Monday, October 21, 2013

New Run? Try the Zombie Stumble

Here's a good one. The first annual Zombie Stumble is set for 13:00 p.m. (1 p.m.!) on Saturday, Oct. 26, in west suburban Stone Park. You can escape the Zombies on a nice flat course (with a few speed bumps) while getting in that Halloween mood! It's a 5K with loads of fun planned by the organizers. You can sign up online at You can sign up in person on race day from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Casa Italia, 1621 N. 39th Ave., Stone Park. Proceeds go to Casa Italia, the Italian-American Veterans Museum and Library and the Huntington's Disease Society of America. Call 708-574-1424 for more information. Don't be scared off!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K to Wallor, Staton

Saturday's 36th Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K was as fast and furious as I remember from years gone by. This was my first Park Ridge race since 2010 and before I hit the finish line, I had dug down about as deep as I can go. It's a hard-core, no-frills CARA Runners' Choice Circuit race that always brings most of the best runners in the Chicago area. For starters, the top seven men broke 16 minutes and the top six women broke 18 minutes. Eric Wallor, 30, of Palatine separated himself from the field early and won on a sunny morning in 15:19.94. Second place went to Emisael Favela, 36, of Berwyn, in 15:40.21, and he was followed a stride later by third-place finisher Mark Wehrman, 27, of Chicago, in 15:41.20. Pamela Staton, 26, of Chicago, was the women's winner in 17:16.16. Runner-up was Laura Batterink, 28, of Evanston, in 17:19.84. Third went to Jacqui Giuliano, 27, of Oakwood Hills, in 17:33.52. Loads of other big-name locals were behind them in great times. I love races like this where super runners show up knowing they all can't win. As for me, I got some well-timed pick-me-up cheers from some very nice runners (Fred F., Dave S. and Grace W.) during the race. They kept me going and got me where I needed to be. Congrats to all.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chicago Half a Whole lot of Humidity!

I've had a couple of days to think about it, and the more time passes, the more I feel even better about finishing well in my age group despite what seemed to be 90 percent humidity on Sunday at the 17th annual Chicago Half Marathon. For me, it was a day to be careful early and make sure no Gator-Ade and water were skipped early. I didn't come close to the time I ran last year when conditions were close to perfect, but not many people did. In my case, this one was all about holding back through Mile 7 to make sure I had something left. Also great were the cheers from spectators along the way and having fellow runners from the Elmhurst Running Club in my midst as we all pounded the pavement up and down Lake Shore Drive. At any rate, the conditions were a factor for everyone. "The humidity sucked!" overall winner Thomas Frazer told me in an e-mail. Irish-born Frazer, 31, of Lake Forest, won it in 1:07:22. He is running the Berlin Marathon later this month, hoping to break 2:18. Second place went to Julio Del Val Gonzalez, 31, of Torrijos, (Spain or Mexico, not sure), in 1:09:26. Third was taken by local phenom Emisael Favela, 36, of Berwyn, in 1:10:08. The women's race was a runaway by former Lake Park High School standout Lindsay Flanagan. Flanagan, 22, of Roselle, won it on a tough day in 1:16:36. Women's runner-up was well-known local Kristen Heckert, 26, of Lisle, who posted a 1:19:19, and third was taken by Christina Fiduccia, 27, of Chicago, in 1:23:14. At last count, there were 10,594 finishers. This was a very well-organized race. Kudos to all involved.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Brendan Moody, Jacqui Giuliano Take OB Half

It was a cool day to run, which was a good thing for the Oak Brook Half Marathon runners Monday morning. The race was won by Brendan Moody, 32, of Van Wert, OH, in 1:11:30. The women's crown went to Jacqui Giuliano, 27, of Oakwood Hills, in 1:25:36. Runner-up on the men's side was Jeff Jonaitis, 32, of Tinley Park, in 1:12:29, with third going to Mike Matuszak, 23, of Carol Stream, in 1:13:18. Second-place on the women's side went to Blossom Marimpietri, 27, of Downers Grove, in 1:26:17, and third went to Stephanie Bulaga, 25, of Chicago, in 1:27:00.

Warm Day, Hot Times at Buffalo Grove

On a sunny morning with temps on the rise, some fast times were turned in Sunday at the Buffalo Grove Stampede 10K. The CARA Runners' Choice Circuit race was won by Brendan Christian, 26, of Chicago in a spiffy 32:37. Next was Emisael Favela, 36, of Berwyn, looking good after an injury earlier this year. His time was 34:01. Third place went to Jeremy Ruston, 33, of Roselle, in 34:26. Scott Laumann, 43, of Chicago, had a great showing as the top masters runner with a 35:56. In the women's competition, Columba Montes, 34, of Chicago, took top honors with a 40:05. Second place went to 51-year-old Angelica Guerrero, of Chicago, with a great 42:05, and third was taken by Carolyn Martineau, 36, of Chicago, in 42:51. There were 410 finishers in this competitive race. Steven Bugarin, 27, of Chicago, won the accompanying 5K in 16:44. Marli April, 35, of Buffalo Grove was the women's winner in 20:43.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Juhl, Hopper Win Half-Madness 13.1

On a day with a lot of competition around the Chicago area, Lars Juhl and Amanda Hopper took the overall crowns at the Peapod Half-Madness 13.1 based from far west-suburban Batavia. The annual half-marathon had 1,131 finishers with Juhl, 36, of Chicago, leading the pack in 1:14:05. Hopper, 28, of Carpentersville, was the women's champion in 1:25:43. Runners-up were Joshua Stein, 23, of Forest Park, in 1:15:36, and Elena Shemyakina, 54, of Geneva, in 1:26:16. Nathan Kennedy, 27, of Bolingbrook, was third-place male in 1:17:07. Third-place female was Ashley Molidor, 29, of Downers Grove, in 1:26:40. A Quick look at the results shows a high-quality field was on hand for this high-quality race.

