Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ware Wins Run for Gus 5K

At least I think Chad Ware, 25, of Deerfield, was the winner of the Run for Gus 5K in Chicago Thursday night. I'm sure it will be corrected, but at the moment, a woman named Rachel Klein , 29, of Chicago, is listed as first overall with a 14:52.1. Assuming Ware won in 15:15.7, Lars Juhl, 33, of Chicago, was second in 15:34.0, and John Hauser, 28, of Columbia, MO, was third in 16:29.2. Second woman (but probably first) was Katie Hauser, 28, of Columbia, MO, in 18:21.9, and third (maybe second) was Kayla Beattie, 17, of Woodstock, in 19:20.7.

Mull, Shemyakina Win Viking Sunset 5K

Brandon Mull of Wheaton won the Viking Sunset 5K in Geneva Wednesday night with a 15:19.80. Mull (20-24), who placed fourth in the 2008 Division III NCAA cross-country championships for Wheaton College, won by just under eight seconds as Emisael Favela of Cicero (30-34) took second in 15:26.52. Mark Phillips (15-19) of Wheaton placed third in 15:37.38. Elena Shemyakina (50-54)of Geneva was the women's winner in 19:52.43. Second went to Jordana Lesavage (15-19) of Streamwood in 20:32.12. Michelle Plummer-Legge (30-34) of Gilberts was third in 20:33.88. There were 523 total finishers.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Verzbicas Cruises at Run for Hunger 5K

Lukas Verzbicas, the amazing runner at Sandburg High School in Orland Park, had a nice race on Sunday at the Run for Hunger 5K in Elmhurst. He blew away the field with a 15:45.48, but Lukas, 17, isn't focused on running right now. At this point in 2010, he is totally committed to triathlon training. He told me he is deep in workouts with full complements of swimming and cycling along with Level "A" running. He added he was not tapered, peaking or anything like that. It simply was a "training" race with fellow members of the Multisport Madness Triathlon Club. That's Lukas posing in front of the start line on Sunday near the Yorkfield Presbyterian Church where the Run for Hunger is based. Second male was Micael Carrera, 18, of Northlake, who ran a 16:40.79, while third went to Mark Sulkin, 21, of Elmhurst, in 16:52.38. It was a sweep for the far west suburbs on the women's side. Kelly Whitley, 17, of Geneva, won in a strong 17:36.87. Jenn Howland, 16, of Elburn, was second in 19:28.15, and Jen Clay, 17, of South Elgin, was third in 20:10.17. All three are members of the Multisport Madness club. There were 303 total finishers in this event that helps local food pantries.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Xtreme10 Called Off

With several inches of rain and heavy flooding, race director John Gervase regretfully has called off this morning's Sam's Club Waterfall Glen Extreme 10. An e-mail from the race will go out later with a possible new date. There is still thunder and lightning out there with a ton of rain as I write this. A few hours later, race official Meghan Kennihan said rescheduling is under consideration. That will require talks with the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. Nothing is for sure right now.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Connelly, Braswell Best at Women's Fest

Sticky summer weather was no problem for Margaret Connelly and Erica Braswell on Sunday (July 18) as they won the 10K and 5K respectively at the Fleet Feet Sports Women's Festival races along the lakefront. Connelly, 18, of Western Springs, won the 10K in 37:16, well ahead of Christina Overbeck, 24, of Chicago, who placed second in 37:44. There was international flair in the bronze position as Simonetta Magnani of Parma, Italy notched third with a 38:52. There were 1,471 finishers in the 10K. In the 5K, Braswell, 29, of Birmingham, AL, also won comfortably, clocking 17:31 to 17:57 for runner-up Heather Prekop, 28, of Chicago. Columba Montes, 31, of Chicago, a regular on the CARA Runner's Choice Circuit as well as other top-tier races such as this one, finished third in 18:14. The 5K had 1,055 finishers.

