Thursday, January 27, 2011

Elmhurst's Kern Wins Masters Mile at Cornell

This article was written by Timothy Weisberg of Gannett Newspapers in Ithaca, NY. Sorry for the delay. I am in Wisconsin with virtually limited Internet access.

ITHACA -- Sometimes a role reversal is what it takes to come away victorious, a gamble when it appears you might just be bluffing.
But for Charlie Kern, 41, of Elhurst, Ill., it was a change in technique and a gamble that ultimately paid off for him in winning the elite masters men's 40s race in 4 minutes, 21 seconds Saturday at the 44th annual Hartshorne Masters Mile at Cornell University's Barton Hall.
Kern beat out Nicholas Berra, 41, of Enola, Pa. on the final lap, as he was able to get ahead on the final stretch and pull away. Berra finished second with a time of 4:23.0, followed by Lance Elliott, 40, of Edina, Minn. with a time of 4:31.
Kern said his approach was unorthodox.
"I have been in a number of races where I have led from the start and I didn't want to do that (Saturday)," he said. "I wanted to be in an attack position as opposed to a hunted position."
It was Kern's first time running in the annual Masters Mile, and first time running in Barton Hall since 1987, his senior year in high school when he ran in the New York state championships.
Berra led for the majority of the race before Kern out-kicked him on the final lap and stretched ahead for good.
For race director Tom Hartshorne, the elite men's 40s race was a race for the ages, but might have resulted in a different outcome had Kern stuck to his traditional method of leading the pack.
"I think it might have been a different race if Berra had sat on (Kern's) shoulder and hung with him," Hartshorne said. "But it was a great race."
According to Hartshorne, Kern typically likes to control the race and is a traditional mile-runner, while Berra, an 800-yard competitor, is usually the one trailing looking for an opportunity to break from the leader's shoulder.
"The race in my mind was Charlie trying to break him with three laps to go and Nick trying to hang on so he could out-kick him," Hartshorne said. "But ...Nick Berra led the race."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hall, Shares Toast 'Em at Frosty 5K

Matthew Hall, 17, of Crete, and Ashley Shares, 19, of Palos Park were the winners on Saturday at the annual Frosty 5K Run/Walk in Burbank. Hall won this true "Chicago-winter" race in 16:59.6, while Shares ruled the women's ranks with a 20:25.5. Thomas Zero, 25, of Oak Lawn, was second male in 17:22.4, and Frederic Nielsen, 34, of Orland Park, was third in 18:06.7. Runner-up woman was Sarah Murphy, 20, of Burbank, in 22:22.5, and third was taken by Nicole Fritz, 27, of Manhattan, in 22:29.0. There were 215 hearty and hardy finishers.

Friday, January 14, 2011

There's No Run like the S-No-W Run

I'll admit I haven't run the S-No-W Run 5-miler in Lake Geneva, WI, since I lived in Milwaukee in the early 1980s. It was a great run then and it's a great run now. As always, it's very competitive, features one-year age groups and quite the party event after the hard work is over. There were 726 finishers in the cool race. The leaders were familiar names on the Chicago-area circuit, starting with overall winner Christian Escareno, 22, of Mount Prospect. Christian won it in 26:38.1 (you can see him in a 4 on the 4th photo to the right), beating Ryan Giulano, 26, of Schaumburg, who took second in 26:54.5. Jesus Escareno, 21, also of Mount Prospect and Christian's brother, took third in 27:06.0. The women were led by Shannon Ring, who rang in the New Year with a nice 28:59.5. Next was local powerhouse Jean Marinangeli, 27, of Schaumburg, who clocked 29:29.9. Third place went to Jacqui Aubert, 24, of Crystal Lake, with a fine 31:11.8. I have to apologize for being late on this one. I have been pre-occupied with trying to stage the 12th annual Northern Illinois Nordic cross-country ski race in Wheaton. We've postponed it twice now and will try again on Jan. 22. Imagine a sport where you don't even know if you'll have a course with less than a week to go before the race! I still love it though, probably as much as I love running. Way to go, all you S-No-W runners!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 Runners' Choice Circuit Posted by CARA

CARA has posted the 2011 Runner's Choice Circuit on its web site. First-time Circuit races are the First Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon on May 1 and the Buffalo Grove Stampede 10K on September 5. Returning to the Circuit after not being on it are the North Shore Half Marathon on June 12 and the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival 10K on Oct. 30. Here is the full Circuit as it appears on the CARA web site:

April 3 - The Race Thats Good for Life 5k
April 10 - Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k
April 16 - CARA Lakefront 10 Presented by NovaCare
May 1 - First Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon
May 28 - Fleet Feet Soldier Field 10 Mile Presented by adidas
June 5 - Roselle Run for the Roses - Sternberg Lighting 5k
June 12 - North Shore Half Marathon
July 4 - Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th
July 23 - Sam's Club Waterfall Glenn Xtreme 10 Miler
August 27 - DeKalb Corn Classic 10k
September 5 - Buffalo Grove Stampede 10k
September 11 - Chicago Half Marathon
September 24 - Park Ridge Charity Classic 5k
October 9 - Bank of America Chicago Marathon
October 23 - Frank Lloyd Wright Races 10k
October 30 - Sycamore Pumpkin Fest 10k

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Is Off and Running!

Thye 26th annual New Year's Day 5K served up some brisk weather and good running, especially when you consider the overall conditions. Congrats to the 695 official finishers in the true 2011 opener for running in Chicago. As for the top three men and women, they did a great job. Overall winner was Justin Henry, 27, of Gunnison, CO, who clocked a nice 16:51. Runner-up honors went to Michael Eaton, 30, of Zion, in 16:59, and third place went to Brandon Clark, 16, of Chanhassen, MN, in 17:27. Women's champ was Columba Montes, 31, of Chicago in 18:27. Second place was taken by Tammy Lifka, 40, of Glen Ellyn, in 19:18, and Alyssa Hunt, 27, of Chicago, took third in 19:37. At the moment, the snow is gone and running conditions are good around Chicago. As a runner and cross-country skier, I have mixed emotions! See you on the roads and trails.