Cauley, Giuliano Win 11.5-Mile Fort2Base

As I told my friends, one thing was for sure for most of us on Sunday. We would record PRs at the Fort2Base 'Nautical 10-miler," which translates to 11.5 miles. On the CARA Runners Choice Circuit for the first time, the race from what's left of Fort Sheridan, just north of Highland Park, to Naval Station Great Lakes, next to North Chicago, was interesting and challenging. The field of 825 finishers was sprinkled with many of the top runners in every age group. It was a humid day, but not a scorcher, but the universal feeling seemed to be "I'm glad that's over!" A good thing was much of the course was in shade. A not-so-good thing was that a few mile markers weren't in the right place, but those things happen. I enjoyed everything except for the advertised big hill at around 10.3 or so. As for the titles, Michael Cauley, 32, a transplanted Chicagoan living in Worthington, OH, was overall winner in 1:03:59 (5:34 per mile). Second place went to Todd Quednau, 31, of Chicago, in 1:04:44, and third was taken by Jeremy Ruston, 33, of Roselle, in 1:04:52. On the women's side, Jacqui Giuliano, 27, of Oakwood Hills, was first in 1:13:13 (6:22 pace) with CARA's Wendy Jaehn, 38, of Chicago, a close second in 1:13:33. Third place went to Helen Nuttall, 32, of Oak Park, in 1:15:49. Top masters runners were Scott Laumann, 42, of Chicago, in 1:06:04, and Laura Kennedy, 56!, of Lake Forest, in 1:21:06. The accompanying 3.45-mile race was won by Jordan White, 24, in 23:18, and Erica Shin, 32, in 23:23. My race? I felt really good for about seven miles and then worked to bring it home. Having served in the Army from 1971-73 (drafted), I felt a special bond just running on military turf.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Days, Not Dog Days, of August This Year!

Can you remember a nicer August in recent years? Running conditions are a lot like fall when instead it should be hot and miserable. Crazy. Go figure, but I'm not complaining. My advice is to get out and enjoy it as much as you can. This kind of summer weather might not be back for many years! I know a lot of you are in marathon or half-marathon training mode. Once again, as I mentioned in the previous post, if you know someone fast for 26.2 miles, I need to hear from him or her as soon as possible at I'm talking sub 2:30 or so for men and sub-2:55 or so for women. This is for a story I am putting together for Chicago Athlete magazine. My deadline is next week! In the meantime, I am not running a marathon this year, but am gearing for the Fort 2 Base 11.5-miler on Aug. 25. There is a big hill and it's on the CARA Circuit. Can you say tough? I prepped for it today by running a small 5K in Algoma, WI, with a huge hill I survived it, but it wasn't pretty. It was a fun race and it's on a local circuit in the Green Bay area. CARA might want to look at it. You get points just for participating, and 100 places per age group score points, not 15, if there are that many runners. At any rate, it was fun, and I hope your next workout or race is, too.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Back Bloggin' Again - Need Top Locals to Check In

I apologize for no posts in a while. I needed a break and took it. I'm back, and I need some help. I'm working on a Bank of America Chicago Marathon preview story and I need to reach top locals who are running Chicago this fall. Specifically, I need men who plan to break 2:30 and women who plan to break 2:55. If you are one of these runners or know someone who is, PLEASE have them e-mail me as fast as possible at

Monday, June 3, 2013

Africans Sweep North Shore Half on Busy Weekend

North Shore Half, Roselle, Cosley in Wheaton and many more excellent races dotted the Chicagoland running landscape this past weekend. It is mind-boggling in a way how many races there are and how many people participate. It's great, and as I move forward as race director of the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, I salute everyone who organized and ran in the many great races in our area Saturday and Sunday. Here's hoping we see some of you on the 4th of July (!
As for the North Shore Half Marathon in Highland Park, it was another stellar field, bolstered by the fine organization and, of course, the prize money. African natives living in the U.S. dominated the podiums with some terrific performances. In the men's competition, Benson Cheruiyot, 30, of Valparaiso, IN, won in a hot 1:05:28. Robert Wambua, 23, of Hebron, KY, was second in 1:05:32, and Chris Erichsen, 27, of Minneapolis, was third in 1:05:35. Top local finisher was Dan Kremske, 24, of Woodstock, who took fifth overall in 1:06:30, a sparkling time. Kudos to masters winner Scott Laumann, 42, of Chicago, who beat the 40-and-ups with a blistering 1:15:45. On the women's side, Belainesh Gebre, 25, of Flagstaff, AZ, won individual honors with a 1:14:49. Chemtai Rionotutei, 26, of Lansing, MI, was runner-up in 1:16:14, and Tina Muir, 24, of Philadelphia, was third in 1:16:27. Top local was Amber Druien, 27, of Naperville, who placed eighth with a 1:21:28. There were 2,366 finishers.
At the Roselle 5K, a CARA Runners' Choice Circuit race, Jim Akita, 32, of Elmhurst took honors with a 15:42. He was followed by Jeremy Ruston, 33, of Roselle, in 16:07. He was followed by Krzystof Bak, 32, of Melrose Park, in 16:08. Pamela Staton, 26, of Chicago, was the women's champ in 17:42. Second went to Wendy Jaehn, 38, of Chicago, in 18:02, and third was won by Kristine Burgess, 28, of Mundelein, in 18:45.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Feet Definitely Fleet for SF10 Winners Kremske, Giuliano

