Sunday, November 14, 2010


Have you ever been curious about something so you read about it, bookmark websites and even go and check it out? That is how I have been with the sport of Orienteering. I get curious about most sports that have running in them. With my love of trail running orienteering seemed a natural sport to do.

I picked up a book at a book sale for 25 cents a few year back. Admittedly I have only skimmed the pages rather than reading it. I've had the local Chicago area club's website bookmarked and even printed off the event schedules last two years. In 2009 I was running the trail in a DuPage Forest Preserve and an O was being staged. I stood around near the start/finish area watching and was intrigued. Runners would register, receive a map, study the map and then head off into the woods. There was all types; young-old, fit-not so fit, fast-slow. I wasn't carrying any cash so could not sign up and join in the fun.

Almost 18 months later I found myself on the starting line at a Chicago O in Palos. Fellow CHUG Deanna had signed up for the event and formed a team of four people. Deanna is a multi-silent queen. You can find her doing triathlons, mountain biking, road biking, road running, trail running, distances from 5k to 50 mile, adventure racing and even a number of O. I was just happy to be part of the adventure. Joining us was Sarah who did her first O the week before and Ben who like me was a newbie. Unlike me Ben and Sarah win ultra races and Deanna finishes 50ks a few time zones ahead of me. Could I keep up or would I get left behind and lost on some unknown Palos Swallow Cliffs trails.

I say unknown trails even though I run at Swallow Cliffs a lot I stick to the map limestone yellow trail as a rule. The yellow trail forms a 8.5 mile oval loop around the forest but there are many dirt trails leading off the main trail. None of these are open to bikes or horses and so are not marked on the forest preserve maps but they can be found on the O maps.
After checking in and picking up our maps we attended the beginner clinic that is available to all that would like to attend. A lot of what was said didn't make sense but with Deanna helping explain to her team we figured we would be OK. Sarah was given task of being keeper of our electronic e-punch. At each control there is an electronic "box" to "punch". We would have to move from control to control and attempt to "clear" all ten on the orange course. The orange course is classified as intermediate; they recommend you start on white or yellow. Deanna figured we was all experience trail runners so could handle it.
We check the map and head of down a single track trail that in the summer as to be impassable due to overgrowth. This joined up with the yellow trail after a short distance but the control which is close is across a minor bushwhack next to a marsh. We find it, punch the e-punch and head back to the yellow trail. Control two looks easy to find on the map and was relatively so.
Control 3 would be the fun one. Checking the map we had a ravine or two in front off us to cross. There are trails that skirt around the trails for many extra miles but we decided to be adventurous and head down and up the ravine. It was tough going with fallen leaves filling the gully's we transversed down and then a steep climb up the other side sometimes on all fours. The other side we joined a single track trail and headed towards the control. We spotted it on the other side of another ravine with steep climb down and up. Ben and Sarah went for it as we then had to remain on the trail side for the next control. They made it look easy and made the control quickly but it was the wrong control. We was in the wrong place. Once back together on the trail side we realized when we had exited the originally ravine too soon and should have hiked more northwards then turned west before climbing. Quickest way to get back on track was across the ravine. Ben, Sarah and Deanna went for it. Using my first piece of map reading I decided to run the trail that looped around to the west then east and I soon caught them just as they reached the correct control. This too was up a big hill with the exit back to the trail on top of the hill so we climbed up punched number 3. That was definitely our longest time before controls but we were not the only team to suffer on number three.
To reach number 4 Deanna used her great compass skills and got us there via the woods. I was impressed. The next few controls came fairly each to find with some good group map reading. As newbies were starting to pick up how to do this sport and at the same time we was enjoying this new sport. Most the latter controls seemed to be close to trails which at times we followed or would cut across the landscape using the map feature. Guessing after number 3 the rest seemed very easy and it wasn't until we got to number 10 that we almost got lost by missing a trail head. Looking at the map now I think we might have circled around the marsh edge and found the control but we got it quick and then headed for home. Punch out and collected our time print off.
It was slow and I am not sure the published results are correct but we all had fun and thanks to the team doing it has a hike I kept up with Team CHUG. I think orienteering would make great events for training for some of the tougher ultras including McNaughton (IL), Clinton Lake and Dances with Dirt not so much with the map reading but due to training on the hilly ravines type trails with lots of up and downs. Wonder how Barkley is!!!
The Chicago Orienteering club has one more club event in December. That one is a slightly different format but I might decided to have a go at it. In 2011 I intend to do many more of these Os. I'd like to do some solo ones but also want to do another with Team CHUG.
Thanks Deanna for the idea and running with it. I had a great time in the woods with you. Thanks to Ben and Sarah for letting me hanging with you champions. Good times

Monday, November 8, 2010


Finally completed another goal. 1000 miles plus for the year and still 7 plus weeks to go.

