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.


ChiTown Runner said...

Although the temperature was low at 65, it was very humid! I enjoyed the event but there were two issues.

1) Cytomax? Come on! It was awful. Please provide Gatorade or Accelerade.
2) I like this year's course a lot better but the last mile (straight) was brutal.

Pete B said...

It was overcast and quite comfortable for a mid-August run. The course was all that can be expected of a downtown Chicago race. The route including a number of Chicago highlights: We ran by the Sears (Willis) Tower twice, The Berghoff, ran under the "L" down Lake Street as trains rattled above. Ran through McCormick Place tunnel, a small stretch by Burnham harbor and then on Lake Shore Drive. The one mile straight away at the end was tough in the beginning, as you scaled an off-ramp from LSD. But the final 1/2 mile through Grant Park was slightly downhill and lined with cheering spectators. You could see the runners ahead that you could pick off if you still had the legs for it. Quite a lot of rock bands along the route, and there was definitely a "rock 'n roll" party atmosphere as I saw a lot runners with "rocker" wigs and even a red mohawked runner. I was by myself, so I didn't stay for the post-race beer and bands, but it looked like a big festival was about to take place around Buckingham Fountain. The pessimism that I've had about this race in years past has been replaced with a very positive vibe, and I hope to run it again next year.