Thursday, March 29, 2012

Half Prices Spiking Upward

The July 22 Rock n' Roll Chicago Half-Marathon price will increase Sunday (April 1) from $75 to $100. This is no joke. Also, prices (varying rates) for the Chicago Half on Sept. 9, will go up at midnight tonight. If you want to run either or both, get to those race web sites.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

33rd Shamrock Shuffle a Beauty

Great temps, maybe a tad too much humidity and a fabulous atmosphere greeted what turned out to be 34,352 (latest count) runners who crossed the finish line on Sunday at the 33rd Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, the largest timed 8K in the world. Downtown Chicago and Grant Park were Sham-rockin' as runners took over the streets in a fashion show of fitness. Leading the way in a tight front pack was Abdelaaziz Atmani, 30, of Indianapolis, who won in a spiffy 23:18. Second went to David Adams, 23, of Lincoln, NE, in 23:21, and third went to 2012 Olympic marathoner Abdi Abdirahman, 35, of Tucson, AZ, in 23:30. More top-tier runners were in close pursuit in a very deep field. In the women's race, Julia Lucas, 28, of Eugene, OR, took the title in 25:37. Next was Chicago favorite Delilah Dicrescenzo, 29, of New York City, 23, in 25:49, and third went to Diane Nukuri Johnson, 27, of Iowa City, IA, in 26:11. The women also had a powerful lead pack that went very deep. As for the rest of us, people were generally smiling in the finish area. Some ran faster, some slower (me) that a year ago, but it sure was fun being out there. Another special touch I enjoyed was the National Anthem, which was sung by none other than Wayne Messmer, who has thrilled audiences at Blackhawk and Cubs games for years. His rendition is the best. Enough said. Thanks to all of the wonderful organizers and volunteers who made this Chicago running spectacular very spectacular indeed!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weather Looks Good for Shamrock

Based on forecasts right now, the heat will be gone and the rain will be over when close to 40,000 runners take off on Sunday morning at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. This is one of my favorite events even though it is very difficult to get your race number and to travel to the race itself. Once you're at the expo on Friday or Saturday and the race on Sunday, things are great. I've seen this event go through all of its re-incarnations over the years, and I don't think it's been better. I remember when it used to start and finish in the Foster-Montrose area. I'm at the point now where I just hope to hold a fairly decent pace and cross the finish line in one piece. Injuries are a constant concern, but that is part of being a runner. If you're running, good luck!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stars Come Out at St. Paddy's Day 5K

With perfect conditions, a huge field came out on Saturday for the St. Paddy's Day 5K in Naperville. The top three men and women turned in fabulous performances. I know Kyle Brady and Mike Spain from their 1-2 finish at last year's Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th. Check this out:
Place O'All Name No. S Ag City Time Pace
1 10 KATHRYN HAGUE 1473 F 23 CHICAGO 17:03 5:30
2 15 LYDIA WONG 2017 F 23 CHICAGO 17:22 5:36
3 16 AMBER DRUIEN 2219 F 26 NAPERVILLE 17:27 5:37

Place O'All Name No. S Ag City Time Pace
1 1 KYLE BRADY 2215 M 23 NAPERVILLE 14:31 4:41
2 2 MIKE SPAIN 2220 M 22 NORMAL 14:35 4:42
3 3 WILLY KAUL 1733 M 25 WHITEFISH BAY, WI 14:37 4:43

Heat's On! Bareikis, Aubert Win at Cary

The unseasonable temperatures added to the lore of the Hillstriders' March Madness Half-Marathon on Sunday in Cary. In a race known for snow, rain, wind and lousy weather, runners sweated in temps not normal in these parts until May. The 34th edition of this classic and hilly race was won by Arturs Bareikis, 25, of Cicero, in 1:14:06.60. Female champ was Jacqui Aubert, 25, of Crystal Lake, in 1:26:24.30. On a hot day in March, that's movin'. Runner-ups were Rob Wiley, 35, of Gurnee, in 1:14:58.5, and Aneta Ziemianska, 31, of Streamwood, in 1:30:45.86. Third-place finishers were Marco Alfaro, 25, of Cicero, in 1:15:45.02, and Ann Schaefers-Coles, 47, of Cary, in 1:31:12.50. I'd like to give Ann, who has quite a running pedigree, a special salute. Placing third in that race with all that young talent coming up is quite phenomenal. There were 1,170 official finishers in Sunday's race. Another Cary half is in the books.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shamrock Shuffle Sold Out

Press Release
Registration for the 2012 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K, the world's largest 8-kilometer road race, closed today when the 40,000-participant capacity was reached, matching the largest field of registrants in the event's 33-year history. Registration for the March 25 event opened on January 1. The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is a tradition that serves as the kick-off to Chicago's outdoor running season, which will culminate with the 35th anniversary Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October.
"The popularity of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K continues to be at an all-time high and we're excited to get the running and racing season started on the streets of Chicago," said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "This is a wonderful tradition for the Chicago running and fitness community-from competitive athletes, to local running clubs, to groups of co-workers, families and friends-to join together in a celebration of spring against the backdrop of this great city."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shobukhova Out of NYC Half

Two-time World Marathon Majors series champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia was forced to withdraw from the New York City Half-Marathon on March 18 due to a hamstring injury, the NYRRC reported today. Shobukhova, an early favorite for the Olympic Marathon in London this summer, was set to open her 2012 season at the NYC Half. There is no word if she also will withdraw from the March 25 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, which is likely to fill before the end of the week.