It was a good day to run on a new, apparently fast course, for the 10th annual Fleet Feet Soldier Field 10-miler Saturday along the lakefront. It was the headliner on a weekend loaded with quality events, including the Elgin Valley Fox Trot 10-miler and the Tower Trot 5K/10K in Western Springs. But at the Soldier Field 10M, cool temps and hot runners made this one special with Dan Kremske, 24, of Woodstock winning in a very impressive 49:57. The women's title went to Jacqui Giuliano, 27, of Oakwood Hill, in 59:31. Jacqui has been piling up wins on the CARA Runners' Choice Circuit this year. Second in a very fast men's field was Matt Flaherty, 27, of Chicago, in 51:11, and third was taken by Matthew Blume, 31, of Chicago, in 51:19. Runner-up woman was Melissa Hardesty, 35, of Chicago, in 59:32, and third went to Kristen Heckert, 26, of Lisle, in 59:48. The field was deep and age-group placers up and down the charts ran great times. Fleet Feet put on another sparkler today. Congrats to all. Don't forget what Memorial Day is all about as you enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Imig, Guerrero Take Cinco de Miler

Cinco miles on Cinco de Mayo means a five-miler on May 5. For the 5,058 finishers in Sunday's Cinco de Miler in Chicago, it was a day to salute Steve Imig, 36, of Chicago, who won the overall title in 26:13, and amazing Angelica Guerrero, 51 (that's right), of Chicago, who was the women's champ in 31:47. A distant second in the men's race was Nickolaus Early, 33, of Chicago, in 27:03. Third was taken by Jeff Hojnacki, 39, of Chicago, in 27:48, and fourth was earned by Matthew Jeromin, 32, of Des Plaines, in 27:58. Second woman was Kelly Shuma, 28, of Chicago, who ran a 32:12. Next was Annabel Chammas, 13, of Chicago (wow), in 32:20, and fourth went to Jeannie Sullivan, 32, of Chicago, in 32:22. RAM Racing was in charge of this biggie. Great job by everyone involved.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blume, Giuliano Win Race That's Good for Life

Things really got fast at Oak Park Running Club's Race That's Good for Life 5K. The CARA Runner's Choice Circuit event drew a top field through every age group with Matthew Blume, 31, of Chicago, taking top honors in a blistering 15:04.3. He led 30 more runners under 17 minutes on a course that is usually fast, but not that fast! Second was Ryan Giuliano, 28, of Oakwood Hills, in 15:12.9, and third went to Rob Wiley, 37, of Gurnee, in 15:20.7. Four more runners cracked 16 minutes -- incredible. Women's champion was Jacqui Giuliano, 26, and wife of Ryan. She cruised in a 17:40.6. Runner-up woman was Pamela Staton, 26, of Chicago, in 17:55.6, and the sidebar of the day was third-place Mary Blankmeier, 13, of Oak Park, an eighth-grader who turned in a 17:59.5. Of the many other great performances, I have to cite 88-year-old Bob McKeague, of Villa Park, who told me he needed a 33:30 to make the 80th percentile in age-graded timing. He went out and ran a 32:32! I enjoyed the race, stuck to my pace and ran my fastest 5K on a certified course in several years. I'm not sure I could do that again, at least not for a while. Kudos to race organizers for another superb job. A total of 531 women and 490 men finished the race.

It's Sansevervino, Moody at Ravenswood 5K

Part 1 of the great Chicago-area 5K doubleheader began at 8 a.m. on the north side as the Fleet Feet Crew welcomed more than 3,000 runners to the Ravenswood 5K. When it was over, Cole Sanseverino, 24, of Chicago, and our city's "guest" celebrity Tera Moody emerged as the winners. Sanseverino led 18 runners under the 17-minute mark with a winning time of 15:21. Moody, making the most of her current stay in Chicago, won the women's race in a PR-tying 16:14, a week after she won the lakefront 10-mile. Runner-up in the men's standings was Brent Alexander, 32, of Chicago, in 15:22. Third in the deep field went to Douglas Maisey, 25, of Chicago, in 15:54. Second-place female was was Melissa Hardesty, 35, of Chicago, in 17:49. Blossom Marimpietri, 27, of Downers Grove was third in 18:53. There were 3,048 finishers. Great job!

