Wednesday, December 28, 2011

March Madness Signup Dec. 31; Shamrock Jan. 1

Thse of you who want to run the March 18 Cary March madness half-Marathon in March know you need to get lucky when registration opens at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31. The limit of 1,000 should fill in an hour or two.
Meanwhile the Bank of AmericaShamrock Shuffle 8K on March 25,opens registration on Sunday (at noon) And the Bank of America Chicago Marathon opens registration on Feb. 1. Here is the Bank of America news release:

Registration for the 2012 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will open at 12 p.m.* (CST) on Sunday, January 1, for the Sunday, March 25 event. Chicago's traditional rite of spring for runners and fitness enthusiasts starts and finishes in Grant Park, and travels through Chicago's "Loop," including a mile-long stretch on famed State Street.

The entry fee is $45, and registration will close when the 40,000-participant capacity is reached.

Leading up to race day, the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle Health & Fitness Expo will take place at Chicago's Navy Pier on Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24. The two-day Health & Fitness Expo will feature more than 75 industry-leading exhibitors offering the latest in running and fitness apparel, footwear, nutrition and technology. The Health & Fitness Expo is free and open to the public.

The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle will conclude with its traditional post-race party in Grant Park immediately following the race. The party will include live music, food, beverages and fun for all participants, family, friends and spectators.

More information on the race and registration is available at shamrockshuffle.com.

2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Registration Opens February 1
After you've kicked off the running season at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K this spring, you can put an exclamation point on the end of the year by completing the 35th anniversary Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 7.

Registration for the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will open at 12 p.m. (CST) on Wednesday, February 1, at chicagomarathon.com. Entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and registration will remain open until the event reaches its 45,000-participant capacity. The cost of entry is $150 for U.S. participants and $175 for participants outside the U.S.

* Please note that registration will open at a new time of day this year, beginning at 12 p.m. (noon) rather than 12 a.m. (midnight).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 CARA Runners' Choice Circuit

For those of you who haven't already received information on the 2012 Chicago Area Runners Association Runners' Choice Circuit, here it is. These are the events at which you can score points, see the better runners from all over the area and be guaranteed a very high-quality race.

March 25 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K, Chicago

April 1 The Race That's Good for Life 5K, Oak Park

April 28 Lakefront 10 (Mile) Presented by NovaCare, Chicago

May 6 First Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon, Palos Heights

May 20 Seven Bridges Season Starters 5K, Woodridge

May 26 Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile, Chicago

June 3 Roselle Run for the Roses - Sternberg Lighting 5K, Roselle

June 24 Downers Grove 5 Mile, Downers Grove

July 4 Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, Elmhurst

July 21 Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 Mile, Darien

Aug. 25 DeKalb Corn Classic 10K, DeKalb

Sept. 2 Buffalo Grove Stampede 10K, Buffalo Grove

Sept. 9 Chicago Half Marathon, Chicago

Sept. 22 Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K, Park Ridge

Oct. 7 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Chicago

Oct. 27 Halloween Hustle 5K, Palatine

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Trier Girls 4th, Palatine Boys 5th at Nike Nationals

The New Trier's girls state champion cross-country team (Wilmette Running Club to satisfy the IHSA in post-season, out-of-state competition) placed fourth on Saturday at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, OR. Wilmette tied for third with 182 points but fell to fourth on the sixth-runner tie-breaker. The North Shore powerhouse finished as follows: Meridith Smith (14th in 18:34); Courtney Ackerman (15th in 18:35); Jessica Ackerman (24th in 18:48); Julianna Jackson (62nd in 19:24) and Molly Krueger (67th in 19:27). Sixth and seventh runners were Kathleen Keene (109th in 20:10) and Anna Berglund (127th in 20:37). On the boys side, Palatine XC Club (state champion Palatine) took fifth and Elmhurst XC Club (York) took 13th. Here's the Palatine finish: Peter Tomkiewicz (11th in 15:54); Anthony Gregorio (38th in 16:16); Marcus Garcia (57th in 16:28); Tim Johnson (67th in 16:33) and Tim Meincke (82nd in 16:42). Sixth and seventh runners were Christian Zambrano (126th in 17:14) and Graham Brown (135th in 17:25). For full results, which include great individual performances as well as team results, go to:
http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=13&title_id=187&do=title&folder_id=907

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kate Deprosperis Heading to Olympic Trials

Kate Deprosperis, 32, of Downers Grove, has qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Jan. 14, 2012 in Houston. She ran a 2:45:16 on Sunday at the California International Marathon in Sacramento, getting under the 2:46 USATF "B" Standard to make the Trials field. Deprosperis, who runs for Saucony and is coached by former Trials winner Jenny Spangler, has 40 days to recover and prepare for the trials. That's a tall order, but if I know anyone who can pull it off, it's Kate. After running 1:22:12 for the first half, she hung on for the qualifying time, placing 140th overall and 25th in the women's competition. Other strong but non-trials qualifiers from our area included Suzanne Ryan, 37, of West Chicago, who ran 2:50:06; Adrienne Shields, 32, of Chicago, who ran 2:55:38; Meshelle Rich, 37 of Chicago, who ran 2:56:47 and Christen Meyer, 48, of Western Springs, who ran 2:58:29. ALSO, thanks to eagle-eyed Bob Cisler . . . I missed this one. Christina Overbeck, now of Portland, OR, but a recent resident of Chicago, also qualified with a fantastic 2:44:25! They all deserve a big congrats,and best wishes to Kate and Christina as their dream continues next month in Houston.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Huge Field, Fast Times at Naperville Turkey Trot

I haven't run the Naperville Noon Lions Turkey Trot 5K for several years, but I've run it and I can tell you it's a great race with a good course that is conducive to nice times. This year, the fuield was huge with 7,188 runners crossing the finish line. The top two broke 15 minutes, the next seven broke 16 minutes and the next eight broke 17 minutes! They were flying. The women's field was spectacular as well with the top three finishing within four seconds of each other. Leading the parade was Kyle Brady, 23, of Naperville, who won it in 14:53. That's 4:48 pace for you people keeping track of such things! Next came David McWilliams, 20, of Naperville, in 14:54. The seven who then came in under 16 minutes were: Mitch Gilbert, 19, of Naperville, in 15:01; Mike Spam, 22, of Naperville, in 15:05; Emisael Favela, 34, of Berwyn, in 15:10; Matt Field, 26, of Wheaton, also in 15:10; Ryan Giuliano 26, of Schaumburg, in 15:31; and Collin Fedor, 18, of Wheaton, in 15:35. Women's honors went to Jocelyn Petrella-Gall, 31, of Denver, CO, in 17:52. Second went to Amber Druien, 22, of Naperville, in17:55; and third was taken by Amanda Fox, 17, of Naperville, in 17:56. Fourth-place finisher Jacqui Aubert, 25, of Crystal Lake, also had a strong race with an 18:06. That is some running. The age-group results also are loaded with excellent performances on a great day to run and be thankful for what we can do when we put our minds to it!

Ware Leads Great Field at 3.14 Pie Run (5K-Plus)

Sorry for the delayed post. I have been in Wisconsin, away from reliable Internet. I did run a great turkey trot 5-miler in Green Bay, but that's for another time. The first annual 3.14 Pie Run in LaGrange, put on by The Runner's Soul, was a smash success from all that I have heard. Incredibly (sort of), the top six all broke 16 minutes for a distance slightly longer than a standard 5K. Leading the way was Chad Ware, 27, of Wheeling, who ran a 15:10.7. Next were Mike Ptack, 25, of Elmhust, in 15:10.0; Emil Bojanov, 27, of Chicago, in 15:20.5; Arthur Bareikis, 25, of Oak Forest, in 15:37.1; Miz Carrera, 20, of Cicero, in 15:41.7; and Juancarlito Barrera, 20, of Cicero, in 15:49.9. The women were led by Lindsay Hattendorf, 28, of Crown Point, IN. She ran an 18:20. Second woman was Christy Adduci, 25, of West Chicago, in 19:53,3; and third went to Maggie McLaughlin, 18, of Riverside, in 20:10.9, There were 964 finishers and could have been a lot more if they didn't have a race cap on entries. Kudos to the organizers of a very fine race.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Prodigy Run 5K Strange But Powerful

The new Prodigy Run 5K in Villa Park on Saturday had incredible prize money, which brought out a very top-heavy field with virtually no back of the pack. Most of the big names from local running were in a field of 91 runners. From the get-go, I think some poor planning/editing on the race signmeup form pretty much prevented it from being big. For a race run on Nov. 12, the following is still on the signmeup form:
Pre-Registration Protocol
Pre-Registration Deadline is midnight October 1, 2011 online and mail-in registration must be postmarked by October 1,2011. A LATE REGISTRATION FEE of $5.00 per applicable event will apply to each category.

Why would you have an Oct. 1 deadline for a Nov. 12 race? I e-mailed them about it, but they didn't seem to see the problem. What a huge screw-up, Oh well.
Kudos to the top three men and women who earned $1,000, $500 and $250 respectively. On the men's side it was Kris Gauson, 23, of New York City, winning in 14:48.5. He was followed by Chad Ware, 27, of Wheeling, in 14:52.4, and Shawn Lucas, 27, of Elgin, in 14:58.8. They were moving fast on a course that included limestone trails that can slow you down. The next eight men broke 16 minutes. The top three women were Emma Keenan, 23, home to come, in 17:18.5; Kathryn Hague, 23, of Chicago, in 17:34.5; and Ashley Saunders, 15, of Gardner, in 17:58.7. The race didn't have traditional age groups. It was different. Were you there? I want to hear about it. I couldn't be there because I was putting on a roller-ski race at the same time.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Verzbicas Switches From Running to Triathlon

USA Triathlon News ReleaseJ
Junior World Champion Lukas Verzbicas Commits to Triathlon Full Time
Former University of Oregon runner to join the Elite Triathlon Academy in Colorado Springs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 10, 2011)- Triathlon's reigning Junior World Champion Lukas Verzbicas today announced that he will dedicate himself full time to the sport of triathlon in order to pursue his Olympic dream.

Verzbicas, who was victorious at September's International Triathlon Union (ITU) Junior World Championships in Beijing, will relocate to Colorado Springs, Colo., this fall and join the newly established Elite Triathlon Academy. He also will gain resident status at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Verzbicas will enroll as a student-athlete at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in January 2012 after formally withdrawing from the University of Oregon, where he was a freshman member of the cross country team.

Prior to joining the legendary running program at Oregon, Verzbicas fashioned one of the greatest careers in the history of high school distance running. He was named the National High School Cross Country Athlete of the Year as a sophomore and junior (he graduated early and bypassed his senior year) and set national high school records for the outdoor two-mile and the indoor 5,000 meters. He was just the fifth high school runner ever to break the four-minute mile mark.

"This choice was extremely difficult, but after careful thought and consideration I have elected to follow my heart and commit full time to the sport of triathlon. I look forward to pursuing my dream of one day representing the United States in the Summer Olympic Games," Verzbicas said. "I would like to thank my coaches and teammates at Oregon for welcoming me with open arms this fall. The program has a rich tradition and, with so many talented young runners on its roster, I believe is well positioned to compete for a national championship in the very near future. I wish them nothing but the best."

