Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Beat Rock & Roll Half's Fee Increase

If you're planning to run the Rock & Roll Chicago Half Marathon on Aug. 1, entry fees jump from $85 to $110 on Thursday, April 1. With parking not being free, running big city races such as this one is not cheap. With that in mind, don't be a fool on Thursday. This is your head's up to save 25 bucks. You could take those 25 bucks and enter another race!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holland, Shoopman Win Des Plaines River Half

With temps in the high 40s, approaching 50, it was a good day for the Des Plaines River Half Marathon near Libertyville. Winners among the 229 finishers on Saturday were Derek Holland, 32, of Chicago, in 1:13:17.7, and Emily Shoopman, 26, of Bloomington, IL, who ran a 1:30:09.7. Second and third men were Ricky Britton, 28, of Chicago, in 1:14:05.6, and Ian Chillag, 31, of Chicago, in 1:14:22.9. Second and third women were Shanna Piggott, 32, of Round Lake, who ran 1:32:33.4, and Ann Haibeck, 21, of Chicago, who came in at 1:32:51. There are a lot of half-marathons around here these days, but this is one I definitely want to try next year. For those of you who ran it, how did it go?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ryan Gallops Home First

Suzanne Ryan, 35, of West Chicago, has been a major player over the years, and on Saturday, March 27 in Aurora, she won the women's division running away and placed eighth overall out of 525 finishers at the Spring Gallop 5K in Aurora. On a cool morning, almost ideal for running, Ryan ran an 18:40.4. William Holstine, 43, of Aurora, was the overall winner in 17:29.0. Complete results are at www.racetime.info.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Marathon Filled for 2010!

The Bank of America hit its 45,000 cap earlier this afternoon. It was a record for filling as the race hit its capacity in 51 days. Here is the press release:

2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Registration Closes
as Race Reaches 45,000 Participant Capacity in Record Time

Limited Number of Entries Available Through Charities and Tour Groups

CHICAGO, IL (March 23, 2010)-- Open registration for the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon officially closed today as 45,000 participants have signed up in record time to complete the 26.2-mile race. The capacity was met in 51 days, closing a full month ahead of 2009's record pace. A limited number of entries remain available through affiliated charities and tour groups for the October 10 race.
"The enthusiasm displayed for this race from runners around the world is one of the primary reasons we are so pleased to continue leading this 33-year tradition," said Bank of America Chicago and Illinois Market President Tim Maloney. "It is an honor to provide such a unique opportunity for the determined, passionate and driven individuals who register as well as setting a global stage upon which the color and vibrancy of this great city can be displayed."
More than 85 of the race's affiliated charities have entries remaining for participants still looking for a way into this year's field. By registering through a charity, runners simultaneously become members of a fundraising effort that annually generates $10 million for more than 120 charitable causes. Interested individuals can visit chicagomarathon.com for details regarding late registration options through affiliated charitable organizations.
"This record rate of registration illustrates the growing popularity of the sport and our race in particular based on our 33-year tradition, but we are also hearing excitement for the historic date of 10/10/10 which adds a unique thrill this year," said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "The demand that remains to get into this race will be a tremendous benefit to our charity partners and has the capacity to break our record of $10 million dollars in total funds raised."
Chicago Marathon hopefuls living outside the U.S. also have the option to secure an entry via a number of tour operators offering travel packages that include registration to the 2010 race. All information regarding these offerings is available at www.chicagomarathon.com.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Times Are Right

Kudos to the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle timing crew. Everything seems to be in order now. I know my time is correct. Anyone still having time problems? Thanks to the race organization for providing this blog with the above photo and the one to the upper right.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shamrock Out-Takes