Two Races That Really Stand Out

A pair of great 5Ks, The Race That's Good for Life in Oak Park and the Ravenswood 5K in Chicago go head-to-head this morning. That's a shame really because both are strictly top-shelf. Best of luck to runners, walkers and organizers in both of these races.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Moody, Berns Win Lakefront 10

With Boston's tragic events firmly on the minds of many, a field of more than 1,300 raced in the First Merit Bank Lakefront 10-miler on Saturday along Chicago's north lakefront. A bit of ice and snow over the first three mies or so didn't affect runners, many of whom were bundled up for the cold temps and wind. When it was over, Jake Berns, 27, of Chicago, had won the second Chicago Area Runners Association Runners' Choice Circuit Race in 52 minuts, 20 seconds. St. Charles native and elite-class runner Tera Moody, 32, came in from her home in Boulder, Colo., to win the women's race in 56:14. Ryan Giuliano, 28, and his wife, Jacqui, 26, of Oakwood Hills, both placed second. Ryan ran a 52:32, and Jacqui a 1:01:29. Third-place male was Thomas Frazer, 31, of Lake Forest, in 53:09. Third-place female was Columba Montes, 33, of Chicago, in 1:01:40.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Reid Seizes Moment; Uhl Cruises at 34th Shuffle

When Dathan Ritzenhein pulled out earlier in the week because of an injury, the floodgates were open as to who would win the 34th Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. Already focused for a strong race, Philip Reid, 27, of San Luis Obispo, CA, broke away from Jacob Riley, 24, or Rochester Hills, MI, on the final Columbus Drive straighaway to win Sunday's race in 23 minutes, 8 seconds. Riley was right behind in 23:10, and Joe Moore, 29, of Minneapolis, MN, was third in 23:14. Reid's time was the fastest Shamrock Shuffle time since 2002.
Olympian Lisa Uhl, 25, of Des Moines, IA, took time out from her track training to hit the roads and won easily in 25:54. Melissa White, 31, of Lake Orion, MI, was second in 26:33, and Dot McMahan, 36, of Oakland Township, MI, was third in 26:39.
I personally enjoyed the race, and actually embraced the quick route switch onto Wabash on Mile 2. We got to run by Trump Tower, which brought back memories for me of when the Sun-Times building stood there. A man threatening to jump into the river at State and Wacker forced the late route change from State St., which I believe was a perfect wash distance-wise. As of this writing, there were 33,219 finishers. As I told race director Carey Pinkowski, I've been in 20 or 25 Shuffles, and I think this was the best ever.
Here is the press release from the race office:
Chicago Runners Ring in Spring at the 2013 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K
CHICAGO – More than 33,000 runners hit the streets of downtown Chicago to ring in the spring at the 34th Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. Sunny skies and ideal running conditions greeted participants with temperatures in the mid 50s, making for a festive atmosphere on the race course and at the Post-Race Party at Buckingham Fountain. The first runner across the finish line was Phillip Reid, 27, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., in 23:08. The women’s winner was U.S. Olympian Lisa Uhl, 25, of Des Moines, Iowa, in 25:54. Reid’s winning time was the fastest run on the course since 2002.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day to kick off the running season in Chicago,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “After a long winter, we were blessed by Mother Nature today. The runners were able to take advantage of great running conditions. There were a lot of personal bests out there, and more importantly, it was a great celebration of running for the city of Chicago.” Reid was surprised to break the finish tape after U.S. Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein withdrew from the race earlier in the week. He earned a two-second victory over Jacob Riley, 24, of Rochester Hills, Mich. Joe Moore, 29, of Minneapolis, Minn., was third in 23:14.
“I wasn’t expecting to win,” said Reid, a member of the Asics Aggies elite racing team and a high school teacher who was spending his spring break in Chicago. “My teammates and I came out here to compete with the best and that’s what we did. Chicago is a great city.”
Uhl’s victory in the women’s race did not come as a surprise, but was no less impressive. The Olympian is focused on qualifying for this summer’s World Track & Field Championships in Moscow, Russia. The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K was her first competition in Chicago and her winning time ranks as the 12th fastest in race history. Second place went to Melissa White, 31, of Lake Orion, Mich., and the third place finisher was Dot McMahan, 36, of Oakland Township, Mich.
“I had a blast being part of such a large and exciting event,” said Uhl, who runs professionally for Nike and is an assistant coach at her alma mater, Iowa State University. “I am used to competing on the track, so it was fun to run with thousands of others in an event that is such a big part of the community.”
In the wheelchair competition, Chicago’s Adam Finney won his first-ever Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K title in 22:07. The women’s wheelchair champion was Chicago’s Diana Helt in 31:40.
The 2013 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K included the USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships, featuring 49 elite club teams from across the country. The spirited team competition contributed to one of the most competitive fields in event history. The Michigan-based Hansons-Brooks Distance Project won both the men’s and women’s elite club titles for the second year in a row. The men posted a combined finish time of 1:33:45 among their top four finishers (an average finish time of 23:27). They were led by individual runner-up Jacob Riley. The women’s combined finish time among their top three finishers was 1:21:00 (an average finish time of 27:00). They were led by the secondand third-place individuals Melissa White and Dot McMahan.
Rounding out the top three teams in the men’s team competition were the Asics Aggies Running Club from Central California (1:33:52) and Adidas/Team Rogue from Austin, Tex. (1:34:48). In the women’s team competition, Cleveland Elite Development from Cleveland, Ohio (1:21:37) and Adidas/Team Rogue (1:22:24) were second and third, respectively.
Before the race started, due to police activity along the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K course, a minor re-route was made. Race organizers worked with the City of Chicago to make the timely decision, which did not affect the start or outcome of the event.
The second annual Media Challenge featured nearly 80 members of the local media representing 11 different media outlet teams. The winning team was WGN’s Team Bair Feet, with an average finish time of 35:54 among their top four runners. In recognition of their winning performance, the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will donate $2,500 to their preferred charity, One in a Million: Dancing with Chicago Celebrities, a benefit to fight breast cancer. The NBC Cruisers finished second, and the Chicago Sun-Times was third.
Other notable finishers in the 2013 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K included Danni Allen, the Season 14 winner of NBC’s Biggest Loser, with a time of 38:43, and Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould, with a time of 48:26.
To access photos from today’s event, go to
Top 10 Male Finishers
1. Phillip Reid, 27, San Luis Obispo, Calif., 23:08
2. Jacob Riley, 24, Rochester, Mich., 23:10
3. Joe Moore, 29, Minneapolis, Minn., 23:14
4. Robert Scribner, 27, Rochester Hills, Mich., 23:17
5. Benjamin Sathre, 22, Chaska, Minn., 23:19
6. Ethan Shaw, 23, Rochester, Mich., 23:21
7. William Kaul, 26, Menomonee Falls, Wisc., 23:23
8. David Adams, 24, Austin, Tex., 23:23
9. John Sullivan, 24, Austin, Tex., 23:27
10. Sergio Reyes, 31, Los Osos, Calif., 23:27
Top 10 Female Finishers
1. Lisa Uhl, 25, Des Moines, Iowa, 25:54
2. Melissa White, 31, Lake Orion, Mich., 26:33
3. Dot McMahan, 36, Oakland Township, Mich., 26:39
4. Jessica Odorcic, 31, Madison, Ohio, 26:42
5. Tia Kool, 25, Austin, Tex., 26:56
6. Nicole Camp, 27, Willowick, Ohio, 27:14
7. Allison Mendez, 24, Austin, Tex., 27:36
8. Stephanie Price, 23, Minneapolis, Minn., 27:37
9. Rebecca Michael, 29, Akron, Ohio, 27:41
10. Sarah Boyle, 26, Brighton, Mich., 27:44

