Monday, October 25, 2010

Bareikis, Myrda 1st, 3rd at Dells Marathon

The first annual Wisconsin Dells Marathon on Sunday featured two Illinois runners as Archie Bareikis, 24, of Oak Forest, won in 2:43:24, and Jan Myrda, 39, of Palos Heights, took third in 2:56:16. Myrda was right behind Bareikis through the halfway point, 1:22:35.00 to 1:22:35.10, but faded and was passed for the runner-up spot by Kris James, 27, of Wheeler, MI, who finished in 2:50:57. Julie Faylona, 33, was the women's winner in 3:09:28. Congrats to Archie and Jan. I am a big fan of Jan's because he also is a cross-country ski phenom.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tharaud, Manuel Win Frank Lloyd Wright 10K

The Frank Lloyd Wright 10K, serving as the final CARA Runner's Choice Circuit race of the year, was won by Jerome Tharaud, 30, in 32:49 on the streets of Oak Park. On a course with more than a few houses designed by F.L. W., Larisa Manuel, 28, took the women's title in 37:48. Runner-up on the men's side was Brian Grudowski, 29, in 32:59, and third place went to Matt McCulley, 26, in 33:48. Second-place woman was Isabel Polsky, 39, in 40:02, and third went to Lori Hokeness, 29, in 42:24. This race, which had 889 finishers, was a mixed bag of Ciruit and non-Circuit runners. Nice job by everyone. I saw some pretty fast times in the age-group results. A special welcome back to racing must go to 70-year-old Ron Thomas, who ran a great 44:58. In the 5K, David Carter, 25, won in 16:55, and Mary Blankmeier, 11, took the female championship in 20:16. There were 786 finishers.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Akita Wins Fall 50 in Door County

Elmhurst College cross-country and track coach Jim Akita is one-for-one in ultramarathons after winning on Saturday in the Fall 50 up in Door County, WI. Akita won the 50-mile trek from Gills Rock at the tip of the peninsula to Sturgeon Bay in 6:06:41, an average of 7:21 per mile. Second place went to Stuart Kolb, 48, of Green Bay, in 6:18.50. The women's winner was Sonya Decker, 44, of Minneapolis, in 7:14:59. The event also included two-person and five-person relays. There were 240 teams entered. I've run this relay on a five-member team and highly recommend it if you ever get the chance.

Scott, Overbeck Win Go Go Green 5K

Derek Scott last got my attention when he came in and set a course record of 19:07 at the 2009 Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th. Scott, 24, of Lynchburg, Va., came back to town on Saturday and easily won the Peggy Notebaert Go Go Green 5K in Lincoln Park. Scott won it with a 15:31; Jeff Bailey, 25, of Evanston, took second in 15:48; and Jeff Hojnacki, 36, of Chicago, placed third in 16:16. Christina Overbeck, 24, of Chicago, was the women's winner in 17:55. Runner-up honors went to Susanna Rivard, 23, of Indianapolis, in 18:02; and Kalina Michalska, 33, of Chicago, ran third in 18:49. There were 554 finishers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Interview with B.A.A.'s Morse A Must See

Hey, Illinois runners, if you haven't seen it yet, the interview with B.A.A. Boston Marathon executive director Guy Morse on the B.A.A. web site regarding what has transpired this week is very good and worth viewing. It is 7 minutes 56 seconds in length and really presents the picture of what is going on very well. Look for a larger field and tighter standards next year. Morse is a man of great integrity and wants what is best for running and runners. Take a look. It is a lengthy link address, but here it is if you don't go directly to the B.A.A. site.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Boston Demand Exceeds Supply

When Boston Marathon registration was shut down today (Monday) at 4:03 p.m. CDT, it was unprecedented and left a lot of Boston qualifiers stunned and very disappointed.
Last year, registation was open for more than two months. This year, it was just over eight hours with some technical difficulties early in the morning adding to the anxious day at the keyboard. Marathon executive director Guy Morse says everything will be on the table next year, including tighter qualifying standards. Believe me, Guy Morse is a guy who does not like the idea that qualifiers are not getting into the Boston Marathon. He will work to come up with a solution for 2012. What it is, we can only guess as the 2011 race goes ahead under the current rules and qualifying standards. So you're a good runner who has the qualifying time, but you're not entered. What do you do? There are other marathons, and I've already suggested London, Paris and Rotterdam to one good friend. Stay tuned. This is quite a story. You have my total sympathy if you didn't get in. As one writer put it, runners with fast feet but slow fingers on the keyboard, were out of luck today. When I first ran Boston in 1990, there were 6,000 runners. My, how time has changed.

