushey, and her entire staff some well-deserved credit for an excellent 2009 awards luncheon on Saturday (Jan. 23) in Oak Brook. The fast-moving program was just right and kept everyone interested, attentive and motivated. There were strong speeches by many people, including CARA board president-elect Chris Wehrman, who never is afraid to tell it like it is, and runners of the year Christina Overbeck and Dave Wilson. CARA is moving forward and freshening up its approach. That is good for all concerned as we look ahead to the 2010 running season (already under way for a lot of you!). I saw a lot of people I knew and realized the room was full of some of the fittest people, not just in the Chicago area, but in the country. They also get to run in some of the best and safest races in the country, due in large part to CARA.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marathoner to Watch: Kate DeProsperis

Kate DeProsperis, 30, of Downers Grove, put herself in the limelight with a 2:50:37 at December's California International Marathon. The strong run (1:25:00 first half) put her second in the women's 30-34 age group. It's not often we have someone locally who is close to Olympic Team Trials standards, but Kate's in the ballpark after that time. The U.S. women's standards for the 2012 Games in London are 2:39:00 for the "A" Standard and 2:46:00 for the "B" Standard. You can also run a 1:15 half-marathon or a 33:00 in the 10,000-meters. The qualifying window officially opened on Jan. 1. The men's standard for 2012 is 2:19:00, 1:05 for a half-marathon or 28:30 in the 10,000. Men have no "B" standard. Also at California, Kurt Fiene, 48, of Elmhurst ran a 2:58:33 to win the Vision Impaired Division. He paced fellow Elmhurst Running Club member Tammy Lifka, 39, of Glen Ellyn, who finished fifth in F35-39 with a 2:58:37.

Off With a Bang

A feisty field of 469 finishers got 2010 off to a fast start at the New Year's Day 5K in Chicago. Seemingly picking up where he left off after an outstanding 2009 season, Emisael Favela, 32, of Cicero, ruled the race, winning in 16:34. Alyssa Hunt, 26, of Chicago, was first woman across the finish line in 20:28. Nos. 2 and 3 in the male ranks in this New Year's Day parade were Karsen Green, 19, of Gurnee, in 17:44, and Caleb Chatfield, 30, of Chicago, in 17:49. Second and third women were Erika Vasquez, 30, of Chicago, in 21:06, and Holly Porter, 33, of Chicago, in 21:13. That's moving for a run the day after New Year's Eve!

Nothing Frosty About These Runners!

Burbank's annual Frosty 5K on Jan. 16 produced some stellar performances for a snowy January in the Chicago area. There were 206 finishers in this race won by Tim Hamilton, 24, of Grayslake, in 16:47, and Kristen Hosey, 36, of Western Springs, in 21:26. Hosey was 22nd overall. Runner-up on the men's side was Brent Pfeiffer, 28, of Chicago, in 17:10. Third and fourth went to Frederic Nielsen, 33, of Palos Park, in 17:35, and Mark Luttrell, 37, of Orland Hills, in 17:49. Second through fourth on the women's side of this chilly race were Martha Pedziwiatr, 21, of Orland Hills, in 21:40; Eileen Skisak, 50, of LaGrange Park, in 22:54 and Maureen Yuhasz, 47, of Palos Park, in 24:39. Great job by everyone who participated and volunteered at this mid-winter staple on the Chicago running scene.

Thanks for Your Patience

OK. Here we go. The running season is falling into place along with a few harmelss snowflakes. I've dug out from a few things and am ready to go. It's been a fun January for me much of the time, squeezing in trainng for two cross-country ski mrathons and the Boston Marathon at the same time. I have gotten into three short ski races and have extended my running a bit. At any rate, on with the show.