Friday, April 5, 2013

Shamrock Shuffle Oozing With Talent

The 34th edition of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is loaded to the gills with top-level runners. It all starts with Team USA distance stars Dathan Ritzenhein and Lisa Uhl. You might have seen them in the Olympics if you were watching. Following them, or even maybe staying with them, at least early in this just-about 5-mile race, will be top club runners from all over the Midwest as well as from across the country. That's because this year's Shamrock is serving as the USATF Club Championship 8K road race. Throw in most of the top local age-groupers and thousands who will run hard and not-so-hard as an annual rite of spring, and you have one hell of a race shaping up Sunday morning in Grant Park and the Windy City's Loop area.
I scrolled through the team rosters tonight, and every big name I've seen recently in local and regional races is signed up to run. 40,000 runners of all shapes and abilities are registered, making this the largest 8K road race in the world. That means at 34,000 or more people are likely to finish this traditional "opener" to the outdoor running season. In truth, a lot of other races have been run this year, but the Shamrock is still the Shamrock. It's huge.
I have run this race countless times on countless courses over the years. I'm still excited and looking forward to lining up for another crack at it. The cold March has kept training on the slow side, but I'll bet we all rise to the occasion. The wheelchairs go at 8:28. The rest of us get rolling starting at 8:30.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Giulianos Sweep March Madness

Ray and Jacqui Giuliano of Oakwood Hills, IL, took home the bacon on Sunday at the highly competitive Hillstriders March Madness Half Marathon in northwest suburban Cary. The cultish-hilly race was run in chilly temps, not mot much wind and no snow! Ryan G., 28, won the overall title going away with an outstanding 1:08:57.15. Jacqui G., 26, took the women's title in 1:22:10.44. Nice job to a winning couple! Runner-up on the men's side was Rob Wiley, 37, of Gurnee, in 1:11:55.16, and third place was earned by Jeff Bailey, 28, of Chicago, in 1:14:22.42. Second in the women's field was Tammy Lifka, 42, of Glen Ellyn, in 1:24:06.00. Third went to Wendy Jaehn, 38, of Chicago, in 1:24:40.44. If you look at the results, they're loaded with time tested runners who ran strong races. Congrats to all.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kaul, Druien Take St. Paddy's Day 5K

It wasn't the nicest day, blah and misty, maybe even sleety, but the times were fast and the field deep on Saturday in Naperville at the St. Paddy's Day 5K. More than 2,200 runners crossed the finish line with Willy Kaul winning the overall title with an impressive 14:56 and Amber Druien capturing the women's crown with a swift 18:12. Kaul 26, of Naperville, beat two top area runners as Kyle Brady, 24, of Naperville, took second in 15:10, and Mike Spain, 23, of Normal, took third in 15:18. All three were under five minutes a mile. Druien, 27, of Naperville, won the women's race handily. Runner-up Lauren Farley, 37, of Aurora, came across with an 18:46, and Karin Glenn, 42, of Naperville, placed third in 19:49. This was the first big race of the season with many more to come, starting with tomorrow's March Madness Half-Marathon in Cary. I've done it many times, but am not running it this year. Good luck and Happy St. Pat's Day to everyone who ran today or running tomorrow.

