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