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 (www.4on4th.com)!
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.