First, I'd like to salute the first three Chicago runners to finish against the strong regional field on Sunday at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. Chad Ware, 25, of Deerfield, was our top dog, finishing 9th in 24:09. Greg Costello, 29, of Chicago, was 11th in 24:09, and Todd Ptacek, 24, of Chicago, came in 13th in 24:21. Yep, we had three of the top 15 finishers! Our local ladies, led by Claudia Becque, 33, of Chicago, who finished 4th in 28:10, did a little better, getting five finishers into the top 15. Next was Jean Marinangeli, 26, of Arlington Heights, who ran a 29:05 for 11th place. Jessica Langford, 38, of Rockford, was 13th in 29:11; Columba Montes, 30, of Chicago, was 14th in 29:16; and Elizabeth Chenoweth, 35, of Chicago, was 15th in 29:19.
As for the rest of us, the total amount of finishers is around 25,560, with final tweeking sure to add a few more. One thing I can say is the early age-group results seem to have some wrong times and splits but have the runners in the proper finish order. I'm a perfect example. I know I ran 48 seconds slower than the results show. I'm listed behind four runners with slower times, but I know for a fact they ran faster times. I'm hopeful that it all will be straightened out. I'll wait a while and then make sure they know they are wrong if it isn't fixed. I've noticed quite a few other results that aren't right, but that can be fairly normal at this point (Sunday night). Meanwhile, I thought the new course was fine. It could be a keeper as far as I'm concerned. My only problems were self-inflicted. I have sore ribs from an XC ski fall and couldn't really breathe well. Trust me. Bad breathing will slow you down!
I got in OK, and I have no complaints whatsoever. So how did your races go????

'National' Headlines

Thanks to my good friend Brenda Barrera for letting me know how things went on Saturday at the National Marathon and Half-Marathon in Washington, D.C. In her phone messages, she was quick to point out how many Midwesterners were there. In the men’s marathon, Michael Wardian, 35, of Arlington, VA, took first place with a time of 2:21:58, and in the women's race, Krista Vrombaut, 27, of Rock Island, IL (along the Mississippi), took first place with a time of 2:51:17. In the men’s half marathon, Mark Fruin, 24 of Bloomington, IN, took first place with a time of 1:05:03; Stephen Haas, 26 of Bloomington, IN, took second place with a time of 1:05:14; Jeff Jonaitis of Tinley Park, IL., took third place with a time of 1:05:58.
In the women’s half-marathon Laura Farley, 25, of Bloomington, IN., took first place with a time of 1:18:38; Phebe Ko, 27 of Bethesda, MD, took second place with a time of 1:19:03; Dani Prince of Bloomington, IN, took third place with a time of 1:19:38. Prince was the women's winner last year at the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th (4 on the 3rd this year). I'm the co-director, and I hope she comes back!

March Madness -- A Whole Lof of Half!

While 25,561 runners finished the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K, another 1,017 were finishing the cult-like March Madness Half-Marathon in far northwest suburban Cary. While driving to the Shuffle with some fellow Elmhurst Running Club members, none of us could recall a year when both of these special races were run on the same day. For many years, both were on the CARA Circuit (Runner's Choice these days). Now, the Shuffle is but March Madness isn't. Ryan Giuliano, 25, of Schaumburg, was the overall winner up in Cary with a very strong 1:12:16 on the hilly, challenging course. Shannon Fitzgerald, 27, of Rockford, was the women's winner in 1:22:44. Runner-ups were Tony Teunissen, 33, of Belvidere, with a 1:13:51, and Julie Zehr, 28, of Ottawa, in 1:23:11. Third-places were taken by Greg Castady, 36, of Homewood, in 1:15:18, and Jacqui Aubert, 23, of Crystal Lake, in 1:26:40. Nice work to all of you who got into this race and then ran it!

Kemboi, Moody Live Up to the Hype

Thanks to insider Jeremy Borling for tipping me off when I was preparing my pre-race blurb for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. The favorites came through on a raw morning. It was chilly, but not ridiculously cold as another chapter was written in this storied event.
Here is the official news release.