Verzbicas, who also won the 2011 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championship title, made national headlines this summer when he postponed his running career in order to train for the ITU Junior World Championships and ultimately claim the gold medal in honor of his triathlon club teammate and best friend, Kevin McDowell. McDowell, who placed third at the 2010 event in Budapest, was the returning favorite but had his season cut short after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in March 2011. With his treatments behind him, McDowell is now a student at UCCS and training as a part of the Elite Triathlon Academy.

"We are certainly excited to see Lukas return to the sport of triathlon. He has a very bright future as a member of USA Triathlon's athlete development program and we will support his career to the fullest," said USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach. "The establishment of the Elite Triathlon Academy makes it possible for our best young athletes - including Lukas - to continue on the path of their chosen sport while attaining a college degree. Lukas' decision speaks volumes about how far triathlon has advanced."

The Elite Triathlon Academy, a landmark program that provides the United States' top up-and-coming triathletes the opportunity to receive a premier college education while benefitting from a full-time coach and the nation's best training resources at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, debuted in August 2011 at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs with national-level support from USA Triathlon and the United States Olympic Committee. Prior to the formation of this program, the top junior triathletes in the U.S. often chose to pursue running and swimming at the collegiate level due to the availability of scholarships. The Elite Triathlon Academy will identify potential Olympians and allow them to continue their multisport development throughout their college years with the potential to earn a collegiate scholarship.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hot Cider 8-Mile More Low Key!

A day after the Hot Chocolate mega-run, it was the Hot Cider's turn out at Danada and Herrick Lake Forest Preserves in DuPage County. Frankly, the Hot Cider Hustle 8-Miler is a cool run with a bit of cross-country and a whole lot of nice chopped limestone with twists and turns to keep it interesting. There were 465 finishers and a whole lot of happy people enjoying a very windy day in the woods and on the prairie (you keep a little of each). Nathan Kennedy, 25, of Bolingbrook, won it in 45:01. The aforementioned course that produced a time like that included a half-mile at the start and a quarter-mile at the end on fairly long grass on an equestrian race track. Second was John Knudson, 31, in 47:01.6, and third went to Dan Ostendorf, 37, in 47:56.6. The leading women were Christy Adduci, 25, in 55:06.7; Michelle Smith, 23, in 55:26.0; and Hailey Krzston, 19, in 58:43.3 This race was well-done, and I believe it was produced by the same group that puts on the Schamumburg Thanksgiving weekend half-marathon.

Hot Chocolate 15K, 5K Attract 31,793

On a beautiful day to run in Chicago, the red-hot Hot Chocolate 15K and 5K runs has huge turnouts. Run on wide streets for the first time, the congestion had to be less than in previous years. Winning a close battle in the 15K, Emisael Favela,34, of Berwyn, shaved 90 seconds off his 15K PR with a winning gun time of 48:11. That was three seconds better than runner-up Christopher Rapp, 23, of Urbana (48:14), and nine seconds better than third-place finisher Matt Field, 26, of Wheaton (48:20). Roudnig out the top five were Matt Flaherty, 26, of Chicago, in 49:29, and Charlie Kern, 42 (top master), of Elmhurst, in 50:09. Women's champion was Nicole Camp. 26, of Willowick, OH, in 53:11. She won by a landslide as second-place finisher Leah Scharl, 34, of Clarkston, MI, came across in 57:21. Third was Marisa Mele, 25, of Naperville, in 57:36. These are all gun times, not chip times. There were 13,430 official finishers in this amazing event. The 5K had even more, 18363. Todd Quednau, 29, of Chicago (16:36) and Racheal Marchand, 25, of Valparaiso, IN (18:03), were the winners. Based on times I saw, the course might have run long. Any comments on the 5K course or the 15K course for that matter?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Palatine, New Trier Take Class 3A Crowns

It really wasn't a surprise when Palatine's boys and New Triers' girls ran to the state Class 3A state cross-country championships on Saturday at Peoria's Detweiler Park layout. Both teams had the horses and delivered. Palatine won the boys' competition with 114 points, god enough to beat Downstate O'Fallon, which broke up the usual Chicago-area podium with a runner-up total of 20. Neuqua Valley (Naperville) was third with 144 and York's rebuilding project took fourth with 151. Rounding out the top five was Buffalo Grove with 191. New Trier's girls won easily with 82 points, well ahead of Wheaton-Warrenville South (144), Naperville North (183, won tie-breaker with faster sixth runner), St. Charles East (183) and Prospect (213). Full results are at www.ihsa.org. Congrats to all runners in all classes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sun-Times' State XC Previews Worth a Read

Sun-Times writer Mike Clark offers a nice column this morning on the emergence of Chicago Public League teams on the state level and also provides boys and girls previews for Saturday's state meets in Peoria. The three pieces are all must-reads for you running fans. While York is in a rebuilding year and not favored to win, the Dukes still won their regional and sectional. With coach Joe Newton and a tightly-bunched group of York runners, there's always a strong element of intrigue. Is this the year for Palatine on the boys' side and New Trier on the girls'? The weather should be good and the running great tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CARA Runners Choice Circuit

What are your favorite races on the CARA Runners Choice Circuit? Which races, not on the circuit, should be on it in the future? How important is the circuit? Let's have some input!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chad Ware Wins Marine Corps. Marathon

Chad Ware of Wheeling won the Marine Corps. Marathon today in Washington, D.C. with a great time of 2:19:16. "Oh so close to that sub-2:19 OT (Olympic Trials) Qualifier, but praise God for a good marathon and a win today," Ware wrote on Facebook. Ware, 27, won by 4:30 over runner-up Mike Wardian, 37, of Arlington, VA, who ran 2:23:46. U.S. men's standrds for the 2012 Trials are 2:19 for the marathon, 1:05 for the half-marathon or 28:30 for 10,000 meters. Congratulations to Chad, who leads the male CARA Overall Runners Choice Circuit point standings. Trians, or no Trials (yet), we are lucky to have such a talented runner living in our midst. Photo: Washington Post.

Sliwa, Setzler Beat Wind, Win at Sycamore 10K

As you might have noticed, I've been on a blog break. I'm back mentally, although my running was a bit stale this morning at the Sycamore Pumpkin Run 10K, one of my all-time favorites. With temps at about 41 degrees and a strong southeast wind, we got it in our faces much of the first 3.5 miles. We worked hard and got slow splits, but it seemed pretty universal. Emerging through the breeze and the rewarding tailwind, which showed up on parts of Miles 4, 5 and 6, Max Sliwa, 20, of Yorkville, won in 33:50. Cari Setzler, 33, of Wonder Lake, was the women's winner in 39:41. She knows the course. She's won this race before. Second-place male was Max Cauley, 30, of Bloomingdale, in 34:22; and third-place male was Nathan Kennedy, 25, of Bolingbrook, in 34:34. Runner-up female was Holly Porter, 35, of Oak Park, in 39:51, and third place went to Jacqueline Mayweather, 25, of Schaumburg, in 40:13. The initial count shows 1,645 finishers. Like many others, I was really feeling it out there. I finished and am always happy to just participate when all cylinders are not at their best. It's been a good weekend for running and racing with the Chicago Fall 50 on the south lakefront as well as the Carrera de los Muertos and the Trick or Treat Trot 5K and 10K, on the north lakefront. And then the high school and college cross-country meets. This is an exciting time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marathon 2011

The Bank of Chicago Marathon was full of wonderful moments as Moses Mosop of Kenya and Liliya Shobukhova of Russia blazed to the finish line, Mosop setting a Chicago record and Shobukhova winning here for the third time. As you undoubtedly know, a tragic moment also occurred as a 35-year-old father of two from North Carolina died after going down with about 500 feet to go. It's not the first time this has happened in Chicago. It is sad and does taint the overall joy that typifies a marathon Sunday in Chicago. But as awkward as it is to get back to the results, here goes. Mosop, 26, proved he is for real, winning in 2:05:37. Second went to Wesley Korir, 28, of Kenya, who finished in 2:06:15. You'll remember that Korir was the guy who didn't start in the elite wave two years ago but placed, eventually getting prize money. Third went to Bernard Kipyego, 25, of Kenya, in 2:06:29. Shobukhova, 33, ran her best marathon yet with a powerful 2:18:20. Ejegayehu Dibaba, 29, of Ethiopia, was second in 2:22:09. Kayoko Fukushi, 29, of Japan, was third in 2:24:38. On the local level, Chicago-area runners did quite well. Brandon Mull, 25, of Wheaton, was the top area male with a 2:22:34. He was followed by Brent Alexander, 31, of Chicago, in 2:27:45; Logan Beausoleil, 24, of Gurnee, in 2:27:59; Ryan Giuliano, 26, of Schaumburg, in 2:29:11; and Todd Ptacek, 26, of Chicago, in 2:31:59. Top area women were Christina Overbeck, 25, of Oak Park, in 2:47:07 (great time); Amy Haney, 38, of Libertyville, in 2:50:31; Kristen Heckert, 24, of Sugar Grove, in 2:51:04; Angelina Anliker, 31, of Chicago, in 2:52:24; and Jean Marinangeli, 27, of Schaumburg, in 2:56:03. It's recovery time. Congrats to all who ran. Thanks to all who volunteered.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hydrate and Use Common Sense Sunday

That's the word for Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon. It won't be in the 80s, but it will be in the 70s with full sun. That's warm to hot, depending on who you are. On the open parts of the course, you will be doing a slow bake. Be prepared ahead of time with adequate hydration and don't forget that sunscreen. Temps should be in the high 50s at race time. Take it cautiously early and you'll get dividends later. It's one of the world's great marathons. Make it one of your great marathon days. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chicago Elite Field Fast and Hungry

Race director Carey Pinkowski has done it again with a sparkling field of elite athletes for the Bank of Chicago Chicago Marathon on Oct. 9. The field includes stars from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and, of course, Africa. Get your scorecards ready. Who will have what it takes on race day? Yjrdr runners have done well in the past, but all want more.
Men
Moses Mosop, KEN, 2:03:06
Ryan Hall, USA, 2:04:58
Bazu Worku, ETH, 2:05:25
Evans Cheruiyot, KEN, 2:06:25
Marilson Dos Santos,BRA, 2:06:34
Bernard Kipyego, KEN, 2:07:01
Bekana Daba, ETH, 2:07:04
Atsushi Sato JPN, 2:07:13
Joshua Chelenga,KEN, 2:08:21
Wesley Korir, KEN, 2:08:24
Dickson Kiptolo Chumba, KEN, 2:08:44
Terefe Maregu, JPN, 2:09:03
Takayuki Matsumiya, JPN, 2:10:04
Takashi Horiguchi, JPN, 2:12:05
Kouji Gokaya, JPN, 2:12:07
Joseph Chirlee, USA, 2:12:10
Hironori Arai, JPN, 2:12:17
Masaki Shimoju, JPN, 2:12:18
Jason Gutierrez,COL, 2:13:24
Yuuki Moriwaki, JPN, 2:13:34
Martin Fagan, IRE, 2:14:06
Shawn Forrest, AUS, DEBUT

