Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Run with the Lions (April 30th)

Coming up on April 30th is the 3rd annual "Run with the Lions" at St James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville, IL. It is back at the original venue after a year at Danada due to major construction.

If the past two years are anything to go by it'll be another awesome race for a great cause. I did the race both years and was impressed by the organization and everything that came with the entry fee.

For race information and signing up head here:  http://www.runwiththelions.com/index.html

You can read my race review from 2015 on this blog:  http://www.denalifc.blogspot.com/2015/04/rain-run-with-lions-5k.html

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

GLASA Chicago Marathon Charity Spots

Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association | Let no one site on the sidelines
Over the past four years or so I have been involved with a great organization to help them put on an evening Twilight 5k race in Lake Forest. http://www.glasa.org/special-events/twilight-5k/
Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) strives to ‘Let No One Sit on the Sidelines’ and operates under a mission to promote and support the optimal development and well-being of youth, adults and military veterans who have a physical or visual disability through the provision of inclusive recreation, fitness and competitive sports activities. GLASA offers opportunities for empowerment through education, leadership and training in collaboration with community-based organizations. http://www.glasa.dreamhosters.com/about-us/mission/.
They raise funds to help those that normally can't partake in a variety of sports. Everyone from kids through adults including those that compete in the Paraolympics. One of those fund raisers is a team in the Chicago Marathon. GLASA as secured slots as detailed below.  
If you need more information please contact:
Cherie Hrusovsky chrusovsky@glasa.org 847-283-0908 (she authored the details that follow)
If you have ever wanted to run the Chicago Marathon, GLASA has your chance! GLASA has charity entries for the race and we are trying to spread the word. Do you want to run? Do you have friends who want to run? Please Facebook, tweet, Snapchat, Instagram or otherwise share with your networks! 
There are two different ways that you can join Team GLASA as a marathon runner on Sunday, October 9, 2016!
As a Charity Runner with a Guaranteed Entry: If you need a guaranteed entry to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, GLASA has entries! GLASA can provide you with the opportunity to run in 2016, and you can commit to making a difference in the lives of individuals with physical disabilities. All guaranteed entry charity runners are required to raise a minimum of $1,000 in exchange for their entry, but GLASA will help you with fundraising assistance, a fundraising website, tips etc.
As a Charity Runner with a Non- Charity Entry:  There are a few ways that you can secure entry into the Bank of America Chicago marathon without using a charity entry. You can    1. Qualify as a legacy runner by having completed 5 Chicago Marathons within the last 10 years.    2. Qualify by running a sub 3:15 (men) or sub 3:45 (women).    3. If you do not qualify as a legacy runner or a time qualifier, you can also join the lottery and take your chances of being chosen during the spring lottery selection, March 10-April 21. The lottery option does not guarantee that you get a slot to run the marathon, but if you are successful in securing a slot via the lotto, GLASA will still welcome you to join our team!
If you use a non-charity entry, GLASA suggests a fundraising minimum of $260- ten dollars per mile. You are not contractually obligated to raise the $1,000 required of charity runners. You still receive all of the same benefits as the charity runners and you still get to make a difference in the lives of individuals with physical disabilities as you tackle your marathon challenge.
Benefits of Running with Team GLASA:
- Team GLASA Tech T Shirt
- Fundraising Guidance
- FREE Entry to Twilight 5k
- FREE Entry to the SALUTE 5k/10k
- Race Day Hospitality Room near the finish line
Easy gear check
Massage Therapist
                Continental Breakfast and Light Lunch
- Charity Mile Party for Your Family and Friends on Race Day
- Social Events
- Fundraising Incentives and Prizes
- CARA membership and Training Program
- Race entry reimbursement* (with a $2,000 fundraising minimum)
- The satisfaction of making a difference for individuals with physical and visual disabilities.
More information about Team GLASA and the Chicago Marathon: www.glasa.org/marathon
Want to Register to Run with Team GLASA? Visit the website for the registration link for Team GLASA.
(Please note this is NOT a registration form for the Chicago Marathon. It is for the charity team. You need to register directly with the Chicago Marathon to secure your marathon entry. The marathon opens for registration on March 8th.)
 We will follow up with more information about fundraising pages, social events and incentives in the coming days. Right now, all you need to do is join the team and share this email with your family and friends so they can also run with GLASA!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tour de Trails 20k

Preview number one

Over next few weeks I hope to write up a preview of the races I listed in my Super Duper Race list. These are all races that I hope to do in 2016 but have also had some involvement in before generally due to running or volunteer at them. As with any race please verify all details for yourself and every race is subject to changes right up to the moment it starts.