Elmhurst's Kern Has Sweet Homecoming in Buffalo

Maters runner and coach extraordinaire Charlie Kern went back to his hometown of Buffalo last Friday (July 15) and came back to Elmhurst with the masters championship at the Subaru 4 Mile Chase, an extremely competitive race loaded with Ethiopians and Kenyans. Kern, 41, told me he keyed off of Canadian master Steve Boyd through the first 1.5 miles and then started moving up. He came up on Kenyans Joseph Ekuom (New Paltz, NY) and Gideon Mutisva (Eufaula, AL) late and took down both of them in the late stages of the race. As it turns out, both of the Kenyans that Charlie passed were masters runners, so it was quite a finish for Kern, a nine-time state champion at Sweet Home High School in the Buffalo area. Kern was first masters finisher, placing 12th overall, in 20:35. Ekuom was next (13th) in 20:25, followed by Mutisva (14th) in 20:42 and Boyd (15th) from Kingston, ON, in 20:45. That was quite a quartet of masters that finished well up the ladder in a world-class field that had 1,011 finishers in all. Hats off to Charlie for another job well-done.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Brady, Marinangeli Win 4 on the 3rd (Updated with Quotes)

Kyle Brady of Wheaton (in photo near 2.05-mile turnaround at right against Christian Escareno at left) won the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 3rd race on Saturday, July 3. Brady, 21, a recent graduate of Division III power North Central College, broke away from Christian Escareno of Mount Prospect with just under a mile to go to win the 4-mile race handily in 19:30.
"My goal going into the race was to compete well and do the best that I could," Brady said. "I'm in the middle of training for the Chicago Marathon right now and off of some pretty big mileage weeks so I know my legs aren't completely under me or sharp by any means right now. I just wanted to run hard and see what happens.
"I knew that he's (Escareno) a pretty good runner and we've raced a few times in the past. I try not to worry about anyone else in the race or anything that I can't control. I was just going to run my race and see what everyone else did. It was good he was there because it gave me someone to compete with for over 3 miles.
"I think I did have a shot at the course record (19:07) but it was a very fast time. I had no clue to expect with my legs seeing that I haven't done anything fast so far this year and was just hoping to run well."
Jean Marinangeli, 26, of Arlington Heights (photo) conquered a strong women's field to win in 22:13. "I went out at a 5K effort with the goal to hang on as long as I could to the pace," Marinangeli said. "At the turnaround, seeing everyone, especially my Fast Track teammates, helped carry me through the 5K. The end was just hanging on and feeding off of the spectators." Escareno, 22, made one last push for the lead at the underpass downhill on Mile 3, but Brady wouldn't budge and took control with about eight-tenths of a mile to go. Escareno finished in 19:43 with Matt Blume, 28, of Chicago, taking third in 19:50. Amanda Domich, 25, of Crystal Lake, was second woman in 22:54, and Columba Montes, 31, of Chicago, was third in 23:40. The CARA Runners Choice Circuit race had 737 finishers.

Music Set for Rock N Roll Half

(Press release)
On Saturday, August 1, 2010, more than 25,000 runners, walkers and spectators will celebrate the second annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon benefiting the American Cancer Society, to the sounds of Five for Fighting. The postrace concert will take place at the finish line festival at Grant Park, directly after the race.
For years, John Ondrasik , of Five for Fighing, has been making a name for himself as an evocative and emotional storyteller. With hits like “100 years” and “Superman,” Five for Fighting connects with audiences unlike many other acts of this generation.
The name Five for Fighting comes from the term used for the five minute penalty for fighting in hockey,”I’ve always appreciated the grace and toughness of hockey. It’s one of the few occupations as bruising as the music business”, said Ondrasik, in the aftermath of the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Victory.
The post-race concert at the finish line will feature an opening act, Hello Dave , taking the stage from 7:30 am - 9:45 am. Awards will be handed out at 10:00 am followed by Five for Fighting, who will play from 10:30 am until noon. The post-race concert is free and open to the public.
Even though the race has sold out, limited entries are still available through the event’s charity partner, the American Cancer Society.
By joining the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program, runners and walkers can dedicate their training and participation in the event to the fight against cancer. Members of the DetermiNation endurance program receive special benefits leading up to and the day of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, including free team training, elite race-weekend VIP amenities, invitations to exclusive social events and online tools needed to make achieving fundraising goals easy and fun.
“We are thrilled the event was such a success in its inaugural year that even more runners registered even earlier this year,” said Elizabeth O’Brien, Event Director. “For runners still looking for a way into this year's field, a limited number of entries remain available through the American Cancer Society, our official charity.”
”DetermiNation runners and walkers who participate in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon will not only benefit from a great training and team-building program, they also will be helping to raise critically needed funds so that the American Cancer Society can continue to expand cancer research and support those facing cancer,” said American Cancer Society DetermiNation Co-Chair Ed Dragomer.
For more information about the event, along with a full biography and photos for Five for Fighting, please visit For more information about how to join the growing DetermiNation team, please call 312-279-7243 or visit