Women
Liliya Shobukhova, RUS, 2:20:15
Askale Tafa, ETH, 2:21:31
Inga Abitova, RUS, 2:22:19
Benita Willis, AUS, 2:22:36
Wei Yanan, CHN, 2:23:12
Maria Konovalova, RUS, 2:23:49
Christelle Daunay, FRA, 2:24:22
Atsede Besuye, ETH, 2:24:26
Yue Cao, CHN, 2:29:50
Belainesh Gebre, ETH, 2:32:13
Kayoko Fukushi, JPN, 2:40:52
Cruz Nonata da Silva, BRA, Debut

Wheelchair Men
Bleakney, Adam, USA
Chalmers, Ryan, USA
Dodson, Travis, USA
Fearnely, Kurt, AUS
Frei, Heinz, SUI
George, Joshua, USA
Grassi, David, USA
Iniguez, Tony, USA
Kozerak, Rob, USA
Park, Peter, USA
Pike, Aaron, USA
Sieman, Brian, USA
Swoverland, Josh, USA


Wheelchair Women
Dawes, Christie, AUS
Forber-Pratt, Anjali, USA
Frederick, Maggie, USA
Galli, Jessica, USA
McFadden, Tatyana, USA
McGrory, Amanda, USA
Moore, Jill, USA
Roy, Diane, CAN
Scaroni, Susannah, USA

Twin Cities, Milwaukee on Front Burner

Chicago's Bank of America marathon is on the horizon, but a lot of locals will be traveling to Minneapolis-St. Paul and Milwaukee this weekend for those two great marathons. I never have run Twin Cities, but did run the accompanying 5K one year. It's a great atmosphere and is the home of the USATF masters championships. I have run Milwaukee Lakefront four times and have enjoyed it every time. I ran my PR there back in the day -- a 3:06 that included a full bonk after I had been on sub-three pace. Now, if I get under four hours, I'm happy. Good luck to all of you heading north this weekend.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

WR That Counts, Now Focus Shifts to Chicago

In the crazy world of marathons, world records (Geoffrey Mutai's 2:03:02 for instance) at Boston aren't counted because the IAAF thinks there is too much downhill running on the famed Beantown course. So what happened Sunday? A 2:03:38 was run at Berlin by Patrick Makau and will be recognized as the world record because the course is not "downhill." Kudos to Makau. That is a fantastic time. He is to be commended. But in a sport barely followed in the mainstream media, we don't need world records that don't count (Mutai in Boston). I have news for the IAAF that means nothing to them. There is a lot of uphill in Boston that makes it one of the toughest, not easiest, courses in the world. Back to Berlin. Florence Kiplagat debuted with a 2:19:44 to win the women's race. That's quite a first act! Yes, the Kenyans are in control as always. What does all of this mean for Chicago? The lead pack has a fresh 2:03:38 to shoot at. Oct. 9 will be an interesting day here if the weather cooperates.

Escareno, Keenan Speediest at Park Ridge 5K

The 34th Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K has stood the test of time as the 5K with the fast (maybe fastest) course around and definitely the best runners. It was all about quality on Saturday as Christian Escareno, 23, of Mount Prospect, led the 446 finishers with a 15:46.53. The women's field also was won in a great time as Emma Keenan, 23, of Niles, took top honors with a very nice 17:11.99. The top four males got under 16 minutes and the top four females ducked under 18 minutes, showing how good this race is. Second through fourth on the men's side went like this: Matt Baker, 36, Dixon, 15:50.54; Richard Heffron, 28, Chicago, 15:55.97 and Michael Cauley, 30, Bloomingdale, 15:58.72. Two through four for the ladies were: Shannon Ring, 28, Belvidere, 17:39.29; Angelina Anliker, 31, Chicago, 17:45.93 and Jean Marinangeli, 27, Arlington Heights, 17:47.91. Among the other very impressive performances was the 16:24.42 turned in by 49-year-old Mike Egle of Glenview. The age groups were loaded in this big test on the CARA Runners Choice Circuit.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Unknowns (To Us!) Win Fox Valley Marathon

Tim Cunningham and Shannon Bixler made sure their trips to Chicagoland were worth it on Sunday as they won the en's and women's titles at the Advocate Dryer Fox Valley Marathon, which started and finished in St. Charles, but included pavement in Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora and Aurora. Cunningham, 33, of Washington, D.C., won in 2:56:24. Second was the only other runner to break three hours, Richard Hornstrom, 40, of St. Charles, who ran a 2:58:35. Third place was taken impressively by 52-year-old Paul Ciesiun of Frankfort with a time of 3:00:19. I guarantee he's wondering where he could have sliced 20 seconds to crack three hours! Bixler, 24, of El Paso, TX, paced the women in 3:06:10. Runner-up was Ellen Dohan, 22, of St. Charles, in 3:11:37, and third went to Nicole Mitchell, 24, of Lake Forest, in 3:16:42. There were 855 finishers in the marathon, 479 men and 376 women. The half-marathon was won by Dan Montgomery in 1:17:49 and Angie Dudman in 1:34:46. So does anyone out there know Cunningham or Bixler??

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fox Valley Marathoners in Final Taper

The many people doing the Fox Valley Marathon, half-marathon and Fall Final 20 are taking it easy today with conditions tomorrow morning expected to be good. The 7 a.m. start in St. Charles will send runners off on new, but re-USATF certified courses, which include shady, scenic courses in St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora and Aurora. Last year, 17 percent of marathon finishers qualified for Boston. How many actually got in is another story! As the web site says, this race combines small race atmosphere with big race amenities. Have fun and good luck if you're running!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bib Sharing Strikes Again at Chicago Half

How many times do I have to write how I detest bib sharing. The latest fiascos have occurred in the Chicago Half Marathon results. Grace Wasielewski (W55-59), Nancy Rollins (W60-64) and Ted Kohn (M70-74) ran great races and should have been listed first in their age groups in the official results. They weren't because bib sharers, all young, ran in the place of people registered in those age groups and got those people listed as winners. Through research, examination of race photos and other means, another running friend and I have uncovered this stuff and gotten the results fixed (W55-59 is still pending). It's ridiculous. Sorry for the rant.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicago Half Goes to Atmani, Prichard

It was another gorgeous day on the south lakefront Sunday as the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K took place under sunny skies with a good dose of humidity in the air. As of this writing, there were 11,878 finishers in the half-marathon, down a bit from last year. I'll remember a lot from this race on the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, including a great rendition of the national anthem by the wonderful harmony singers in the group "Spirit."
The overall leaders ran very well with Morocco native Abdelaziz Atmani, 30, of New Augusta, IN, taking the overall victory in 1:06:03. A familiar Chicago name, Greg Costello, 30, now of St. Louis, MO, was second in 1:07:53, and Christopher Reis, 30, of Cincinnati, OH, took third in 1:08:15. The top five was rounded out by Thomas Frazer, 30, of Indianapolis, IN, in 1:08:25, and local standout Chad Ware, 26, of Wheeling, in 1:09:02. Plenty of big names locally and regionally followed them. On the women's side, it was a battleShannon Ring of Beccas. Becca Prichard, 32, of Boulder, CO, won it in 1:19:07. She was closely followed by Becca Thompson, 30, of Houston, TX, in 1:19:19. Third went to steady local Jean Marinangeli, 26, of Schaumburg, in 1:20:03, while fourth went to Shannon Ring, 28, of Belvidere, in 1:21:40, and fifth went to Agelina Anliker, 31, of Chicago, in 1:22:16. My personal race was rewarding. I took it easy for six miles and then stepped it up a little and finished strong. I didn't set any records, but I sure felt good at the end. In the 5K, Greg Critchley, 24, of Calgary, AB, won in 16:29. Emma Keenan, 23, of Evanston, was female champ in 17:32. There were 1,681 finishers. This definitely was the day of the half-marathon with other 13.1-milers run near Naperville and in Crystal Lake.

Fort2Base A Remembrance to Remember

From bits and pieces I've seen from noted runners John Garcia, Dave Zimmer, Susan Degnan and Mark Buciak, to name a few, the 10 nautical miles (11.2 actual running miles) between the former Fort Sheridan and Great Lakes Naval Training Center made for a wonderful run on Sunday morning to remember the victims of 9-11. Starting near Highwood and finishing near North Chicago, Corey Duquette, 29, of San Diego, CA, won it in 1:05:09. Kristine Jennings, 26, of Mundelein, was first woman in 1:14:50. Jared Rothlauf, 25, of Arlington Heights, was second overall in 1:06:08, and Nickolaus Early, 31, of Chicago, was third in 1:07:23. Runner-up woman was Sarah Glick, 23, of Libertyville, in 1:21:30. Third went to Colleen Burzynski, 22, of Elmwood Park, in 1:25:29. There were 784 finishers in the special event on a special day.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fruin, Bednarski Take Oak Brook Half

Mark Fruin and Katlyn Bednarski were the champions of the Oak Brook Half Marathon on Monday in the posh west suburb. Fruin, 25, of Elmhurst, won on the pavement/chopped limestone course in 1:11:00.2. He was followed by Elmhurst College coach and local standout James Akita, 31, of Elmhurst, in 1:11:11.8. Third overall went to Todd Quedau, 29, of Chicago, in 1:12:42.5. Bednarski, 23, of Des Plaines, a former Elmhurst College standout, took the women's title in 1:26:12.2. Next was Colleen Sullivan, 30, of Clarendon Hills, in 1:26:36.9, and third was taken by Abby Gabrys, 27, of Oswego, in 1:27:06.7. There were 1,166 finishers with 624 males and 537 females crossing the finish line. It was a beautiful day to run with temperatures around 60 degrees with light northeast winds. Fall was in the air. Not bad after a pretty warm July and August. Race executive Tom Hepperle pulled off another good one.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ware, Schaefers-Coles Win Stampede

Chad Ware, 26, now of Wheeling, and Ann Schaefers-Coles, 46, of Cary, were the winners on Sunday at the Buffalo Grove Stampede 10K. On the CARA Runners Choice Circuit for the first time, the race drew some big names. Ware won with a strong 31:41.7, while Schaefers-Coles produced a 39:07.1, as she and the next two female finishers showed younger runners how it's done. Tammy Lifka, 41, of Glen Ellyn, was second in 39:23.9, and another outsanding 46-year-old, Sanya Syrstad of Glen Ellyn, was third in 39:37.3. All I can say is that is some kind of running by a trio of 40-something women! Congrats to all three. On the men's side, Emisael Favela, 34, now of Berwyn, was runner-up in 33:13.6, and Mac McCulley, 27, of Volo, was third in 33:53.8. And the men's masters also were on display as Mike Egle, now, 49, of Glenview, ran a great 36:03. There were 489 finishers in this event, which also featured a non-circuit 5K.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Early Line on Big Weekend

Labor Day Weekend traditionally features some big Chicago-area races as well as some nice community-oriented events. The biggies are the Buffalo Grove Stampede on Sunday and the Oakbrook Half-Marathon on Monday. Buffalo Grove, always strong because of prize money, is now on the CARA Runners Choice Circuit for the firsttime. A new 5K race in Schaumburg on Monday also looks enticing, and a quick look at the Chicago Athlete race calendar (right side of this page) will show the rest. I do want to give the Park Forest Scenic 10M and later 5M a formal R.I.P. Those were great runs. Now, they sadly are a thing of the past. Have fun running this weekend. All races are still open for late registration.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jonaitis, Aubert Take Half-Madness in Batavia

The well-done Peapod Half-Madness 13.1 Half-Marathon in Batavia has some well-done performances by winners Jeff Jonaitis and Jacqui Aubert. Jonaitis, 30, of Tinley Park, ruled the race with a 1:09:00. Aubert, 25, of Crystal lake, led the women in 1:22:46. Richard Heffron, 28, of Chicago, was runner-up male in 1:10:59, and Jeff Bailey, 26, of Evanston, took third in 1:11:24. The second-place woman was masters star Kim Castner, 48, of Naperville, who posted a 1:23:12, not far off Aubert's final time. Third went to Kristen Schneider, 20, of Bartlett, who ran 1:25:03. There were 1,012 finihsers in this far-west suburban event. Congrats to all as some of you prepare for a fall marathon.