Friday, March 8, 2013

In or Out? Find Out on March 12

The marathon lottery is complete. Approximately 36,000 people entered with hopes of getting one of the remaining 15,000 spots in the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The following is directly from the marathon web site:

From the pool of lottery entrants, 15,000 names will be randomly selected to fill the remaining spots in the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. All lottery entrants will be notified of their selection status via email on Tuesday, March 12.
If you are selected to register for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, you will have until 9 p.m. CST on Thursday, March 14, to complete your official registration and pay the race entry fee. If you do not complete your registration by the deadline it will expire and will not be re-issued.
The information that you submitted upon entering the lottery will be pre-populated into your event registration.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Off and Running, Let the Lottery Begin

You've heard about the lottery that will be used to determine who the final 15,000 people are who get the chance to run the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon this fall. The rest of this post is directly from the marathon web site. If you want to get in, you need to read this either here or on the marathon site. Good luck.

From the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Web Site
Registration for the remaining 15,000 entries into the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is available through a lottery. The lottery entry period is currently open.
Before entering the lottery, please be advised of the following:
•Each individual is permitted one entry into the lottery
•For the best chance of selection, submit one complete and accurate lottery entry, as incomplete entries, entries with conflicting or misinformation, and duplicate entries will be removed from the system prior to the selection process
•Upon entering the lottery, you will receive an email confirming your entry
•You can also confirm your entry into the lottery by clicking the “Check Your Status” link on the lottery page
•If you are selected, the information that you submit via your lottery entry will be pre-populated into your Chicago Marathon registration form, and cannot be altered in any way or transferred to another individual

Lottery Entry Details
The lottery entry period is currently open, and will close Thursday, March 7, at 9 p.m. CST. There is no cost to enter the lottery, and entries can be submitted at any time during this period. The order and time of entry into the lottery will have no bearing on chances of selection. A confirmation email will be sent upon successful submission of the online lottery entry form.

Lottery Selection Details
From the pool of lottery entrants, 15,000 names will be randomly selected to fill the remaining spots in the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Those individuals will be notified via email on Tuesday, March 12. They will have until 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, to complete their official registration and they must pay the standard race entry fee. Registrations not completed by the deadline will expire and will not be re-issued.

Registration Requirements
•The 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon registration fee is $175 for U.S. participants and $200 for participants outside of the U.S.
•The event has a required maximum net finish time of 6 hours and 30 minutes (h:mm:ss / 6:30:59) •Participants must be 16 years or older on race day, October 13, 2013, to register. Participants 16-17 years of age must have a statement signed by their parent or legal guardian permitting them to participate.
•Sale and/or transfer of race entries/bib numbers is strictly prohibited. All entry fees are non-refundable, and may not be deferred toward a future event.
•Read the Official Event Rules & Guidelines

Registration Confirmation
The registration confirmation link has been updated to accurately reflect the participants who successfully registered for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. For those who did not receive a confirmation e-mail upon registering, if your name appears within this searchable database, this serves as official confirmation of a successful entry.
Confirm your registration at

Friday, February 22, 2013

Marathon Registration Plan Coming on Feb. 28

From Bank of America Chicago Marathon Web site

Thank you for your ongoing patience as we work through the issues that resulted in the suspension of registration for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Our team is working around the clock to determine a timely, fair, and effective registration solution to fill the remaining 15,000 entries without further technical complications. At 3 p.m. CST on Thursday, February 28, we will announce an equitable plan for how and when we will reopen registration. If you would like to receive an email when this announcement is made, please sign up here:
We understand the frustrations and appreciate your continued patience during this process. Additional registration questions can be directed to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon office at 312.904.9800 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST.
Registration Confirmation
The registration confirmation link has been updated to accurately reflect the participants who successfully registered for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. For those who did not receive a confirmation e-mail upon registering, if your name appears within this searchable database, this serves as official confirmation of a successful entry.
Confirm your registration here:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Registration Hits the Wall could not handle the load Tuesday. You know the story by now. Registration for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been suspended. Things just didn't work as planned, the system failed and many frustrated runners did not get in or got in more than once. It was a sad mess and I hope for the runners who want to run Chicago on Oct. 13 that things get straightened out. Here is the latest from the marathon web site if you haven't seen it:

We are incredibly sorry that runners interested in signing up for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon experienced such difficulties today. We have been working nonstop with our registration provider to find the root of the problem and a solution. Many runners were able to sign up before the registration process was suspended. There are currently 15,000 entries remaining. Before we re-open registration, we need to make sure all technical issues are permanently resolved. We will provide ample notice regarding when the registration process will re-open.
For those who were able to successfully complete the registration process, you can confirm your registration by clicking on the links listed below (on the marathon web site). For those that were charged more than once, our registration provider is in the process of refunding any duplicate charges and will notify these participants.
We do not plan on reopening registration within the next two days. We will provide another update on registration by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursday.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicago Marathon -- Ready, Set, Register!