John Kemboi and Tera Moody Lead Largest Field in Event History to Win 31st Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K

CHICAGO (March 21, 2010) – Kenyan John Kemboi, 19, and American Tera Moody, 29, outran the largest field in Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K history today posting wins in the 31st edition of the iconic Chicago road race. An event-record field of 25,561 runners followed the champions across the finish line to officially welcome the arrival of spring to Chicago amid 35-degree weather.
Kemboi broke the finish line tape in 23:39 in his first race on U.S. soil. Following his finish, Kemboi reflected on his first American race by saying, “I feel pretty good after this race. It is very nice here, although very cold this morning. It was a good experience for me and I will definitely be coming back to America to
compete in more races.”
Moody’s 27:21 victory marked her second Shamrock Shuffle win. A native of St. Charles, Ill., now living in Colorado Springs, Colo., Moody won the 2007 event in 27:09. Following the race, she said, “I have been battling some injuries so I didn’t know until this morning if I was going to run. It wasn’t extremely cold, but it
was windy and that slowed me up in the last few miles. I had such a blast though and just wanted to soak up and enjoy every moment.”
In the second annual Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle Elite Club Competition, a division for USA Track and Field member runners, Wisconsin Runner Racing Team A placed first for the men and Runablaze Iowa ranked first among the women. Tyler Sigl, Eugene Dennis, Aaron Nodolf and Ryan Meissen posted a joint time of 1:37:11 to edge the second-place team by 13 seconds. Erin Moeller, Marie Schofer and Jen Van
Otterloo posted a combined 1:25:45 finish time to place first for the women.
The day concluded with the traditional Post-Race Party in Grant Park where Bank of America officially presented checks to the event’s benefitting charities. Girls on the Run and MGR Foundation, two local youth fitness organizations, each received $72,000 to continue fitness programming for local youth throughout the

Monday, March 15, 2010

Brandt's OK after Taking Tumble (Updated)

Prominent M50-54 runner Barry Brandt took a nasty fall on Sunday during the Lisle Spring Sprint 10K, but he is OK. Brandt, who lives in Villa Park and runs for the Elmhurst Running Club, was in second place overall around 4.5 miles when he fell on a slippery bridge. He said he hit his head and blacked out, and was in an ambulance for 45 minutes but was not taken to a hospital. Initially on Sunday, he said he ended up with a slight concussion, bruised rib and a face he said makes him look "like I got in a fight." He says everything is stiffening up, but he'll be all right. However, after seeing doctors on Monday morning, things were worse.

Here are Barry's own words:
"I just got back from four hours in emergency. Here is the list: severe concussion, three broken ribs, partially collapsed left lung, can't tell if wrist is broken so in a splint. The good news is my face has no fractures which they were sure would be the case. The doctor said that if it would have happened on concrete instead of asphalt or if I hit a curb it could have killed me. I go to a lung specialist on Wednesday to find out how long until I can run. Being injury free lasted about a month!"

Yes, runners can fall and get hurt. Remember Robert Cheruiyot falling at the finish of the Chicago Marathon?

As for the Lisle race itself, Don Whipple, 30, of Bolingbrook, whom Brandt was chasing, was the 10K winner in 35:31.4. Angel Saenz, 41, of Franklin Park, was second in 38:50.5, and Eric Wedow, 51, of Batavia, was third in 38:51.5. Angela Kidd, 33, of Clarendon Hills, was the women's champion with a 40:17.7. Christina Sliepka, 19, of Oswego, was next in 40:44.0, and Lisa Teunissen, 31, of Belvidere, was third in 42:40.5. In the 5K, Nathan Kennedy, 24, of Bolingbrook, won in 16:55.9, with Jason Moderi, 36, of Naperville, taking second in 17:51.4, and Ray Heriaud, 34, of Oswego, placing third in 18:22.8. Janeth Salazar, 42, of Naperville, was the women's winner in 19:57.2. Second went to Tammy Kalbaak, 29, of Dubuque, IA, in 21:36.3, and third went to Jamie O'Connor, 33, of Naperville, in 22:40.9.