Today I am going to look at Rockford's Tour de Trails 12 mile, March 19th in Rock Cut State Park. 

This race is part of a winter series put on by the Rockford Road Runners on various trail systems around the Rockford area. They hold a 3 mile (December), 6 mile (January), 9 mile (February), 12 mile (March). There was an option to do the whole series if you signed up for the series before the first race or you can do individual race such as the 12 mile in March.

In 2007 I completed this series. It was under a different RD and all races where held at Rock Cut. If you completed the series you earned the coveted orange survivor long sleeve shirt.

The new RD has kept the same general ideas but made some nice changes. Kept is the low entry fee, challenging courses, bring a dish to share, low key race but added a small SWAG item for each race: December was a Christmas tree ornament, March will be a long sleeve cotton T shirt (see race web for full details including limits on sign up deadlines for SWAG etc), holds each race at a different trail system in the Rockford area although March will be at Rock Cut, gives a hoodie for those completing the series.

My previous races at Rock Cut have included the 2007 series, the 12mile (well 20k) series race in 2012, and in September I've done the club's HOBO races including 25k twice and 50k once. Rock Cut is a great trail system including wide cross country trails, horse trails and single track trails. Some is flat, some hilly and there could be a creek or swallow river crossing depending on the trails used. And being the tail end of winter it could be dry, wet, snowy, icy. I've ran in all conditions at Rock Cut.

My reviews:

March 2012 20k http://www.denalifc.blogspot.com/2012/03/mud-mud-and-more-mud-20k-trail-race.html

Rock Cut HOBO 50k http://www.denalifc.blogspot.com/2010/09/rock-cut-hobo-50k.html


Friday, January 1, 2016

Here's some super duper races for 2016

Happy New Year my friends.

2015 wasn't a good one for me. Well some parts where but running was not. A few medical issues (pneumonia, allergies, bronchitis) basically prevented any running. I did a few races but they didn't go as planned but I made them fun and finished. Hoping for a better 2016. At least work and school went well but it was a busy time.

My plan for 2016 is to get back to running, do some races, volunteer at some races all while working hard and learning well. Not sure what races I'll be shooting for in 2016 but some ideas are listed and I intend to do profiles on those listed and even others. Maybe you'll be at some of these

March 19 Tour de Trails at Rock Cut SP in Rockford. 12 miles of trails  https://runsignup.com/Race/Events/IL/Rockford/TourdeTrails 

April 30 Run with the Lions 5k St James Farm, Warrenville IL.  http://www.runwiththelions.com/ 

May and June will likely find me volunteering at the Ice Age 50 and the Kettle Moraine 10044

July 4 Pokanoka's 8 mile trail race, Shabbona Lake, IL. http://pokanokasrun.com/

July 15-16 Christmas in July, Lisle IL. This event includes a 5k, 10k, 6 hour, 12 hour and 24 hour.

July 30 Hot, Hilly Hairy 50k Kenosha WI. Held on the famous UW- Parkside cross country course.

August 28 Muddy Monk's Nearly Sane half  http://www.muddymonk.com/trailruns/

October 15 Des Plaines River Trail, 50 mile, marathon, half marathon.

In the weeks ahead I plan to do a profile of each race detailing event details taken from their website, Facebook pages and my own experiences. I may add some other races and if any RDs want me to add their events please email me and I'll consider them (IJSEvents@gmail.com). Some of the above races are put on by RDs or organizations that do other events during the year or a series of races during the mentioned events so those will get some words during the profile postings. Good example is the Hot Hilly Hairy 50k put on my Kenosha Running Company who do a number of trail races during the year plus the HHH50k is one of a number of races held on the same day. Same with DPRT which if you have read my blogging you know what that event means to me.