It's Sign-Up-for-Boston Day --It's Filled! Unreal!

If you're qualified and plan to run the 2011 B.A.A. Boston Marathon, you'd better sign up asap. Registration opened today, and I think it will go faster than ever. I'm not qualified, so I can sit and watch it fill from the sidelines. If you plan to run, do it now! One unconfirmed report said registation already was more than 16,000 as 2 p.m. CDT. Update: It is filled. Repeat. It is filled. I don't believe it, but the B.A.A. doesn't lie.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright Run Filled Up

The Frank Lloyd Wright 10K (CARA Runners Choice Circuit), 5K and 5K walk are closed. The events in Oak Park on Oct. 24 have reached their combined 2,500 capacity. Openings still exist for the youth mile as of this posting. I was on the fence to do this race, and the closing makes it easy. I can't do it. In my case, I am third in my age group in the CARA standings, and know I can't get second if my friend and rival John Albanese runs the race. He is faster than I am, and I would have to throw out a race (you're allowed a maximum of nine for scoring) and he wouldn't. However, there might be other runners who could move up a place, especially in the top three overall or in a specific age group, who won't get the opportunity. I hope that isn't the case. If you are doing this run, it is a great one with a fast course and beautiful scenery.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Let the Post-Marathon DQs Begin

Actually, they already have. You know I am vehemently against bib sharing, and now I must add that I blatantly oppose people jumping in to pace friends etc. As I write this, in a quick spot check, two high finishers in the women's 60-64 group are disqualified. Good friend Nancy Rollins has moved up to second as a result. Neither alleged culprit had any splits before the half-marathon mark. When I checked the men's 60-64 group, the one runner I know, Stephen Essig, has moved from 18th to 13th. I'm sure there is much more. What a shame our sport has people who have no regard for result fiascos and potential medical disasters.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saluting Joanie and Locals Who Beat the Heat

Hats off to everyone who survived the high temps at Sunday's 33rd Bank of America Chicago Marathon. For the record, as of now, there were 19,973 male finishers and 16,186 female finishers. That's impresive on a day that was much better for spectating than running. My first salute is to the icon of icons, Joan Benoit Samuelson, who at age 53, ran a 2:47:50 in less-than-ideal conditions. She is amazing and always will be. Now on to the top locals I am able to decipher from the results. I'm sure I am missing people and I hope you let me know.
On the men's side, kudos to Patrick Rizzo, who was 13th in 2:16:12; Kyle Brady, 69th in 2:29:05; Andrew Jellema, 70th in 2:29:23; Eric Wallor, 76th in 2:29:48; and Emisael Favela, 85th in 2:31:26. On the women's side, here's to Tera Moody (we'll take her, even though she lives in Colorado now), 10th in 2:30:53; Claudia Becque, 27th in 2:41:28; Heather Prekop, 54th in 2:50:11; and Jean Marinangeli, 60th in 2:51:16. Here is another of the great local performances. Dave Walters, 55, of Lisle, ran a 2:51.40 to win M55-59. His half-marathon splits, despite the conditions, were virtually identical (1:25:40, 1:26:00).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wanjiru, Shobukhova Show us How to Win -- Again

I've been unable to get to my computer until now. Here are the offficial press releases from the marathon office and from World Marathon Majors on today's incredible race. It was hot for some and hotter for others. It was not a day to run a PR. Congrats to all, starting with repeat champs Sammy Wanjiru and Liliya Shobukhova. Their tactics and strong wills were insurmountable on the streets of Chicago today.