Brady, Marinangeli Win Corn Classic 10K

Saturday's DeKalb Corn Classic drew good runners from all over, but two familiar names came out on top as Kyle Brady of Naperville and Jean Marinangeli of Schaumburg topped their fields in this always-tough race. Brady, 23,, was overall winner in an outstanding 30:54,80, beating runner-up Chad Ware, 26, of Wheeling, who ran an excellent 31:11.65. Third went to Ryan Jacobs, 22, of Roscoe, in 31:36:20. I'm 90 percent sure Ryan is son of Jeff Jacobs, one of the great runners ever to set foot in northern Illinois. Marinangeli, 27, of Schaumburg, ran a very strong 35:52.40 to wi the women's competition. Shannon Ring, 28, of Belvidere, was second in 36:45.85, and Jen Paul, 29, listed from Iowa, was third in 37:58.20. There were 532 finishers. If you scroll through the results on the rae's wqeb site, you'll see some big names throughout the age-group results. Great job by all.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Corn Classic Readies for 30th Run

Always on the fringe for most Chicago-area runners, the DeKalb Corn Classic (formerly the Cornfest) 10K always makes the trip to corn country worth every kernel. This year's version is set for 7:55 a.m. this Saturday in the town known for the invention of barbed wire and the location of Northern Illinois University. The race draws a unique mix of talent because it is on four circuits: CARA's Runner's Choice; the Starved Rock Runners; Fox Rivers Trail Runners; and Northern Illinois Trail Runners. There also is a nice 3K run/walk, but that's not for circuit racers. As of now, I doubt I will get there. This is the year of race conflicts for me. If youaven't run it, try it. It's a great event in a semi-rural setting. The race was founded in 1981 and missed one year because of flooding. If you're running, good luck.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shobukhova Trying for Chicago Three-peat

(From the Bank of Chicago Marathon Media Dept.)
Defending Champion Liliya Shobukhova Returns to Chicago to Compete for Her Third Straight Title
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced that two-time defending champion Liliya Shobukhova will return to compete for her third straight victory, a feat that has never before been accomplished at Chicago’s fall classic. The Russian Olympian and national record-holder has dominated the flat and fast streets of Chicago for the past two years, crushing the competition with a devastating kick in 2009, and using patient, measured tactics to outlast her competition in 2010. A victory at the 34th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9 would put Shobukhova in a class by herself as the owner of three consecutive titles.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Out-of-Towners Rule Rock 'N' Roll Half

The 2011 Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon is in the books, and this was a destination race from the get-go for some very talented runners. Way to go to all of you who paraded through downtown and along the lake on a good day in the Windy City. I didn't run, so I am anxious to hear what you thought of ther course. It looked good on paper and computer screens. Officially, subject to revision, there were 9,480 female finishers and 5,779 males. This is becoming a very different sport from the male-dominated one I got into many years ago! At any rate, actually a fast one, Josh Glaab of Superior, CO, won the overall crown in a very nice 1:09:03. Altitude training does have its advantages! Second was Brendon Moody of Van Wert, OH, in 1:09:57, and third went to Curtis Begley of Boulder, CO, in 1:10:46. First local runner was Neal Naughton of Chicago, who finished sixth overall in 1:12:11. That's still darned good. The women's field was commanded by Claire Hallissey of Arlington, VA, who ran a 1:14:34. I don't know Claire, but that is very fast. Kristin Fryburg Zaitz of Broomfield, CO, was runner-up in 1:19:07, and good local star Suzanne Ryan of West Chicago was third in a very strong 1:19:50. A parade of local and regional powers followed in both genders, but not all were there because the race was not on the CARA Runners Choice Circuit this year. Let me know how it went.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Half Takes Center Stage

Sunday morning's Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half-Marathon has had many fresh beginnings over the years, but this year's stands out because it features a new course that will take the field of thousands predominantly on city streets and away from the bike paths that have been too crowded for this race in years gone by. Race time is 6:30 a.m. from Columbus Drive at Butler Field in Grant Park. The new course was designed by former Olympic marathon runner Alan Culpepper, who has run in Chicago a few times. It looks great on paper and should be the same when runners hit the pavement on Sunday. Good luck to everyone running this headline event.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Run for Hunger Weathered Out

Race organizers of the Run for Hunger 5K in Elmhurst tried hard to pull off their race this morning, but the lightning proved to be persistent, and after a one-hour delay, the decision was made not to have the race in the name os safety. This is never an easy call, but I really think they made the right one. They still had the raffle and offered post-race food to everyone. This is a class act, race or no race.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Now That Was Xtreme!

Today's Xtreme10 miler at Waterfall Glen was jinxed again by heavy rain in the pre-dawn hours and subsequent flooding, but it didn't stop runners in this already difficult CARA Runners Choice Circuit race. To say conditions were tough would be an understatement. Standing water in the open field section, a wet and eroded trail and yes, the bridge under troubled water at about 1.5 miles. It was incredible, funny and slightly scary as we turned right to cross the short footbridge early in the race, only to find water raging over it. I think we were in close to a foot of water with a pretty strong current. I hung onto the person in front of me as we walked across. The shoes and socks would have been wet anyway, but they got a good early soaking. The breathing was never at full throttle as the high humidity wreaked havoc with many a finely tuned machine out there. It was an adventure in running, taken to the Xtreme by Illinois standards. Somehow, the really good runners really ran well despite everything. Kyle Brady. 23, of Naperville was the winner in 53:48.6. He was followed by Tyler Jermann, 18, also of Naperville, in 54:04.6. Emisael Favela, 34, of Berwyn,grabbed third in 54:51.5. On the women's side, Jean Marinangeli, 27, of Schaumburg, was the class of the soggy field in 1:02:31. Margaret Connelly, 19, of Western Springs was the runner-up in 1:04:11, and Angelina Anlika, 31, of Chicago, took third in 1:05:02. Some impressive masters performances were turned in by 40-and-over powers Dave Wilson, 42, of Brookfield, who ran a 58:01, and Tammy Lifka, 41, of Glen Ellyn, who posted a 1:08:27.1. Overall, there were 749 finishers on a very tough day to just park the car in the muddy field. Race organizers did a great job of pulling it off after another huge rainfall made things very difficult.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Run for Hunger 5K

Sunday's fifth annual Run for Hunger 5K in southeast Elmhurst is a great run for a great cause. All runner proceeds go to local food pantries, and these days, there is a big need. Although I won't be at full strength, having run the Waterfall Glen Xtreme10-miler the day before, I will get from the starting line to the finish line on Sunday morning in Elmhurst. You can continue to sign up online, but you can't get your packet ahead of time unless you signed up before Tuesday (The Runner's Soul, 124 N. York). Here are the race vitals:
Run for Hunger, 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, July 24 at 8:30 a.m. Yorkfield Presbyterian Church, 1099 S. York Rd., Elmhurst, IL.
USATF certified. Discount for CARA members. All participants receive a custom-designed T-shirt, a goody bag, post-race refreshments and a chance to win great door prizes. Proceeds benefit local food pantries. Call 630-833-6600 or go to www.run4hunger.com

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rollins 1st from USA in F60-64 at Worlds

Nancy Rollins from Evanston ran a 3:36:15 on Sunday to place second in the F60-64 age group at the World Masters Championships marathon in Sacramento, CA. Nancy was first runner from the USA in her age group. Way to go again, Nancy! Also, Chris Nemeth, who also is from Evanston, ran 3:31:32 and placed ninth out of 23 in the M60-64 group. He was third runner accross the line in his age group from the United States. Awesome, Chris! Fantastic.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kern, Rollins First from USA at World Masters

Elmhurst's Charlie Kern and Evanston's Nancy Rollins didn't win but were the first Americans in their events this past week at the World Masters Athletics (Track and Field) Championships in Sacramento, CA. Kern, heavily involved in the July 24 Run4Hunger 5K in Elmhurst, made it to the finals of the M40 1,500 and then finished second out of 16 in the final. Charlie, 42, ran a 4:04.33, losing to Rich Tremain, 40, of Canada, who won with a 4:03.37. Rollins, 64, placed fourth overal in the W60 10,000 meters with a 45:57.27. She lost to two runners from Great Britain and one from New Zealand, but none from the USA. She isn't finished. She is running the marathon tommorow at 7 a.m. Chicago Time. So is her fellow Evanston Running Club distance ace Christopher Nemeth in M60. Both are on the Fossil Velocity relay team I rave about each year during the Ragnar Madison-Chicago relay. I am sure there are more locals competing in Sacramento. There is no way for me to know. Please let me know and we'll give them the recognition they deserve. Way to go, Charlie! Way to go, Nancy, and good luck Nancy and Chris!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pair of Summer Beauties Tonight

Two of the best summertime races in Chicago take place tonight. They are the Bastille Day 5K and the Chicago Fire Fighters Run for the Kids 5K. If you're down in the city and have your gear, get out therte and run! I'm up in Door County where I'll be in charge of a water station on Sunday at the Door County Triathlon. I'll get to service people on the 11th mile of their run in a hot, humid half-ironman. The race has added water, ice and additional stations. It will be something, but I think everyone is prepared. As for pure running in the Chicago area, the next big one on a lot of personal calendars is the Xtreme 10-miler at Waterfall Glen near Darien on Saturday, July 23. I'll be there.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Spain, Boyle Capture 2011 4 on the 4th

Mike Spain and Kyle Brady know each other well from their North Central College connection, and on Monday at the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, they stuck together pretty much from the start to the finish. Neither could break the other and it looked like a dead heat, but Spain was the official winner with Brady, the defending race champion second. Both were given the same time: 19:31. Spain, 22, of Schaumburg, and Brady, 22, of Naperville, broke away from a pack of 10 runners near the two-mile mark and worked off of each other the rest of the way. Matthew Flaherty, 26, of Chicago, was third in 19:49; Tyler Jermann, 18, of Naperville, was fourth in 19:54; and Eric Wallor, 28, of Chicago, was fifth in 20:08. The women's race was won by Elizabeth Boyle, 23, of Elmhurst with a 22:26. That was just good enough to beat Jean Marinangeli, 27, of Schaumburg, who ran 22:28. Columba Montes, 32, of Chicago, placed third in 22:53; Amanda Laesch, 23, of Wheaton, placed fourth in 23:05; and Kathryn Hague, 23, of Chicago, placed fifth in 23:40. The top three men and women earned $200, $125 and $75 and received certificates for free Saucony Shoes redeemable at The Runner's Soul in Elmhurst. Some great runners in all age groups took to the streets of Elmhurst on a day with tolerable heat and humidity. There were 809 official finishers in the race, which is part of the CARA Runner's Choice Circuit.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Giuliana, Poremba Win Race to Taste