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Pokanoka's 8 mile trail race

The third annual Pokanoka's 8 mile trail race was held today July the 4th in Shabbona Lake State Park to benefit the Safe Passage group. http://pokanokasrun.com/

I signed up for the race a few weeks ago before the deadline for T shirts although I knew this would be a slow run and hike around the lake. After signing up my friend Carina told me she did it in 2014 and would be there this year. She also mentioned her husband Joe had craved a totem pole in 1997 and it was placed right outside the sponsoring Pokanoka's Café. Over the years she had also camped there

Joe's Totem Pole. Photo from race website

Race day dawned and I got up early and headed west to the park being one of the first to arrive, something I prefer to do. Headed to packet pickup. Got my bib, number 199, goody bag and then the T shirt. Sadly although the shirt is a nice design it is the one color I hate, pink, so it'll not get worn by me. (Got home and gave it to Laura to use as PJs or something). Wished it had been white. Still we was there to trail run around a lake and benefit a good cause not a T shirt so no biggie

Carina and our ultra running friend Mike arrived got their packets and it was time to line up for the start. The race announcer went through last years winners to see if they were there this year and mentioned the new age group set up; no award for last place just the fast folks. There was also a show of hands for first timers at the race,  I was.

Race start and how we would continue (photo by Carina)

The race started almost cross country style with a white line sprayed on the grass and the 100 lined up behind so not many deep. We started need the back and once the gun was fired followed everyone out onto the trail system.

The course was primarily all grass on trails around 8 feet wide. There was a few sections of dirt and a little mud plus a number of hills and rollers. The course was around 1/3 woods with pine and other trees, 1/3 prairie and 1/3 lake or water views including a long dam crossing at one end of the lake. It was a scenic run. Parts reminded me of the Nordic blue trail at Kettle Moraine but with less steep climbs, except one big hill. Other parts reminded me of Rock Cut in Rockford area due to the lake views.  If I lived closer I would run at Shabbona Lake  http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/ShabbonaLake.aspx  

Carina, Mike and I took our time on this course. We chatted and laughed a lot. We run some, walked more, power hiked even more. We stopped so Carina could take photos and ask other trail users to take photos of our little group. Around mile 4.5 Mike was told to go run so he could finish faster then run back to meet up with us. He ended up with 10+ miles. Our time was slow but due to making it fun the slow race time went by really fast. The hard part besides the hills was being able to see the finish line across the lake but as we ducked in and out of lake views it was great to realize we was getting closer and closer with every step. Finally we hit a really long earthen dam that holds back the lake water at the south end. After that crossing with stops for photos a small trail loop took us into the finish. Carina wanted to be the last finisher but someone was behind us.

The Dam crossing (photo by a fisherman with Carina phone)

The race was really low key, around 100+ but I think it could grow. The course as mentioned was to my liking. The race benefits a good cause. They also have a 1.8 mile trail walk.

Next year I'll be back but maybe I should train. 2015 has been rough due to pneumonia at start of year, working full time and also putting on running events on some weekends, plus being back in school half time makes for one very busy me but as I love running especially on trails let's "just do it"  (Nike TM) 

Course map (road crossing blue T, water station green numbers)
And for my ultra runners. As mentioned the trails reminded me of Nordic at KM and Rock Cut. Trails were all grass with a little dirt and mud but included hills. If you live close or want a change from training at KM, RC or Palos check out Shabbona in DeKalb County. Given the loop we used (8 miles) Mike and I thought this would make a good place to hold a 50k trail race - 4 loops for just over 50k and maybe a 1 and 2 loop races for those to experience the trail system. Easy access to set up an aid station at mid point  and plenty of parking plus a café nearby.
My next race was supposed to be the Hot Hilly 50k (20k30k) race in Kenosha in 2 weeks. Sadly so undertrained in distance and pace, as mentioned above I doubt it will happen. As I still want to be there thinking of volunteering then going to Lisle later in the day and volunteering at the Christmas in July 24 hour ultra. Although I finished today it was slow and maybe ugly. It felt good to finish but know I am not ready to even go 20k let alone 50k in two weeks.
Are we done yet? Mike and I just before the dam crossing
All photos belong to the race or Carina. Consider it free PR.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chicago Full Moon 5k Norwood Park

Last year I did a fun evening race in Chicago at Norwood Park.

The Chicago Full Moon 5k and 1 mile race will be held again on Wed July 29th at 7.30pm. Put on by my friends Bill and Michelle Donato Thom of RunRace in basically their back yard. Consists of 2 loops around a neighborhood and park.

Sunset is around 8pm so will you or the sun finish first.

$20 to enter by Wed July 15 midnight, $25 after and $30 race day (see web for full details).

Great time last year and what else do you have to do on a Wednesday night.