Shobukhova Wins Women’s World Marathon Major Series; Wanjiru Likely Earns
Men’s Series Title with Victory in Chicago

CHICAGO – The 33rd running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon today witnessed a record 38,132 participants start the race and 36,159 runners cross the finish line, two defending champions, and a course record in the men’s wheelchair competition.
“The 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon was the epitome of everything marathons could, and should be,” said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director. “It was one of the most exciting races in the 33-year history of the event and it lived up to its auspicious date of 10-10-10.”
Sammy Wanjiru (KEN) defended his North American record victory at the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon with another impressive sub 2:06:30 effort. His official time of 2:06:24 bested 2010 Virgin London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) and 2010 Boston Marathon champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN) in what was the most competitive Chicago Marathon field ever.
Wanjiru, Kebede, and Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) matched paces through the 35 kilometer mark in a battle of the youngest elite men at 23, 23 and 20 years old, respectively. Lilesa dropped after 35K leaving Wanjiru and Kebede trading leads until the very end when Wanjiru kicked hard at mile 26 to claim victory. Kebede finished in 2:06:43 with Lilesa reaching the podium in 2:08:10.
Wanjiru now holds a 10-point lead in the World Marathon Major Series, all but giving him the title and $500,000 prize, barring an unexpected decision from Kebede to race in New York next month. Kebede would need to finish second or better in New York to overtake Wanjiru.
On the women’s side, Liliya Shobukhova also defended her 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon title while setting a personal record and new Russian record. Shobukhova overtook Astede Baysa (ETH) at the 35K mark and ran solo through the chute, finishing in 2:20:25. Baysa finished second, more than 3 minutes back of Shobukhova at 2:23:40. Maria Konovalova (RUS) took third in 2:23:50, American Desiree Davila finished fourth in 2:26:20 and Irina Mikitenko (GER) rounded out the top five in 2:26:40.
Shobukhova’s second Major victory of 2010—she previously won the London Marathon in April—secured her the World Marathon Major Series title with 85 points.
The men’s wheelchair competition saw 12-time Paralympic Gold Medalist and 12-time World Champion Goal Medalist Heinz Frei (SUI) set a new course record in his Bank of America Chicago Marathon debut. Frei, a 52-year-old race veteran, finished in 1:26:56, outlasting a younger field that featured 9-time Boston Marathon Champion Ernst Van Dyk, who made his Bank of America Chicago Marathon debut.
American Amanda McGrory captured her third Bank of America Chicago Marathon championship in the women’s wheelchair division in 1:47:25, reclaiming victory over her University of Illinois teammate and defending 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner Tatyana McFadden (USA). McGrory won a sprint down the final stretch of Columbus Drive with Wakako Tsuchida (JPN) who crossed two seconds later in 1:47:27. McFadden finished in 1:56:11.

Shobukhova Wraps Up World Marathon Major Win with Victory at Bank of America Chicago Marathon Wanjiru Races to Victory; All but Ensures World Marathon Majors Title

CHICAGO, October 10, 2010- Liliya Shobukhova set a new Russian women's marathon record when she finished in 2 hours, 20 minutes, 25 seconds taking home the Bank of America Chicago Marathon victory and the World Marathon Majors Title. In the men's race, Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya finally broke away from Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia just after mile 26 to win by 19 seconds in 2:06:24.

At the beginning of the day, Wanjiru and Kebede each had 50 points in the World Marathon Major standings. After staying close throughout the race, Wanjiru and Kebede ran side-by-side and traded off the lead at mile 26, before Wanjiru surged to the front and never looked back. His strong finish gave Wanjiru 25 points, bringing his total up to 75 and the lead with only one event, the ING New York City Marathon, remaining in the series. Kebede's second-place finish (2:06:43) gave him 15 points, bringing his total to 65. The only opportunity for Wanjiru to be defeated would be for Kebede to make a quick recovery to run New York, and finish second or better.

In the women's race, Shobukhova took hold of the lead around the 35K mark and did not face any competition the rest of the race, with Astede Baysa of Ethiopia finishing second, over three minutes behind. In addition to a personal best and the Russian women's marathon record, the victory gave her an additional 25 points in the World Marathon Majors standings, bringing her total to 85 and guaranteeing her the title and $500,000 purse.

The top five men and women finishers at the Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York World Championships and Olympic Marathons will earn points in a $1 million two-year series to crown the World Marathon Majors champion. The 2009-10 series will conclude at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 7. The men's and women's champions will both win $500,000. The points breakdown is 1st -25, 2nd-15, 3rd-10, 4th-5 and 5th -1.