Sorry for the late post. I've been tied up with the final details of putting on the Community bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th. Among the many races this past weekend, the HumanaRace to Taste downtown stood out. Accolades go to the winners, who this year were Ryan Giuliano and Denise Poremba. Giuliano, 26, of Schaumburg, who has been doing triathlons, double races etc. etc., won in 15:52. He was followed by Derek Holland, 34, of Chicago, another well-known name on the local scene, who ran a 16:15. Nic Aubert, 23, of Crystal Lake, was third in 16:33. Poremba, 48, of Bridgeview, ran an 18:34. For now, I'll assume that's correct. That's a great time for a masters woman runner. Runner-up was Elizabeth Bilitz, 25, of Chicago, in 19:34, and third was taken by Stephanie Maisel, 29, of Chicago, in 20:06. There 1,149 finishers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mosop Likes What He Sees in Chicago

Could he get into the 2:02s?
Kenya's Moses Mosop, the debut marathon record holder, announced this week he will run the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, aiming to improve upon his historic first marathon. Mosop's time of 2:03:06 at the 2011 Boston Marathon is the fastest marathon ever run by a first-timer and the second fastest marathon in history. After taking a course tour in Chicago with Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski, Mosop believes he can capitalize on Chicago's flat and fast route and energetic neighborhoods to run even faster in his second attempt at the marathon distance on October 9.

Mosop's Boston time broke the previous debut record of 2:05:50 set by Kenya's Evans Rutto at the 2003 Chicago Marathon. Mosop's performance ranks as the second-fastest marathon all-time behind fellow Kenyan and 2011 Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai's 2:03:02.

"I was very pleased with my performance at the Boston Marathon, especially since it was my first marathon. In my second marathon, I want to run even faster," said Mosop. "I feel that the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is where I have the best opportunity to do that. I like the course, I feel strong in my training and I am looking forward to coming back to Chicago for this great event."

Mosop recently set a new 30-kilometer world record at the Prefontaine Classic track meet in Eugene, OR., on June 3. His time of 1:26:47 was more than two minutes faster than the previous record set in 1981 by Japan's Toshihiko Seko, the 1986 Chicago Marathon champion. Prior to running his debut marathon, Mosop was a 2004 Olympian in the 10,000 meters. He won the bronze medal in the 10,000 at the 2005 World Track & Field Championships, and a silver medal at the 2007 World Cross Country Championships.

"Moses is one of the top runners in the world and his performance at the Boston Marathon this past April was truly amazing," said Pinkowski. "Moses is very athletic and I feel he can go even faster on our course. His track and cross country credentials are impressive and it is that blend of inherent speed and strength that has traditionally produced historic performances at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Familiar Face in Steeplechase

I was watching the 3,000-meter steeplechase preliminary heats Thursday night at the U.S. Track and Field Championships, and who was among those who moved on to the finals? It was none other than Derek Scott, the winner of the 2009 Community bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th. When he came to Elmhurst and won the 4-miler produced by the Elmhurst Running Club, he set the current course record of 19:07. When I met him, I found him to be a perfect gentleman. Her had come up from Bloomington, IN, to run the 4-miler that takes place this year on July 4 (www.4on4th.com). In Thursday's steeplechase prelim, Scott ran an 8:41.02, giving him the 8th-best qualifying time of 14 who made the final. I now have someone to root for in the steeple final. Go, Derek, go!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Good Times at Race Against Hate

Saturday's Ricky Byrdsong Race Against Hate in Evanston brought out a great cross-section of runneers from throughout the Chicago area. Diversity in running, and in life, is much of what this event is all about.In the 5K, Emma Keenan, 23, was the female winner in 17:18. Next came Columbua Montes, 32, of Chicago, in 17:34; and third was taken by Briana Boehmer, 32, of Waukegan, in 18:09. The men's 5K was taken by Matthew Marol, 20, of Evanston, in 15:36. Ryan Karnes, 19, of Glencoe, was second in 16:36. He was followed by Michael Boehmer, 31, of Waukegan, in 17:02. The 10K female champion was April Likhite, 39, in 37:39. Runner-up was Natalie Fenn, 21, in 39:25; and third was taken by Elise Tropiano, 24, of Evanston, in 40:17. In the male 10K, Daniel Kittaka, 23, of Chicago, was overall winner in 34:30. Christopher Schmidt, 36, of Evanston garnered runner-up honors in 34:42; and Nathan Kennedy, 26, of Bolingbrook, took third in 35:17. There were 1,472 finishers in the 5K and 709 in the 10K. Nice job by everyone!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

North Shore Half -- Whole Lot of Quality

Sunday's North Shore Half Marathon had some big-NAME overall and masters finishers as well as in the individual age groups. Here are the top overall and masters finishers. It's great to see Jenny Spangler on the top masters rung. She is one of the giants in local racing lore. There were 2,518 finishers in the half and another 795 in the 5K.
FEMALE OVERALL RESULTS
Place Name No. S Ag Div City St Guntime Pace
1 BELAINESH GEBRE 2909 F 23 F2024 FLAGSTAFF AZ 1:14:52 5:43
2 ELIZABETH BOYLE 2585 F 23 F2024 ELMHURST IL 1:17:06 5:54
3 CAMILLE HERRON 2298 F 29 F2529 WEST LAFAYETTE IN 1:17:40 5:56
4 ERIN MOFFETT 1828 F 29 F2529 SEATTLE WA 1:18:22 5:59
5 EMMA KEENAN 2936 F 23 F2024 NILES IL 1:19:38 6:05

MASTER FEMALE OVERALL RESULTS
Place Name No. S Ag Div City St Chiptim Pace

1 JENNY SPANGLER 2082 F 47 F4549 LAKE VILLA IL 1:25:16 6:31
2 SANYA SYRSTAD 2784 F 45 F4549 GLEN ELLYN IL 1:25:52 6:34
3 ANN SCHAEFERS-COLES 2991 F 46 F4549 CARY IL 1:27:36 6:42

MALE OVERALL RESULTS
Place Name No. S Ag Div City St Guntime Pace

1 EZKYAS SISAY 1567 M 22 M2024 FLAGSTAFF AZ 1:03:58 4:53
2 MOSES WAWERU 1582 M 33 M3034 SUN PRAIRIE WI 1:04:05 4:54
3 BENSON CHERUIYOT 1581 M 28 M2529 CRYSTAL LAKE IL 1:04:21 4:55
4 DANIEL KIRWA 2393 M 24 M2024 SEARCY AR 1:04:46 4:57
5 MARK FRUIN 2068 M 25 M2529 ELMHURST IL 1:06:55 5:07

MASTER MALE OVERALL RESULTS
Place Name No. S Ag Div City St Chiptim Pace
1 TED BOWLES 2844 M 42 M4044 BARTLETT IL 1:15:47 5:48
2 MATTHEW ABBOTT 2064 M 43 M4044 ARLINGTON HEIGH IL 1:17:17 5:54
3 ROB CHENOWETH 2816 M 42 M4044 CHICAGO IL 1:17:33 5:56

LaGrange Rocks Draws Strong Field

Friday night's LaGrange Rocks for Youth 5K had some tough runners tucked in the field as 599 crossed the line. Winning overall was Emisael Favela, 34, of Cicero, in a very solid 15:39.4. He was followed by Dave Wilson, 42, of Brookfield, who mastered the course in 16:04.5. Jeff Bailey, 26, of Evanston, was third in 16:13.3, and Kevin Keegan, 25, of Chicago, was fourth in 16:23.8. Jacqui Giuliano, 25, of Schaumburg, was first woman in 17:58.3. Cecelia Dietzen, 29, of Lombard, was second in 18:34.1; Liz Driscoll, 24, of Lagrange Park, was third in 18:38.1; and Katlyn Bednarski, 23, of Des Plaines, was fourth in 18:40.3. This race also was sprinkled with some strong performances throughout the age-group results. Nice job!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sub-4 Lukas V. Joins Elite Historical ranks.

What a day for Lukas Verzbicas in New York today. He ran a 3:59.71!
This story is written by Bill Carey of SI.com

NEW YORK -- Lukas Verzbicas sat alone at a table checking his phone, still smiling 30 minutes after he closed out what might be the best high school distance running career ever with a 3:59.71 mile at the adidas Jim Ryun High School Dream Mile at Icahn Stadium in New York City.

The 18-year-old recent graduate of Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Ill., was already in rarefied air before he became just the fifth U.S. high school runner to ever break four minutes on Saturday. He won five national championships between December and March, and last weekend, he shattered the national high school outdoor two-mile record by five seconds when he ran 8:29.46 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. But even for Verzbicas, the sub-4 showing was "unreal."

"For me, this is the most impressive win," he said, "just because it was so difficult and because of the conditions. It was just so hard to do. The fact that I did it made me really proud of that."

He vowed to break four minutes in the mile before he graduated high school, but his splits were slow enough halfway through the Dream Mile that he momentarily stopped thinking about his goal. The 6-foot, 135-pound runner had the cool temperatures he wanted, but the wind coming down the homestretch made his task more difficult, and the 2:02 split for the first half mile was not what he planned.

He expected to take the lead from the pacer, but he hit a snag there, too, as California state champion Jantzen Oshier kept a small advantage. Verzbicas didn't move ahead for good until about 700 meters to go. He put a small gap on the field, but New Jersey's Edward Cheserek, Indiana's Austin Mudd and California's Elias Geydon kept within reach. "I couldn't have done it without all those guys," Verzbicas said.

As he made the first turn of the final lap, Verzbicas flashed a small smile, but at that point, he was only concerned with winning the race. "I thought with around 600 to go that I'm not going to go for a time anymore," Verzbicas said. "I did not know until the last 50 meters. I was really hurting that last lap."

When he saw 3:52 on the clock halfway down the final stretch, he battled his way to the line with a quarter second to spare. Verzbicas said after winning last year's Dream Mile in 4:04 that he thought he planned to return to the meet and run sub-4. He told SI.com last month that if the conditions were right, "Why shouldn't it be possible?" But the reality of the feat was still more difficult than he expected.

"Until the race started, I thought this was going to be effortless and I was going to do it," he said. "But once the race got started, it was actually harder than I thought."

Verzbicas, who moved to the United States from Lithuania when he was 8, will now skip the outdoor national meets to prepare for the triathlon junior world championships in Beijing in September. He might even be a better triathlete than runner, having finished fourth at the world championships last year.

But he's in special company on the track. The race's namesake, Jim Ryun, accomplished the feat in 1964 to become the first high school runner to break the four-minute mark. He was on site for the race, and he congratulated Verzbicas afterward. "When it came time to push that last 600, he did," Ryun said of Verzbicas' showing. "With a 100 meters to go, I thought he had a very good chance for it. He made the race in the middle when you had to go with 600 yards and start pushing. I'm just very excited for Lukas."