As the rain of mid-February changes to snow, it's time to sign up for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. And if you're serious about getting in, make sure you go for it tomorrow. It might be closed by Wednesday, even with 45,000 spots. The following material comes from the marathon web site. Good luck if you plan to run Chicago this fall!
Registration for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will open at NOON on Tuesday, February 19 (Central Standard Time). The registration fee is $175 for U.S. participants and $200 for participants outside of the U.S. Registration will close when the participant capacity of 45,000 is reached.
Event Entry Requirements:
•The 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a required maximum net finish time of 6 hours and 30 minutes (h:mm:ss / 6:30:59).
•Participants must be 16 years or older on race day, October 13, 2013, to register. Participants 16-17 years of age must have a statement signed by their parent or legal guardian permitting them to participate.
•Sale and/or transfer of race entries/bib numbers is strictly prohibited. All entry fees are non-refundable, and may not be deferred toward a future event.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Shamrock Shuffle to Host USATF 8K Club Championships

USATF-Member Running Clubs to Compete for National Title and Share of $20,000 Prize Purse
Press Release
The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and USA Track & Field (USATF) today announced that the first-ever USATF National Club Team 8km Championships will be held as part of Chicago's popular 40,000-participant road race on Sunday, April 7, 2013. The Shamrock Shuffle, the world's largest 8K road race, is the traditional kick-off to the outdoor running season in Chicago for recreational and veteran runners alike. The introduction of the USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships elevates the elite-level competition, attracting competitive club teams and athletes from across the country to vie for a national title and a share of the $20,000 prize purse.
The Shamrock Shuffle 8K has been home to several top national and international performances over its 34-year history, including Deena Kastor's 8K American record and course record 24:36 set in 2005, and Kenyan James Kariuki's course record 22:35 set in 1998. However, this is the first time the event will host a national championship. The lightning-fast 8K (4.97-mile) course in downtown Chicago mirrors segments of the world-renowned Bank of America Chicago Marathon course, including the start and finish in Grant Park and a mile-long stretch on famed State Street.
In 2009, the Shamrock Shuffle 8K introduced-in addition to its Open and Corporate team divisions-a division for men's and women's elite USATF-member running clubs. Although not a certified national championship at the time, the division was popular among local and regional running clubs as a unique opportunity to compete as a team at one of the nation's premier road races. By 2012, the competition grew to include 30 teams from nine states, with the winning men's and women's teams hailing from Michigan's Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, one of the USA's leading running clubs.
"Running clubs are the fabric of the running community at all levels of the sport, and we're excited to welcome the country's top clubs to Chicago to vie for a national title," said Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "This partnership between the Shamrock Shuffle and USA Track & Field provides a high-profile opportunity for athletes representing their respective clubs to compete at the national level in a world-class city. It's also a special opportunity for local running clubs and athletes to race against their peers from around the country."
"With hundreds of USATF running clubs across the country serving as the backbone of our sport, it is important that we create more competitive opportunities at the club level," said USATF CEO Max Siegel. "The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is always a great event, and we look forward to our clubs enjoying a first-rate championship event."
For more competition and registration details for the USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships, go to

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Favela, Montes CARA Runners of the Year

From Chicago Athlete Magazine Newsletter
The winners of the 2012 CARA Circuit have been announced by the Chicago running group. The male winner is Emisael Favela, 35, from Berwyn, and the female winner is 33 year-old Columba Montes from Chicago. Both winners have been regular top competitors in the area for years, with success in multiple races ranging in all different distances.
Favela, who was the March 2006 winner of the Clif Bar Athlete of the Month, had a year that rarely saw him outside of the top five finishers. In the 16-race season, Favela finished with a total of 118 points. The next-closest finisher was more than 30 points behind Favela, who highlighted his season with a first-place finish at the Roselle Run for the Roses 5k. The Chicago resident also finished first in his age group in the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, Downers Grove 5 Miler, Park Ridge Charity Classic and Peoria Steamboat Classic. In his only marathon of 2012, Favela finished the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in 2:31:43 and in 5th place overall.
Female winner Columba Montes had a year few could top. In nearly every race Montes competed in she finished atop her age group. In the CARA sponsored Lakefront 10 Miler, Montes was the first female to finish and was the 25th runner overall. Montes ran in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and finished with a sub-3 hour marathon at 2:55:02. Her finish was good enough for a 36th best from all women and 15th in her age group. A single mother, Montes told Chicago Athlete in September that she worked especially hard this year to set an example for her daughters.
The full rankings, along with final point totals for both men and women are available on CARA’s web site. The 2013 CARA Circuit starts off with the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k, which is April 7 this year. There are 16 races in and around Chicago. For more information, visit CARA’s homepage.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Social Media and the Silent Sports

This post is part of the Lightspan Digital#MarketingHop on social sports, in which bloggers were asked to share their story about how social media is connecting people in the silent sports community.