Photo of Barry was taken at the Westchester Veterun last November.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ware Doesn't Need Luck of the Irish

Chad Ware, 25, of Deerfield, showed some early-season speed on Saturday, easily winning the first annual Fleadh 5K at Midlothian Meadows Forest Preserve in south suburban Oak Forest. Ware won it in 15:01.6, with Archie Bareikis, 23, of Oak Forest, running second in 16:59.2, and Kris Smrekar, 43, of Aurora, grabbing third in 17:39.3. On the women's side, Laura Bestrick, 41, of Orland Park, won in 24:02.3. Jean Powell, 44, of Oak Forest, was second in 24:09.5, and Michelle Wilson, 39, of Chicago, was third in 24:21.7. So you think "Fleadh" was a typo? Remember, St. Patrick's Day is next week. This run was part of the first annual Oak Forest Fleadh, which is pronounced "flah" in Gaelic and means festival. The race was part of a full day of fun and activities.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Khannouchi Comeback Under Way

I did not do this interview with 38-year-old Khalid Khannouchi, but it is so good, you should read it. It was done by Matt Fitzgerald of Competitor Magazine and was linked to CARA's latest e-newsletter. For those of you who didn't see it, Khalid is on the mend and hoping to run a fall marathon. Here you go: http://running.competitor.com/2010/03/features/khalid-khannouchi-back-on-the-radar_8940

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chicago Marathon Passes 30,000

If you don't already know this, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon registration has surpassed 30,000. A cap of 45,000, give or take a few, means this race could fill soon. The 33rd running of the Chicago Marathon is set for Sunday, Oct. 10. To sign up, go to:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Valpo Mini Marathon Canceled

According to our good friends at Human Race Sports in Orland Park, IL/Valparaiso, IN, the Valpo Mini Marathon has been canceled for this year, but race organizers say it will be back in 2011. The Mini, a half-marathon in Valparaiso, has been run during April the past five years. At this point, I have no reason for the cancellation. I know one thing. It is very difficult to put on a race of any distance. I know that from personal experience as co-director of the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th (3rd this year). If I get more information on the Valpo Mini, I'll pass it along. Here's the official word:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Great Western Half Sold Out

Speaking of races out of St. Charles, the Great Western Half-Marathon, put on by the Fox River Trail Runners, is sold out. The May 2 race has reached capacity. Boy, do we have a lot of half-marathons around here this year. Meanwhile, nothing is new on the possible full marathon previously posted.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Fall Marathon?

Good sources tell me there is a possible new marathon planned for Sept. 19 in the Fox River Valley area (far west suburbs). Not to be confused with the Fox Cities Marathon in Wisconsin on the same day, this race would start and finish in St. Charles. I am not 100 percent sure, but it seems as though this race just might happen.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Birkie a Smashing Success

OK runners, you've at least seen cross-country ski racing now because of the Olympic TV coverage, so now maybe you understand what I do and why I do it each winter. Cross-country (also known as Nordic) skiing is a fabulous way to embrace winter. I got into it as an extension of running's endurance aspect way back in the '70s and haven't looked back. The 37th American Birkebeiner was my 30th. That meant I got to wear a coveted gold bib as I traversed the difficult course from Cable to Hayward in northwest Wisconsin. Skiing the Birkie does have some things runners don't have to worry about like proper wax on your skis (glide wax only when you skate), equipment and at least some technique. Other than that, it's a very similar mindset to running a big-time marathon. My race went very well with good pacing, nice glide and better-than-usual climbing on the many hills on this well-known 50K course. Two negatives were a ski pole malfunction that I lived with for eight kilometers until I got a replacement pole at the 33K aid station, and a bad fall at 47K, which resulted in a bruised rib or two. Still, I was smiling at the finish, got interviewed by the local radio station up there and celebrated a lifestyle I chose long ago, which, of course, also includes running. I really do encourage all of you to at least try this sport sometime. It's a blast and has its own circuits of clinics, races etc. The photo is of four locals who finished within four minutes of each other. They are (from left) Rich Scott (a former North Central runner and darned good skier) of Naperville, Chuck Zagozdon of Chicago, a strong cyclist and roller-skier in the offseason, me (golden bib) and David Fyhrie of Wheaton, a great downhill skier as well as XC buff. Obviously, we were happy campers just past the finish line on trucked-in snow in beautiful downtown Hayward. The race was won by an Italian in a record time of 1:56! Wow! Skiers from 19 countries and 47 states participated. It's been called the Boston Marathon of cross-country skiing since the mid-1980s. I wouldn't disagree.