Two other runners, Tim Danielson in 1966 and Marty Liquori in 1967, went sub-4, but 34 years passed without another runner beating the mark. In 2001, Alan Webb broke four in January and set the high school record of 3:53.43 at the Prefontaine Classic.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/more/06/11/verzbicas.mile/index.html#ixzz1P1FUlBpd
BOYS' RESULTS
1 VERZBICAS Lukas USA 3:59.71 PB
2 MUDD Austin USA 4:01.83
3 GEDYON Elias USA 4:02.08 PB
4 CHESEREK Edward KEN 4:03.29
5 OSHIER Jantzen USA 4:06.51 PB
6 CARPOWICH Matt USA 4:07.42
7 BURCHAM Jacob USA 4:07.66 PB
8 ROSA Joe USA 4:07.66 PB
9 MOUSSA Ammar USA 4:08.05 PB
10 EVERETT Daniel USA 4:08.14
11 KADDURAH Omar USA 4:09.52
12 WILLIAMS Blake USA 4:10.01 PB
13 ROSA Jim USA 4:11.11
14 ORMAN Billy USA 4:11.68
MANLEY Connor USA DNF

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Beattie, Verzbicas in Dream Miles Saturday

Kayla Beattie of Woodstock and Lukas Verzbicas of Sandburg are in stellar fields announced today for the High School Dream Miles at the adidas Grand Prix meet in New York on Saturday. The meet begins at noon, Central Time. Check out these fields:

Girls' Dream Mile
Kayla Beattie Woodstock IL
#2 in nation at 3200m
Alli Billmeyer San Diego CA
Won adidas Meet of Champions; #4 in nation 1600m
Lindsay Crevoiserat Glastonbury CT
#2 in nation in the mile
Cami Chapus Los Angeles CA
#2 in nation at 1600m
Kat Delaney San Juan Capistrano CA
#3 in nation at 1600m
Wesley Frazier Ravenscroft NC
#9 in nation at 1600
Eleanor Fulton Highlands Ranch CO
2009 World Youth Championships, 6th in steeplechase
Shelby Houlihan Sioux City IA
#5 in nation at 1500m
Molly McNamara Red Bank NJ
# 6 in nation at 1600m
Maddie Meyers Seattle WA
4:41.93 win in 2010 race here fastest of year in U.S.
Amy-Eloise Neale Snohomish WA
#1 in nation in the mile (4:48.01); #4 1500m, 3200m
Angel Piccirillo Homer City PA
#3 in nation in the mile; Penn Relays winner
Haley Pierce Wilmington DE
#1 in nation at 3000m (9:16.35); #3 at 1600m
Ajee Wilson Neptune NJ
#2 in nation at 800m (2:05.25)

Boys' Dream Mile
Jacob Burcham Ona WV
#6 in nation 1500m; #6 in mile
Matt Carpowich Torrey Pines CA
#2 in nation in mile
Edward Cheserek Newark NJ
#1 in 5K (14:02.33); NJISAA prep champ 1600m, 3200m
Daniel Everett St. Louis MO
2011 Kansas Relays Champion 1600m
Elias Gedyon Los Angeles CA
2010 CA champion 1600m; #3 in nation 1600m, 3200m
Omar Kaddurah Grand Blanc MI
#1 in nation 1500m (3:47.61)
Ammar Moussa Arcadia CA
#2 in nation 3200m; #3 in mile
Austin Mudd Greenwood IN
#1 in nation 800m (1:49.25); #2 1600m
Billy Orman Tuba City AZ
#1 in nation 3200m (8:48.63); #4 1600m
Jantzen Oshier Mission Viejo CA
#1 in nation in mile (4:06.81) and 1600m (4:00.83)
Jim Rosa Plainsboro NJ
3rd here last year in #3 time in nation for 2010
Joe Rosa Plainsboro NJ
2010 2-mile National Champion outdoors
Lukas Verzbicas Orland Park IL
Defending champ; Nat'l HS Record-holder 2 mi, 5000m(i)
Blake Williams Durham NC
#3 in nation 1500m; winner Golden South Classic

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ragnar Relay Draws 362 Teams

Formerly the MC 200 from Madison to Chicago, Ragnar has taken over this popular relay that takes teams of 12 or 6 runners from downtown Madison, WI, across Wisconsin to Milwaukee and then south to Montrose Harbor on Chicago's North Side. A record 362 teams are entered, and the weather appears to look good right now with cool temps and rain holding off. I am on Fossil Velocity, the team in orange shorts that is made up of runners 50 or older exclusively. Our lineup is different every year, but we have a similar and simple mission every time: run fast and have fun. We'll try our best. That's for sure! I've got my headlamp, reflective vest and blinkie lights all packed and ready to go. Good luck to all of the other teams. We'll see you on the trail.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

13.1 . . . A Tough and Sad Day

I've hesitated to write about the 13.1 Half Marathon on Saturday. I wasn't there and have not had contact with any race officials. What I do know is what I've heard. The race was stopped around the two-hour mark, maybe before, because of the oppressive heat. From what I have been told a 22-year-old runner died and 10 other people were taken to the hospital. It seems to me they made the correct call by halting it. You can find results by clicking on the Chicago Athlete results at the right.

Escareno, Beattie Top Tough Fields at Roselle 5K

Christian Escareno ran a 15:41.0 and led a parade of six runners under 16 minutes (photo), and Kayla Beattie fresh off her sensational high school season, blew away the women's field with a 16:29.3 on Sunday at the Sternberg Lighting Run for the Roses 5K in Roselle. The CARA Runners Choice Circuit race was deep in talent as 764 people crossed the finish line, up from 603 a year ago. Escareno, 23, of Mount Prospect, was followed closely by his brother Jesus, 21, who ran 15:44.2. Mac McCulley, 26, of Volo, was third in 15:46; Matthew Thor, 24, of Arlington Heights, was fourth in 15:50; David Wilson, 42 (top master), of Brookfield, was fifth in 15:52.5 and Michael Cauley, 30, of Bloomingdale, was sixth in 15:59. Several more great runners finished just over 16 minutes. It was quite a sight as the lead pack turned the final corner. Meanwhile, Beattie, 18, of Woodstock, who set state records in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the state 2A championships last month running for Woodstock HS, was well ahead of respected masters runner and overall runner-up Jessica Langford, 40, of Rockford, who ran a 17:46.5. Third place was taken by Shannon Javaras, 36, of Palos Park, in 18:16.2. A lot of sterling performances were turned in in many of the age groups as the big names came out on a good day to run. I was nursing my calf from a slight injury last week and enjoyed watching the show.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Verzbicas Sets National HS Mark at Pre 2-Mile

Lukas Verzbicas was in a very loaded field at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, OR, on Saturday, but it was his chance to shine and he didn't waste it. While Bernard Lagat won a splendidly strategic race with a magnificent kick in 8:13.62, Verzbicas, 18, a recent graduate of Sandburg High School in Orland Park, ran his own race, hanging onto the back of the pack for a few laps, but never falling off the radar screen as the leaders pulled away. In the end, Lukas ran an 8:29.46, setting an American high school record by almost five seconds. Lagat made it a point to shake Lukas's hand after he crossed the line. That was a real class act. The previous 2-mile record was Californian German Fernandez’s 8:34.40, set in 2008. Before that, it was a 8:36.3, run in 1979 by Jeff Nelson of Burbank, CA. Gerry Lindgren, one of the greats during my high school days, ran an 8:40 in Spokane, WA, back in 1964. Just to clear it up, the 2-mile is not the same distance as the 3,200 meters. It is slightly longer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Prefontaine 2-Mile Next for Verzbicas

Used to being at or near the front, Lukas Verzbicas could be at the back hanging on this Saturday when he runs in a world-class 2-mile race at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, OR. The University of Oregon-bound Verzbicas, 18, of Orland Park (Sandburg HS), is slower on paper than anyone else in the race. Still, it will be fun to see what he can do. There is a pretty good chat going on about this on the letsrun.com web site. The meet organizers also have added three new Friday night events to spice up the weekend. They are a women's 5,000, men's 25,000-30,000 combined race and a men's 10,000. There could be some changing of races as some 2-miler opt for one of the new races and visa-versa. The last Illinois star I remember running in the Pre Classic was Don Sage of York. It's been a while. Lukas, if you happen to see this, feel free to give us your mind-set going into this high-profile 2-mile race on Saturday, and why you aren't running the mile. Lukas, are you there??
Here's the incredible field for our local high school phenom!

2 Mile

BEKELE Tariku ETH
BETT David Kiprotich KEN
BIRMINGHAM Collis AUS
BUMBALOUGH Andrew USA
CHERUIYOT Jonas KEN
FARAH Mohammed GBR
HASS Stephen USA
KIPCHOGE Eliud KEN
KIPTOO Mark Kosgei KEN
KOECH Isaiah Kiplangat KEN
LAGAT Bernard USA
MCNAMARA Jordan USA (pacer)
MILLER Kyle USA
NOVAK Rob USA
RUPP Galen USA (switching to 10,000)
SOI EdwinCheruiyot KEN
TEGENKAMP Matt USA
THOMPSON Chris GBR
VERZBICAS Lukas USA

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fully-Loaded Weekend On Tap

The running race schedule is busy again this weekend. I knew we couldn't go more than a week or two without more half-marathons! This Saturday, it's 13.1 Chicago and the Sunburst Half in South Bend, IN. Other great runs include the Cosley Zoo Run in Wheaton on Saturday and the Run for the Zoo (Lincoln Park) on Sunday. The Roselle 5K, a CARA Runners Choice Circuit race, is on Sunday. Those are the highlights. There are a bunch of other runs and training programs as well. What's your favorite June race? Good luck whether you're training, racing or just plain taking it easy! I'm gearing up for the Ragnar Madison-Chicago 200-mile relay late next week.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lukas V. Runs 3:59.1 at Main St. Mile

Lukas Verzbicas, 18, of Orland Park, no stranger to people who follow running locally and nationally, breezed to victory in the mostly downhill Foot Mechanics Main Street Mile in St. Charles on Monday with a 3:59.1. A distant second was Moses Waweru, 33, of Sun Prairie, WI, who won the Soldier Field 10-mile on Saturday, and just might not have been at full speed. He ran a 4:05.4. Shawn Lucas , 27, was third with a 4:10.1. Mason Cathey, 29, was the fastest woman in 4:37.3. Next was Kelly Whitley, 18, in 4:52.3, and third in the elite wave was Mariana Trejo , age unknown, in 5:10.01. A woman named Michelle Gagnard, listed as 50 years old, ran a 4:42.3 in the age-group division.

