Sunday, June 27, 2010

Plenty of Haste at Race to Taste

The annual Humana Race to Taste 5K downtown had 1,358 finishers on Sunday, with John Taylor, 37, of New Lenox, leading the way with a 16:30. Rich Heffron, 27, of Chicago, was second in 16:43, and Bob Mathews, 43, of Chicago, shwoing his strength as a masters runner, garnered third in 16:45. Well-known Columba Montes, 31, of Chicago, was the women's champion in 18:13. Shannon Phelan, 22, of Champaign, took second in 18:20, and Maria Cicero, 27, of Elmhurst, grabbed third in 18:51. Nice running on a muggy day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Byrdsong Race Against Hate a Winner

The annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate 5K and 10K in Evanston was another resounding success on June 20. The race, named for the former Northwestern basketball coach, promotes cultural harmony and understanding, both of which we need more of in this complicated world. In the 10K, Emisael Favela, 33, of Cicero, won in 33:17. Second went to Michel Jacques, 27, in 34:52, and third went to Elpido Vilchez, 39, of Chicago, in 35:49. April Likhite, 38, won the women's division in 38:24. Next was Olivia Aranda, 30, of Rockford, in 39:15, and third was taken by Colleen Baker, 19, of Evanston, in 40:31. The 5K was also fast with Jordan Horwitz, 24, of Evanston, taking honors with a 15:15. Christian Escareno, 21, of Mount Prospect, was second in 15:25, Matthew Marol, 19, of Evanston, was third in 15:26, and Ryan Giuliano, 25, of Schamburg, was fourth in 15:34. That's a tough top four. On the women's side, Columba Montes, 31, of Chicago, was first in 18:21. Second went to Jacqui Aubert, 24, of Crystal Lake, in 18:49, and third went to Erika Vazuez (that's how it's spelled in the results), 30, in 19:06. There were 676 finishers in the 10K and 1,294 in the 5K.

Jammin' at the Jim Gibbons 5K

It was the night of June 17, and in Chicago, Jeff Jonaitis, 29, of Tinley Park, continued his local spark, easily winning the Jim Gibbons Traffic Jam 5K, held in honor of former Channel 7 newsman Jim Gibbons. Jonaitis won in 15:39, easily beating runner-up Neal Klein, 20, who ran a 16:09, and third-place finisher Mike Hesslan, who ran a 16:52. Christina Overbeck, 24, of Chicago, well-known in local racing circles, was the women's winner in 18:07. Second woman was Elizabeth Bilitz, 24, in 19:52, and third went to Stephanie Wagner, 36, of Lombard, one of my Elmhurst Running Club teammates, in 20:00. A lot of familiar names are in the results, including Channel 7's John Garcia, who was third in his age group with a 19:52. Way to go, John!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back in Town, Next Up: 4 on the 3rd

Sorry I've been absent. We were at a wedding in Northfield, MN, and just got back in town. I'm going 24/7 as co-director of the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 3rd race, but I'll get caught up soon. We did take our bikes along and got in a couple of nice rides up north. It looks as if some great races were run in the Chicago area over the past few days. Stay tuned. I'll be updating soon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CARA Update -- Not Much New

CARA is searching for a new executive director as mentioned in the previous post. I'm not sure if the Board wants to keep going in the same direction or perhaps make a shift. These are interesting times. That's for sure. Not much new, but thought I would check in. I personally think we need a central running organization and a Circuit like the one we have. What do you think?

Monday, June 14, 2010

CARA's Executive Director Resigns

Chicago Area Runners Association executive director Valerie Bush has resigned. I have very little information other than she is gone. Bill Fitzgerald has been named Interim Executive Director and Kim Mueller is Assistant Interim Director. With Fitzgerald at the helm as marathon training kicks off and the Runners' Choice Circuit kicks into high gear, CARA will be in good hands as it searches for a permanent replacement.

North Shore Half to Austin, Marx

The newly-designed North Shore Half-Marathon, with start and finish in downtown Higland Park, went off well in the high humidity Sunday morning with Patrick Austin, 22, of Yorkville, taking home the overall championship in 1:13:35. Michele Marx, 37, of Lake Forest, was the women's winner in 1:29:03. Second and third men were Brice Young, 25, of Waukegan, in 1:16:56, and Ben Worcester, 21, of Chicago, in 1:17:21. Second and third in the women's standings were Allison Harris, 41, of Northbrook, in 1:29:40, and Cassie Baert, 24, of Batavia, in 1:29:58. In the 5K, Verdo Gregory, 31, of Chicago, won in 16:24. Julie Wiemerslage, 17, of Gurnee was the women's champ in 20:58.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Downers Grove 10-miler to Sparks, West

The Downers Grove 10-miler, two laps on the hilly 5-mile course instead of one for the Circuit race, produced some nice running in humid, sweaty conditions on Sunday. The 10-miler, which is the original in this longstanding event, was won by Connor Sparks, 22, of Geneva, in 56:11. It was fairly close as Eric Hofman, 23, of Homewood came in second just 10 seconds back at 56:21. Third went to Jim Milner, 26, of Palatine, who was across the line in 56:43. Kristin West, 31, of Downers Grove, was the women's 10-mile winner in 1:08:47. Noriko Valentin, 49, if Indianhead Park, was second in 1:13:12, and Maureen Wilkey, 26, of Chicago, was third in 1:13:25. The results are a bit in need of fine-tuning at the moment, but it appears there were about 160 finishers, give or take a few. By request, here are the Downers Grove results:

Escarenos, Marinangeli Take Downers Grove 5M

Christian and Jesus Escareno of Mount Prospect went 1-2 in the men's division, and Jean Marinangeli of Arington Heights took the women's crown on Sunday in the 5-mile event at the 33rd annual Downers Grove 5&10 Mile races. The Fast Track Racing Club sweep was done on a humid morning in the west suburbs as Christian, 22, ran 26:48, and Jesus, 20, ran 27:31, Tim Hamlton, 24, of Grayslake, placed third in a competitive field with a 28:04. On the women's side, Marinangeli, 26, won in 28:57 to get a clear-cut win over runner-up Jessica Langford, 39, of Rockford, who clocked 29:51. Kate Deprosperis, 31, of Downers Grove, was third in 30:38. There were 269 finishers in the 5-mile, which is on the CARA Runner's Choice Circuit.