Are our sports more social than ever before? I would say absolutely yes. I think it started as more and more people started getting involved with less emphasis on competition. That, coupled with modern technology, brought us to where we are today.
Social media isn't something I saw coming or really felt a need for as I looked for ways to spread the word about the sports I love and the events I direct. Now, as I move forward, I can't imagine not having such a technologically saavy tool at my disposal and yours as we move up the high-tech social ladder.
As a dedicated provider of information, advocate for change, organizer of races and events and as an active participant in the silent sports, particularly running, cross-country skiing and, to a lesser degree, road cycling, I am thankful to the pioneers who came up with this social networking concept back in the 1990s -- namely Tina Sharkey, Ted Leonis and Darrell Berry -- at least they did according to a Forbes Magazine article in 2010.
We really can engage like never before. Quick examples in my own sphere of influence include getting the word out that last year's Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th running race was a go despite major storm damage and a power failure at the race venue. Two minutes on Facebook from a restaurant in a neighboring town erased any doubts the best runners in Chicagoland had. More recently, a Holiday Lights Fun Run I organized through the Door County Silent Sports Alliance in Sturgeon Bay, WI, was entirely a Facebook enterprise, and I might add, a total success.
In the cross-country ski world of northern Illinois, a hard-core group of several hundred snow-chasers is linked both through Yahoo Groups and Facebook. If there is snow, good ski conditions or a race nearby, those are their lifelines for information and commentary.
Finally, as an advocate (or activist -- take your pick), I was one of many who spoke up and prevented a new law in Wisconsin that allowed hunting in state parks to be implemented as originally intended. It was cut from 7.5 months of open hunting and trapping to two months after ferocious efforts by silent sports lovers. Through Facebook and the Door County Silent Sports Alliance, my statements as well as television and newspaper interviews I did, got wide exposure and helped the overall cause immensely. I did not seek this publicity, but the information spread freely. It happened in this new technological era of open communications on a platform called Facebook, a word that didn't exist not too long ago. I just had to smile when I saw how it worked and what was accomplished in the Wisconsin political arena.
As a Chicago-area running blogger since 2005, I tend to bring some of my traditional journalism skills from years at the Sun-Times, and Milwaukee Sentinel before that, to the modern world. In other words, I really do try to keep myself out of it most of the time and report the who, what, where, when, why and how. But as Facebook has evolved in my daily routine, I do find myself becoming more and more a part of this human story-telling phenomenon in which we engage others day and night.
At any rate, social media certainly enable race directors and potential participants to meet in cyberspace, engage in conversation and move ahead loaded with information.
Do we go too far sometimes? Yes. Do we come up short sometimes? Yes. Are the silent sports better off with social media? I think so.
For the silent sports and me, it's two states, two sports I love and two fabulous platforms (Facebook and Google). Once upon a time, we said "right on." Now, it's "log-on!"

Check out other views (links below--updates coming) from runners, retailers, coaches and race organizers about how social media is connecting the silent sports community. To continue the conversation, join us in a Twitter Chat with the hashtag #marketinghop on Jan. 8 at 1 p.m.
Tim Cigelske, The Beer Runner,(@thebeerrunner):
Myles Dannhausen, Door County Half Marathon, (@mylespulse): How Social Media Helps Us Improve the Door County Half Marathon:
Tom Held, The Active Pursuit (@tomheld): An Antenna, Not A Mic - Reporting With Social Media):
Maggie Wolff (@not_maragret): How Social Media Changed My Running:
Ashley Kumlien, MS Run the U.S. (@MSRuntheUS): Raising Funds, Awareness With Social Media:
Lauren Matricardi, Fleet Feet Chicago (@fleetfeetchgo): The Conversation: Our Social Media Strategy:
Lightspan Digital: How Social Media Changed Running:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Coming Tuesday: Da 'Blog-Hop'

I will be participating tomorrow in a unique silent sports blog-hop. The general topic will be my perspective on how the social media relates to the world of silent sports, which, of course, includes running. The blog-hop, organized by Lightspan Digital, will feature other Chicago-area and Midwest bloggers and include links to their writings on the same subject at the same time. For those of you who have not heard the term "silent sports," before, it includes running, cycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, paddling and hiking. This (the blog-hop, not the sports) should be an interesting venture into new territory, at least for me. Until then . . . .

Giulianos S-No-W Fun Run 5-Mile Winners

With snow on the ground but off the roads at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa in Lake Geneva, WI, times were very good on Saturday at the 33rd annual John Jantz Memorial 5-Mile, better known as the S-No-W Fun Run. Another large field turned out with strong runners competing from both sides of the state line. Leading the men and women were well-known Chicago-area runners Ryan and Jacqui Giuliano. Now based downstate in Oakwood Hills, IL, the recently-married couple won, but not without opposition. Ryan, 28, won the men's race in 25:51.6, with Eric Wallor, 29, of Palatine, second in 26:40.5, and Brandon Gittelman, 23, of Naperville, third in 26:59.5. Jacqui G., 26, took the women's field in 29:54.5, with Shannon Teunissen, 30, of Belvidere, second in 29:59.3, and Emma Keenan, 24, of Evanston, third in 30:05.4. There were 937 finishers in this race, which, of course, is followed by a great party. If ever there were a combo competitive/social run, this is the one. The special touch I like is the one-year age groups. Some mighty fine runners were there in all age spectrums. Nice job!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Off to a Brisk Start

The New Year's Day 5K in Lincoln Park was run for the 28th time on Tuesday and in its customary fashion, visitors to Chicago were there to join the local racing scene while all were working off their New Year's Eve refreshments. The overall title went to Kevin Carollo, 44, of Fargo, ND, in 17:26. Second went to Derek Weber, 19, of Los Angeles, and third male was Andrew Letourneau, 18, of Arlington Heights, in 17:58. The women's field was led by Amanada Sanchez, 18, of Arlington Heights, in 19:58. Runner-up was Jesse Hunter, 24, of Richmond (IL, IN, VA???), in 20:59, and third woman was Becky Durling, 23, of Chevy Chase, MD, in 21:30. There were 828 finishers.