It's Hird, Hopper at Elgin 10-Miler

Like the Ridge Run and Tower Trot, this was No. 34 for the Elgin Valley Fox Trot 10-mile. Monday's heat and humidity didn't stop a field of 682 finishers in the 10-mile and 878 in the accompanying 5K. Taking the 10, which includes some good hills and nice views of the Fox River, was Nick Hird, 27, from the Quad Cities area. He ran a 53:03. Second was Emisael Favela, 34, of Cicero, in 55:21, and third was garnered by Joshua Bland, 24, in 55:55. In the women's competition, Amanda Hopper, 26, won it in 1:04:07. Runner-up was a neighbor of mine, Alyson Fosnot, 20, of Villa Park, in 1:06:16. Third went to Jennifer Sagat, 29, in 1:06:50. In the 5K, Kyle Brady, 22, of Naperville, well-known to me from his win last year at the 4 on the 4th, took the victory in 15:29. Women's winneer was Lydla Wong, 22, in 19:04.

Montes, Giuliano Best Balanced at Ridge Run

Summer arrived with heat, humidity and a ton of runners on Monday morning for the 34th annual Ridge Run in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood. The 10K went off at 8 a.m. and Mark Fruin, 25, of Elmhurst, took the win with a 32:17. Close behind was Ryan Giuliano, 26, of Schaumburg, with a 32:26 one week after he won the Galena Triathlon. Third went to Matthew Morse, 23, of Putnam, in 33:59. Columba Montes, 32, of Chicago, won the women's 10K in 39:01. Meg Sullivan, 31, of Oak Park, and very well-known through her work for CARA, was second in 40:10, and Kristen Heckert, 24, of Sugar Grove, was third in 41:32. Then at 9:30, the 5K runners, lined up. Included were many of the 10K runners. Emil Bojanov, 26, of Chicago, too overall honors with a nice 15:46. Second, as he was in the 10K, was Giuliano with a 15:55. Third went to Jack Keelan, 16, of LaGrange Park, in 16:19. Kathryn Hague, 23, of Chicago (Beverly), was female champ in 18:05. Montes was second in 18:55, and Jacqui Aubert, 25, of Crystal Lake, was third in 18:57. Based on her 1-2 finishes and his 2-2 finishes, Montes and Giuliano had the best overall combined finishes. 10K winner Fruin came back with a 17:09 in the 5K, good for sixth place. 5K women's winner hague did not run the 10K. There 898 finishers in the 10K and 1,668 in the 5K, many of them repeat customers.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tower Trot a Family Affair in 5K

The Tower Trot, one of Chicagoland's long-standing Memorial Day weekend races, had a mother-and-son win in the 5K division on Saturday. Mom, Lisa Menninger, 46, of La Grange Park, won in 19:43, while son, Alex Lyons, 20, took the men's race in 16:51. Second and third females in the 5K were Angela Kidd, 34, of Naperville, in 20:12, and Nicole Finn, 12, of Western Springs, in 21:17. Second and third men were Jack Hostettler, 20, in 17:01, and Daniel Dziubski, 27, in 17:58. At the Tower Trot, you can run both races. In the 10K, run before the 5K, Hostettler won in 34:24 with Lyons taking second in 35:15. John Gervase, 48, was third in 37:23. Way to go, John (Mr. Xtreme 10 founder)! Samantha Kirkham-Iteld, 35, of Hinsdale, won the female 10K in 41:38. Runner-up was Lauren McCarthy, 29, of Westchester, in 43:35, and third went to Noriko Valenta, 50, of La Grange Park, in 45:44. At this point, I don't have the "Double winners."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Waweru, Ring Win Soldier Field 10

First off, I salute Fleet Feet Sports and its volunteers for a superb Soldier Field 10 Mile on Saturday. This race was well-organized and done with precision and patriotism. As a Vietnam-era veteran (I was not in combat), it was great to take some time for a Memorial Day weekend salute to members of the military, past and present, before we began our run. The race itself was run in great temperatures but high humidity. Still, for the most part, people were running good times, even PRs in a lot of cases.
There was no four-peat for Jeff Jonaitis. Moses Waweru, 33, of Sun Prairie, WI, came down to the Windy City and won in an excellent time of 49:41. He had to go that fast to beat runner-up Jordan Horwitz, 24, of Evanston, who came in at 49:59. Charles Gillespie, 23, of Wilmette, was third in 50:29; big-race regular Chad Ware, 26, of Deerfield, last year's CARA Male Runner of the Year, was fourth in 50:51; and Matt Flaherty, 25, of Chicago, was fifth in 51:54. Jonaitis, 30, of Tinley Park, winner of this race the previous three years, was 10th this time in a good time of 53:26.
In the women's race, Shannon Ring, 28, of Belvidere, won in 59:24. She told me after the race that she held 5:58 pace through seven miles and then picked it up lowering her average per mile by a second. Second went to Jean Marinangeli, 27, of Schaumbug, still running great a season after earning honors as CARA's Female Runner of the Year. She ran a 1:02:01. Pamela Staton, 24, of Chicago, took third in 1:02:20, masters marathoner Ann Schaefers-Coles, 46, of Cary, continued to show her comeback is for real as she grabbed fourth in 1:03:28, and Jill Czarnick, 22, of Chicago, another local powerhouse, placed fifth in 1:03:39. If you look below, you can see that runners 6-10 on both sides werealso very strong. Meanwhile, for the rest of us, it was a fun morning no matter what. For me personally, things were going great for about 3.9 miles. Then my right calf seized up and in a rare occurrence, I was forced to pull out and walk. I made the best of it and watched much of the race as I walked back to Soldier Field. Congrats to all who ran, walked and volunteered. Here are the full lists of the top 10 men and women
MEN
1 MOSES WAWERU 14745 33 M3034 SUN PRAIRIE WI 49:41 4:58
2 JORDAN HORWITZ 3420 24 M2024 EVANSTON IL 49:59 5:00
3 CHAS GILLESPIE 26 23 M2024 WILMETTE IL 50:29 5:03
4 CHAD WARE 2 26 M2529 DEERFIELD IL 50:51 5:06
5 MATT FLAHERTY 25 25 M2529 CHICAGO IL 51:54 5:12
6 JAMES AKITA 7 30 M3034 ELMHURST IL 52:07 5:13
7 JACEK KAFEL 36 35 M3539 RIVER FOREST IL 52:33 5:16
8 MATT BLUME 22 29 M2529 CHICAGO IL 52:35 5:16
9 JOSH YELSEY 4191 28 M2529 CHICAGO IL 53:01 5:19
10 JEFF JONAITIS 1 30 M3034 TINLEY PARK IL 53:26 5:21

WOMEN

1 SHANNON RING 28 F2529 BELVIDERE IL 59:24 5:57
2 JEAN MARINANGELI 27 F2529 SCHAUMBURG IL 1:02:01 6:13
3 PAMELA STATON 24 F2024 CHICAGO IL 1:02:20 6:14
4 ANN SCHAEFERS-COLES 46 F4549 CARY IL 1:03:28 6:21
5 JILL CZARNIK 22 F2024 CHICAGO IL 1:03:39 6:22
6 SANYA SYRSTAD 45 F4549 GLEN ELLYN IL 1:03:50 6:23
7 SHANNON JAVARAS 36 F3539 PALOS PARK IL 1:04:02 6:25
8 HEATHER SWINK 38 F3539 CHICAGO IL 1:04:13 6:26
9 PATRICIA LOUGHLIN 24 F2024 CHICAGO IL 1:04:35 6:28
10 LAUREN OSBORNE 27 F2529 SAINT PAUL MN 1:04:57 6:30

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Heart Goes Out to Family of Ralph Nosal

As you might have heard, Ralph Nosal, 61, of Elk Grove Village, collapsed during the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5-miler on Thursday night and was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital around 8:30 p.m. This was a very sad and tragic occurrence on a night when more than 23,000 people participated. My condolences go out to the family and friends of Ralph Nosal.

Will Jonaitis Try for Four-peat?

I don't have access to who is entered in the Soldier Field 10-miler on Saturday, but if Jeff Jonaitis of Tinley Park is on the starting line, he'll be gunning for his fourth consecutive victory in this classy CARA Runners Choice Circuit event on the lakefront. Although she didn't win last year, another three-time winner is Jessica Langford of Rockford. Good luck to both . . . if they are running! National elite Katie McGregor won last year. She races in Chicago from time to time, including the 2008 4 on the 4th in Elmhurst. Race time for the Soldier Field 10 is 7:30 a.m. with a registered field of close to 15,000. Getting there, getting race numbers and getting to a porta-pottie will be challenges as big as the run itself. It's a great one and organizers deserve some kudos. Also on tap this weekend are other long-standing events worthy of mentions. They include the Tower Trot 5K-10K Saturday in Western Springs, the Ridge Run 5K-10K in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood on Monday and the Elgin Valley Fox Trot 10-miler on Monday. Many other lesser-known events make this a big running weekend. People spend a lot of time putting these events together. If you can, get out and run one of them!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Verzbicas Takes Aim at Sub-4 Monday in St. Charles

Lukas Verzbicas, 18, the high school phenom from Sandburg High in Orland Park, will run in the Foot Mechanics Memorial Day Main Street Mile on Monday in St. Charles. Lukas broke four minutes last year, and according to race organizers, he wants to go even lower this time. Last year, he was second with a 3:56.88, losing to Richard Kandie, then 25, of Minnesota, who ran a 3:53.70! The women's winning time was 4:34. You don't have to be in Lukas' speed category to enter this community-family event. There are elite, high school, grade school and open divisions for males and females. Registration is still open. Check out www.footmechanicsmile.com for all the details.
In the meantime, directly from race organizers, here are some fresh takes on the event:
*New this year: runners with dogs have their own wave (very few races like this in Chicagoland)
*Introducing our 2011 Soul Surfer Award (“The Lexi”) recipients: Wheaton Christian Academy senior Lexi Youngberg, an amputee who just returned to the soccer field, as well as world-class triathlete from Geneva High School Kevin McDowell, who is battling cancer. .
*Also new this year is the Colonial Challenge, which will showcase the running rivalry between dueling high schools, St. Charles East vs. St. Charles North. Winners get a Colonial Kitchen Sink and bragging rights until next year.
*Up for grabs are awards for the Pet Pals Top Dog as well as the Zimmerman Ford Fastest Miler, which allows all runners from all waves to compete in an age-graded field. There is also a cash bounty for the fastest elite runner who can beat the course record.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Giuliano Wins Galena Triathlon

I don't cover a lot of triathlons on this blog, but as a follower of the sport, I couldn't help but smile when I saw that Ryan Giuliano, a well-known local runner, came out on top today at the Galena Triathlon. The event consists of a 660-yard swim, 16.8-mile bike ride and 4.3-mile run. From what I see, they held the swim as the water reached the magic 60-degree mark just in time. Giuliano, 27, of Schaumburg, did the swim in 9:02, the bike ride in 41:39 and the run in 22:29. Adding in his transition times, he won in 1:15:00. Mike Lavery, 26, of Madison, WI, was second in 1:17:42, and Dan Litwora, 36, or Chicago -- also a strong runner -- was third in 1:18:50. Christine Anderson, 29, of Boulder, CO, was the women's winner with a 1:28:02. Adrienne Shields,32, of Chicago, was second in 1:30:33, and Karin Langer, 34, of Chicago, was third in 1:34:39. Some good friends did well, including some age-group titles. There were at least 697 finishers. Way to go! In the duathlon (2-mile run, 16.8-mile bike ride, 4.3-mile run), 187 people finished with Tim Petrie, 32, of Fond du Lac, WI, winning in 1:26:34. Katie Iserman, 30, of Chicago was women's "du" champ in 1:40:31. I haven't done a triathlon or duathlon in a few years. I need to get back into it. Believe it or not, I was one of the "original 50" at the first Muncie (IN) Endurathon in 1980. Those were the days.