13.1 Marathon Goes to Strubbe, Maletz

The amazing string of high-powered half-marathons in and around Chicago continued on Sunday with the 13.1 Marathon going off in high humidity along the lakefront. Winner overall was David Strubbe, who ran a 1:13:29. Second went to David Kittaka in 1:15:27, and third went to Timothy Jung in 1:16:04. Kristine Maletz was the women's victor in 1:24:39. She was followed in second and third by Jill Czarnik in 1:28:32 and Alma Gomez-Vanallman in 1:32:09. So when is the last time any top three all had names with at least one "z?" There were 3,298 finishers, 2,003 females and 1,295 males.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Zoo Run to Top Locals

On another busy racing weekend, the United Run for the Zoo 5K and 10K in Lincoln Park drew a large turnout as always. Winning Sunday's 5K was Lars Juhl, 34, of Chicago, in 15:38. He won comfortably. On the women's side, Jessica Langford, 39, of Rockford, eeked out a win with an 18:03, beating runner-up Marlene Key, 26, of Evanston, who posted an 18:09. The 10K was taken easily by Jeff Jonaitis, 29, of Tinley Park, who ran alone to a 32:39 (5:16 per mile). Kevin Deegan, 24, also of Tinley Park, was a distant second in a strong 35:37.Sarah Grzybelt, 30, of Chicago, was the women's winner in 39:29.The 5K had 1,000 finishers and the 10K had 1,699.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tebockhorst, Marinangeli Win Roselle 5K

The CARA Runners Choice Circuit Sternberg Lighting Run for the Roses 5K in Roselle on Sunday went to someone I don't know. Justin Tebockhorst, 25, of Asheville, NC, averaged 4:54 per mile enroute to a 15:12.3 clocking and first-place trophy. If you know Justin, please fill me in. I know he's done well in local races back in North Carolina, but that's about it. Christian Escareno, 22, of Mount Prospect, was close, finishing second in 15:16.8, and Ryan Giuliano, 25, of Schaumburg, took third place with a 15:24.5. They were moving! On the women's side, Jean Marinangeli, 26, of Arlington Heights, who is getting to be well-known on local podiums, won in 17:00.2. Columba Montes, 31, of Chicago, was second in 17:54, and Suzanne Ryan, 36, of West Chicago, came in third with an 17:22.4. They had 603 finishers in what always is a high-quality event.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bib Sharing Should be a NO-NO --UPDATED

Since I wrote this, the people originally listed as placing first and third in the men's 60-64 age group at the Soldier Field 10-miler have been disqualified. In both cases, detective work by Andrew Suozzo and I found that the runners wearing the bibs belonging to M60-64 runners listed as taking first and third were in fact runners in their 40s. This is wrong and frankly disgusting to me. Anyway, that's the latest, and I don't think it will be the last time we have situations such as this.
I see and hear about more and more people giving their race numbers to other people without considering the consequenses. Right now, in my own age group, there is an inquiry going on about whether or not the person who won at the Soldier Field 10 really was that person. It goes much deeper than that. The major problem to me is the issue of medical treatment should a runner go down. If you have serious problems (cardiac for instance), and they think you're Person A with o-positive blood when you're really Person B with o-negative blood, it could be catastrophic. Then there is the whole liability issue from a race organizer's point of view if something happens to Person B who is wearing Person A's number. And, of course, there are the skewed race results which take days, even weeks to untangle. Runners who are serious in the CARA Circuit races and other big events do not enjoy losing to impersonators. There you have it. Bib sharing should be banned unless someone finds a way to legally transfer them before races begin.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Valley Fox Trot Does Elgin Proud

With warm, humid weather and many 10-milers sleeping in on Memorial Day, two days after running the Soldier Field 10 on Saturday, the 35th annual Elgin Valley Fox Trot 10-miler and 5K had a great turnout and some excellent running on Monday. Matt Blume, 28, of Chicago, won the 10-miler in 55:13. Second on this hilly and historic course was Brian Grudowski, 28, of Buffalo Grove, who ran 57:21. Rounding out the top three was Neal Klein, 20, of Streamwood, who posted a 58:10. In the women's competition, Meg Thorsen, 24, hometown unknown for now, won in a nice 1:11:10. Second went to Lisa Koenig, 18, of Hoffmann Estates, with her 1:11:55, and third was taken by Kim Rivera, 32, of Batavia, who crossed the finish line in downtown Elgin in 1:12:01. In the accompanying 5K, triathlete Adam Zucco, 35, of Elburn, won in 17:32. The women's winner was Brooke Wolfe, 18, of Mount Prospect, in 18:56. There were 674 finishers in the 10-miler and 810 in the 5K. Hooray for Elgin's organizers. They're still strong despite not being on the CARA Circuit. Same goes for the Ridge Run previously covered on this blog.