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.