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.