[Logo: Chicago Full Moon Run]
Race review and photos from 2014 http://www.runrace.net/runreports.php?id=264
[map: CFM 5-Km Featured Event]
Photos and map copyright of Runrace.net and The Thom's

Monday, April 27, 2015

Rain (Run) With The Lions 5k

A chilly, rain and wind could not keep well over 300 runners from attending the 2015 edition of Longwood PTA's Run with the Lions 5k at Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton, IL

Last year's race was held at St James Farm in Warrenville, another DuPage Forest Preserve but due to extensive construction there Longwood PTA moved the race to nearby Danada. St James was primarily a grass trail system while Danada utilizes limestone trails besides the start/finish line area.

The race had a great entry fee for those that signed up early. What race promises a nice tech event shirt, a scenic course, a cool finishers medal and some great post race food by their great sponsors? Run with the Lions 5k of course. Last year was a great blue shirt, this year was a red one with a new logo on the front. The same new logo appeared on the finishers medal.

Packet pickup was really smooth at two different locations on two different days. The goody bag included a bunch of flyers some from local restaurants with offers that I'll be using.

Race day I was up bright and early. It was raining as it had been when I went to sleep a number of hours before. Although it was not as bad as before it was still coming down and the temperature had dropped to an unseasonable level. Looking at the radar on the internet didn't and wouldn't change the story so pulling out the running jacket I got ready. Despite the rain it had to be a shorts day but to go with those was a long sleeve DPRT shirt, the jacket and a running cap. Sadly I left the gloves at home and a thin pair might have been a good idea. Danada has two parking areas, one close to the race HQ and the other next to the equestrian center a short walk via a trail tunnel to the race site. Naturally I choose the longer walk via the tunnel. A number of people parked there and a hardy volunteer was directing people to the race. I run at Danada and the contecting Herrick a lot so knew the way but appreciate the volunteer for being out there in the rain. Ran into a number friends (Bob and Diane, Julie and her daughter, neighbor Kathy, a few members of the Midwest Vikings) before the race started and again after.

The race started on the Danada horse training track where a former Kentucky Derby had done some  training. In fact the preserve still has a set of horse starting gates on display. With the rain still coming down race director "Drew and his Crew" said some words and started the runners. 400 meters of grass running then a left turn onto the limestone trail that would carry us to a turnaround just inside Herrick. For the most this section is flat with meadows on one side and trees on the other. As the course was out and back the scenery changed sides on the return. Each mile was clearly marked and every so often their was a volunteer holding an inspiring sign created by one of the students at Longwood school.  Not far from the turnaround was a well maintained aid station with plenty of eager volunteers offering water and then finally at the 1.5 mile turnaround another cheerful volunteer sending us back the way we had come.

I have not really trained much this year. Having had pneumonia a few months before I was not sure how my pace and race would be. I decided to take it easy and maintain a steady but slow pace and minimize the walk breaks. This plan worked very well and I was pleased with the effort. Rounding the turn for home was so nice. Like everyone does, I picked up the pace and finished strong.

A volunteer handed me a finishers medal and another a bottle of water. As  drank the water Diane and then Bob would come across the finish. It was great seeing them there for their second time of running this 5k. Bob would end up getting 2nd in his age group and has they had to leave for home promptly I did the honors and picked up Bob's award. It was an ESPY award moment!!

Just like last year the race had secured a number of food sponsors who supplied their products. Zoups was my favorite plus some different choices of yogurt from TCBY, coffee from Starbucks and a good selection of bagels, fruit and salted type snacks. There was a place supplying chicken sandwiches but as a vegetarian I took a pass on those. Onto the award and despite the still rainy conditions many had stayed around. The timer "Its Race Time" did a great job of producing the results quickly. Top placing were presented a bag with their awards inside. Last year my friend, Janeth, won the female race and got some nice awards so guessing this year was no different. Age group (top 3) got a placing disc that fits on the back of their finishers medal, cool idea. Then it was time for home.

Despite the weather Longwood PTA, the race staff and volunteers put on another great event. The proceeds from the race go to Longwood PTA to provide things for the kids at the school, a worthy cause. I highly recommend "Run with the Lions 5k". I'll be there in 2016 and hope you think about attending too.             

Photos of the winners below. Congrats to Keely and Sam.

Photos and logos borrowed from the race website and Facebook page.
Any copyrights owned by the race and Longwood PTA.