The current 2009-2010 World Marathon Majors standings are:

Place Name Country Point Total
1 Samuel Wanjiru KEN 75
2 Tesgaye Kebede ETH 65
3 Deriba Merga ETH 35
3 Emmauel Mutai KEN 35
5 Jaouad Gharib MOR 30

Place Name Country Point Total
1 Liliya Shobukhova RUS 85
2 Irina Mikitenko GER 41
3 Salina Kosgei KEN 36
4 Teyba Erkesso ETH 30
5 Xue Bai CHN 25
5 Bezunesh Bekele ETH 25
5 Atsede Habtamu ETH 25
5 Aberu Kebede ETH 25
5 Derartu Tulu ETH 25

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Locals Set Their Marathon Goals

Sure, there will be a bevy of elites from Africa, Europe and even the United States on Sunday at the 33rd Bank of America Chicago Marathon. But there will be plenty of strong local runners trying to reach high aspirations. Many will be trying to meet Olympic Trials standards (2:19 for men, 2:39 [A] or 2:46 [B] for women). Others will be looking to do well in their age groups. Names like Kyle Brady, Chad Ware and Emisael Favela come to mind. So do others. Dave Schaefers of Fast Track/Dick Pond was kind enough to share some names and numbers from that club. If you're a man trying to break 2:30 or a woman hoping to go under 2:50, please leave a comment on this message. I want everyone who deserves publicity to get it. Here is that Fast Track group:
Eric Wallor ... sub 2:25
Jean Marinangeli... women's Olmypic marathon qualifier (sub 2:46)
Kate DeProsperis... women's Olympic marathon qualifier (sub 2:46)
Ann Schaefers-Coles... top Illinois Masters woman
Alona Banai... women's Olympic marathon qualifier (sub 2:46)
Don't be shy. Let's add to this list.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Field, Wachtel Win Bucktown 5K

Matt Field, 25, of Wheaton, led a parade of fast finishers on Sunday at the Bucktown 5K in Chicago, posting a 15:13 for the victory. Field was followed by runner-up Andy Derks, 30, of Chicago, who ran 15:26, and third-place finisher Emil Bojanov, 26, of Chicago, who ran a 15:47. Women's honors went to Jacki Wachtel, 31, of New Port Richey, FL, in 17:54. Melissa Hardesty, 33, of Chicago, was second in 18:52, and Michelle Densmore, 29, of Chicago, took third in 19:08. As it always does, the Bucktown 5K drew a lot of runners, with 3,535 crossing the line as of this post.

Fall Color 5K Fills Arboretum

The Fall Color 5K at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle had 1,780 finishers on Sunday. What a great success on a cool autumn morning. From a quick perusal of the results, some runners were there to tune up for next week's marathon and many others were there to run in a beautiful place and that's it. Jeff Bailey, 25, of Evanston, won it in 15:49, with Jonathan O'Brien, 23, of Downers Grove taking second in 16:57.9, and Jacek Walasik, 28, of Chicago coming in third in 17:26.7. Alissa Hunt, 27, of Chicago, won the women's race in 18:45.8. Runner-up was Magan Baganz, 33, of Naperville, in 19:12.2, and third went to Joanne Singleton, 38, of Chicago, in 20:18.5. Have you ever run at the Morton Arboretum? It is a gem.

Setzlers Sizzle at Milwaukee

Neither won, but Cari and Chris Setzler , Wonder Lake, IL, made their day at the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon very worthwhile on Sunday. Cari, 32, was second overall woman with a 3:02:24, and Chris, 37, was fifth overall in 2:36:28. The 30th annual Beer Town 26.2-miler was won by Scott Jansky, 37, of Two Rivers, WI, in 2:31:41. Second went to Wynn Davis, 29, of River Falls, WI, in 2:33:47, and Dan Held, 44, of Pewaukee, WI, well-known at big Chicago-area races over the years, took third in 2:34:27. Women's winner was Nacole Fredrickson, 31, of Milwaukee, in 3:01:42, and third was taken by Sue Miller, 36, of West Bend, WI, in 3:04:15. At last count, there were 1,903 finishers in the well-produced event.