Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chicago Lakefront 50k volunteering

Photos taken by Adrian Belitu

In photo: Sarah, Karen, runner # 1022, Torey, Jennifer
(Ben and myself in the background)

Today I volunteered at the Chicago Lakefront 50k with a bunch of fellow CHUGs.

In 2000 I ran the very first Lakefront 50k in what is actually my last ultra and also my 50k PR. It was therefore great to be back there in 2010.

After catching an early Metra train in from Naperville then the CTA brown line El I walked from the station through my old neighbourhood where I had lived for 12 years to the lakefront and meet up with CHUGs Ben, Sarah, Tony and his son Nick. Two other volunteers from the Lincoln Park Pacers, Cathy and Colleen were also there. Jen, Torey, Jim and Adrian arrived later on. Fleet Feet manages the water aid stations at this race and their coordinator, Karen, was there to help.

As with most Lakefront 50ks the day was windy but the temperature was not too bad and when the sun came out it felt just right, at least for running. This race allows earlier starters but we only saw a few. Finally the lead guys came into view. Quick in and out with their bottles filled. More runners trickled in and then a big rush with all volunteers rushing to hand out cups of water and energy drinks. Then it slowed down for the back packers.

Lakefront 50k is three 10.33 mile loops. We was stationed at the far turn around so we saw them at miles 5, 15, 25 (approx). Most runners looked in good shape most the race. Few complained of soreness but after 25 miles it is to be expected but all turned around and headed for home. We only had two drop out but they were still smiling and basically was not their day.

Friends I saw running included Nikki, Steve R, Chelsey, Ed Kelly, Tom J, Larry, Beth, Aziz. Sorry if I missed a few names. Congrats to all that finished

Although out there for around 6 hours the time flew by. Sarah and Ben got their volunteer hours needed for Vermont 100. It was a good day for a good CHUG gathering. The CHUGs were out in force today as a large bunch more were down south at the Clinton Lake 30 running on a very hill course, another 3 loop race.

Race results will be or are here:


Ralph said...

Hi Ian,
Enjoyed reading your post. I ran the Lakefront 50K yesterday and I'm also from Naperville. It was my first 50K. The volunteers were definitely the heroes yesterday in that cool wind. Along the lake was especially cool.

I had such a GREAT time at this race! Took it slow since I didn't have many long runs yet this spring. The volunteers, runners, and even the other runners along the way were very encouraging.

Not sure I'm an ultra runner but I'd definitely recommend this race for anyone wanting to step up from a marathon. I'll also look into CHUG.

Thanks again to you and all the volunteers!

Ralph Brown

Ian said...

Hey Ralph,
Thanks for comment.

Congrats on finishing your first 50k, you are an ultra runner.

Lakefront 50k is a great step up for anyone after a marathon but they do become addictive and joining the CHUGs can have the same effect. Great group of runners and friends. I'll be looking out for you on the CHUG website


Lisa B said...

Nice you got a chance to see some of the gang, Ian. So wish I could've been there. Glad you had fun.

jason said...

@Ian - great report; wish I volunteered at half the events you do! See you in May if not before.

@Ralph - grats on your first ultra finish! Now to just get you some hills and trails and get you hooked...

@Lisa - sorry I missed ya, was with the rest of the CHUGs @Clinton Lake - hope the return to Chicago was good!