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.
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

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.