Catching Up: Cinco de Miler 5M

I've been out of town a lot and have had limited Internet access from time to time. At any rate, I didn't want to skip the Cinco de Miler 5-mile race on May 7. RAM Racing really did a nice job with 2,557 finishers in the race along the lakefront south of Soldier Field. Jason Ream, 29, of Chicago, was the victor in 26:44. Second was taken by Matthew Jeromin, 30, of Roselle, in 27:17, and third went to Larry Coons, 28, of Chicago, in 27:54. The women's competition was won by Cari Knapp, 27, of Chicago, in 31:01. Emily Inskeep, 28, of Chicago was second in 31:58, and Sarah Szefi, 25, of Chicago, was third in 32:34. There were some big names scattered through the age-group results in this race. If you're looking for more fun and one less mile, c'mon out to the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th on July 4! Check out www.4on4th.com. And speaking of Soldier Field, I'll be there next weekend for the Fleet Feet Soldier Field 10-miler.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Green Bay Was a 26.35

Organizers of the Cellcom Green bay Marathon acknowledged on Monday that the course was mismarked, resulting in about 800 extra feet. It happened early in the course, and according to reports, people running with GPS devices noticed the problem right away. People who just missed qualifying for Boston will be accommodated with adjusted times according to television reports in Green Bay. This race is extremely well-organized and thoughtful toward runners. Yes, this is a major surprise, but don't expect it to happen again. You might remember that 27.2 Lakefront Marathon in Chicago a few years back. Don't even try to compare the two. Green Bay is a class event.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dubow, Neale Win Debut Chicagoland

The first Chicagoland Spring Marathon and Half-Marathon came off on Sunday with 237 going the full 26.2 and 552 finishing the half. The course started in Schaumburg and included many miles in Busse Woods. From reports I've seen, it was windy, cold and rainy. Jordan Dubow, 33, won the full marathon in 2:43:30.7, with Monika Neale, 28, winning the women's title in 3:27:15. Runner-up male was Rasmus Porsgaard in 2:44:15, with third going to Todd Gill, 37, in 3:04:18. Second-place woman was Catherine Diaz, 32, in 3:27:47 (close race), and third was taken by Katy Evert, 25, in 3:35:42. In the half, victory went to Greg Castady, 37, in 1:18:34, and Susan King ,33, in 1:34:25. Hometowns weren't readily available. Sorry about that.

Report from Race Results Weekly: Wanjiru Dies

Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru dead at 24

By David Monti, Race Results Weekly

Olympic Marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya has died, apparently from a fall from a balcony at his home. The news was reported to Race Results Weekly in a telephone call by Shadrack Biwott, the former University of Oregon Duck who had spoken to his brother, marathoner Duncan Kibet, in Kenya.

"He jumped out of a balcony and they tried to revive him, but he didn't make it," said Biwott.

Federico Rosa, Wanjiru's manager, confirmed his client's death via a text message. No other details about his death are available at this time.

Wanjiru won the Olympic marathon title in Beijing in 2008 with an Olympic record performance of 2:06:32. His other marathon victories included Chicago in 2009 and 2010, Fukuoka in 2007, and London in 2009. Wanjiru was the World Marathon Majors points champion for the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 seasons, and had a career best time of 2:05:10. He was also the former world record holder for the half-marathon with a 58:33 personal best.

After winning last October's Bank of America Chicago Marathon in a thrilling sprint finish over Ethiopian Tesgaye Kebede, Wanjiru faced several difficulties.

Last December, he was arrested at his home in Nyahururu and charged with threatening his wife, striking a security guard, and possessing an illegal AK-47 rifle. Wanjiru was released on bail, and his wife later withdrew her charges against him, but he still faced the weapons charge, however.

In January, Wanjiru was also involved in a car accident on the Nairobi-Nyahururu road, rolling his four wheel drive vehicle several times trying to avoid an oncoming truck. He avoided serious injury in the incident, but later withdrew from April's Virgin London Marathon with a knee problem.

American marathoner Ryan Hall reacted to the news of Wanjiru's death on Twitter, posting, "Incredibly sad news about Sammy. I am shocked and saddened."

Universal Sports contributed to this report

(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Magellan Half to Lyon, Moffenbier

Kevin Lyon, 26, of Evanston, won the Magellan Development Chicago Spring Half marathon on sunday with a 1:17:00.8. On a windy day along the lakefront, Lindsey Moffenbier, also, 26, of Chicago, was the women's winner in 1:29:58. Second and third men were Jeff Thomas, 30, of Chicago, in 1:18:09, and Paul Rollet, 26, of Chicago, in 1:20:08. Second and third women were Laura Rufo, 30, of Chicago, in 1:30:53.3, and Britt Kelly, 27, of Chicago, in 1:32:59.7. I have to mention the fourth-place finisher as well. It was a flash from the past, none other than Megan Levin, now 41, of Chicago, who ran a 1:33:35.4. In the accompanying 10K, Eric Lesch, 34, of Chicago, won in 35:16.8, and Liza Morich, 40 of Chicago, led the women in 44:23.5. There were 1,259 women in the half-marathon and 833 men.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rockford Marathon, Half, Ready to Go

On a very busy running weekend, the Rockford Marathon and Half marathon will commence at 7 a.m. on Sunday from that city's downtown area. Most of the course is along the Rock River, whch should be scenic. Let's hope it's not too close to flood stage! This is a well-organized event that does draw runners from the Chicago area.
Good luck to everyone competing here and at all of the other runs throughout the area on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Magellan Half, 10K Set for Lakefront

Registration closes at 5 p.m. on Thursday for the third annual Magellan Chicago Spring Half Marathon --A Life Time Athletic and Endurance event. They say a field of 4,500 is epected. I'm not sure where they are on signups. The event venue location is "The Park at Lakeshore East." If you plan to run, act accordingly. If you're already signed up, good luck!

Spring Marathon/Half Marathon Set to Debut

The ever-changing Chicago running landscape express includes this weekend's first Chicagoland Spring Marathon & Half Marathon in Schaumburg and Busse Woods. Registration remains open for the Sunday races, which begin at 7:15 a.m. in the Schaumburg commercial district. Runners then will head into Busse Woods for some nice scenic racing on a great path familiar to many of us over theyears. Put on by All-Community Events, the new event is presented by Dick Pond Athletics. If you're looking for pacers, the Fast Track Racing Team will be providing them. If you haven't signed up and want to, get on it. Caps are 1,000 for the half and 2,000 for the full. I may update this as I hear about possible race favorites etc. Yes, it's USATF-certified and can be used as a Boston qualifier!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Favela, Druien Conquer the Quarryman

The annual Quarryman 10-miler in Lemont provided some big hills and big performances on Saturday with Emisael Favela, 34, of Berwyn, taking overall honors in 54:26. Matt Dettloff, 22, of Palatine was second in 59:14, and Charles Wiegand, 32, of La Grange Park, a guy I know well through the Runner's Soul stores, finished third in 1:00:09. Amber Druien, 25, of Woodstock, was the runaway women's winner in 1:01:51. Coming in second was Hailey Krzyston, 19, of Burr Ridge, in 1:11:14, and nabbing third was Tiffany Cruickshank, 40, of Hinsdale, in 1:11:21. Looking through the results, there were quite a few top-tier age-group runners in the field. Congrats to all who persevered on this tough, grueling course.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Meineke, Fredrickson Win Wisconsin Marathon

In a unique race that blends talent from Wisconsin and Illinois plus a few other states, Zachary Meineke, 23, of Wauwatosa, WI, won the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha, WI, on Sunday with a 2:37:58. Matthew Levine, 37, of Crystal Lake, IL, was a distant second in 2:47:07, and Brian Udovich, 36, of Oconomowoc, WI, took the "bronze" in 2:50:15. On the women's side in the event produced by Chicago Athlete magazine, Nacole Fredrickson, 31, of Milwaukee, won in 3:02:02. Next was Annie Fennema, 24, of Ann Arbor, MI, in 3:08:31, and third went to CARA executive director Wendy Jaehn, 36, of Chicago, in 3:16:26. Way to go, Wendy! In the half-marathon, Mac McCulley, 26, of Volo, IL, was the winner in 1:14:33. Runner-up honors went to Kevin Craigo, 26, of Columbus, OH, in 1:16:31, and third was taken by Andy Ruffalo, 31, of West Bend, WI, in 1:17:31. He won the marathon last year. The women's half was won by Rachel Paape, 32, of Elkhorn, WI, in 1:27:03. Second went to Jennifer Pfaff, 34, of Indianapolis, IN, in 1:27:30, and third was taken by Lindsay Garcia, 28, of Kenosha, WI, in 1:31:26. There were 711 marathon finishers and 2,075 half-marathon finishers. Nice job all around!

Friday, May 6, 2011

So Many Runs, So Little Time

This Mother's Day weekend racing schedule in and near Chicago is incredible. The Wisconsin Marathon, the Quarryman 10-miler, the Channahon 25K and many, many more will keep racing on the front burner at all distances and ability levels. Heck, the one I'm doing, the Door County Half Marathon, isn't even on the Chicago Athlete schedule, which is the most complete in the area. D.C. has 1,500 runners signed up for a hilly 13.1 in beautiful Peninsula Park. I can't want. I've never done it.
Enjoy the weekend. It should be good to go for running, even with a few showers possible here and there. It feels like spring is really trying to kick winter out for good. Let's hope so. Good luck if you're racing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Miler Virtually Filled

If you sign up now, you might in Saturday's Cinco de Miler, a five-miler on the south lakefront that finishes at Soldier Field. At this writing, race organizers say the field is 98 percent filled. Start time is 9:30 a.m. The course starts at 39th and Oakwood and heads south a bit before heading north with a finish just south of Waldron Drive. This one will be big, so if you're running, get there early! The post race party will be staged at the Soldier Field Stadium Green. Good luck, and have fun!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wisconsin Marathon Ready to Go

My friend Jonathan Cain from Chicago Athlete magazine reports this Saturday's Wisconsin Marathon and Half Marathon in and around Kenosha, WI, are ready to roll. Cain said there are approximately 3,400 total runners signed up, with about 800 in the full marathon. For the marathon, who the top runners are is a question mark for now. Last year's marathon winner, Andy Ruffalo, 31, of West Bend, WI (2:39:14), will be running the half this year and will square off against defending champ Brice Young 25, of Boulder, CO. (1:13:17) among others. They include 2010 Sunday Schaumburg Turkey Trot Half champ Mac McCulley (1:11:52) and Matt Thor, who ran a 2:36:50 at Boston this year. Cain is not sure about the women's contenders, but a solid field is entered. Last year's marathon champ was Catherine Karam, 33, of Chicago, in 3:26:16. The half went to Valerie Hubbard, 24, of Kenosha, in 1:23:59.