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.