Took me 12 extra days as two weeks ago I injured my back right in the spot that sent me to ER 4 years ago. All feels better now and back to running.

Going to see how this week goes and might attempt to hit 31 miles on Saturday spread over 3 runs, one morning, one afternoon and then a night run. On Sunday I am signed up with a CHUG team to do an orienteering race. Never done an O so this will be interesting especially as the team captain has done a number and signed us up for immediate level. Hope I don;t get lost while bushwhacking around Swallow Cliffs trails in Palos

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

18 miles to go

I set some goals this year and getting close to completing some of them.
Some of course are still gathering dust

With 2.5 months still go this year currently I stand at:

1/. Run a marathon after 10 year break. Done in May, even if really slow
2/. Run a 50k after 10 year break. Done in September, even if really slow
3/. Run a 50 mile. This would be a first. It can wait to 2011
4/. Remove the dust of my unused Gary Fisher mountain bike. It's still dusty. I want to ride
5/. Run a 1000 miles by year end. 2009 total was 547 miles. Well 18 miles to go to 1000 miles and still over two months left on the year.

Three out of five with time still remaining is not bad. Maybe I have time to add number 4?

And if it snows enough maybe I'll try my hand (or feet at XC ski or snowshoeing - REI rents)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Six weeks of Yoga Fundamentals

Never tried yoga before but decided to give it a go. Local yoga studio offers a six week fundamentals (beginners) workshop. Did some research and they came recommended. I had a blast and would recommend yoga to all and especially runners. First four weeks we learned the asana (poses) of Hatha Yoga. Each week would start with a recap and then move to new poses. Week five we put it all together in a teaching set up plus a few more poses. Week six was done like a "real" level one class.

Two days before the last class I had ran the Rock Cut HOBO 50k. Thought I'd have an issue doing this last class but in fact it stretched out the tad achy sore legs and I felt great. In the six weeks I learned so much and did so much, what an adventure of discovery. I have a lot still to learn and likely messed up some poses even after six weeks but Claudine is an awesome yoga teacher and with helper Karen guided us and reset us.

I intend to redo the fundamentals calls again as I am not quite ready for a regular level one class and again I'd recommend yoga to all runners

Photo above taken at the last class ("borrowed" from Living Yoga Facebook page)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rock Cut HOBO 50k

Mile 6 (photo by Brian Gaines)

Rock Cut HOBO 50k slow finish (photo by Brian Gaines)

Mile 30.5 at Rock Cut HOBO 50k (photo courtesy of Heidi Carpenter)

Ten years ago was my last ultra run. I've only done one marathon in that time, back in May of this year. I've ran Rock Cut HOBO 25k twice but never the Full HOBO. Now it was time to return to Ultraland, a land I have made many GREAT friends in.

I left home early and drove to Rockford in the dark arriving in time to see day light breaking. I was one of the first to arrive but packet pick up was still being set up so I sat in the car, eyes closed just relaxing. Around 7am I wandered over to the pavilion and there was my friend from the Coyotes Christina. She helped get my goodie bag with HOBO socks ready. The T shirt for this race is given at the finish line - you have to "earn" it. As I wandered back to the car more folks were pulling in including all my CHUG and MUDD buddies, too many to name. Yes the CHUGS and MUDD Runners had come to Coyote land to have some fun on their trails.

A ten minute down pour had runners and crew diving into cars and fearing the worse but thankfully it let up and no more rain occurred all race, whew.
Just before 8am we ambled down the road to the start. Not sure if Larry the RD said any words as I was near the back. First half mile or so was on the road that would lead to the first trail head. This road also included the first hill but then again Larry is a mountain biker and all MTB races seem to start up hill. I started off with my friend Kelly expecting to stay with her for a mile or two. Well we ran six miles together before we hit the first section of awesome singletrack and Kelly was off just bouncing down the trail leaving me in the dust. Soon I hit the second aid station and was greeted by Brian, Paige and Geof. Kelly was already a minute up on me and I knew then I'd not see her again until the turn around. Brian kindly took my jacket from me that I had started in and they chased me out of the AS.

The HOBO course takes us around the whole of Rock Cut State Park using most of the trails including the mountain bike, horse and hiking sections. Some of the best singletrack was actually found in the horse section but bikes are not allowed. Much of the course was wider dirt trails with some nice hills in odd spots but there was the normal mix of trail with roots, rocks and erosion plus a small creek and a wider river to get the feet wet in. Those water crossings I just plowed right through.

The course is also a two looper with the second loop being ran in reverse, sort of an out n back loop course. I hit the turn around and 25k point in a HOBO 25k PR, still slow but I was happy. Sadly it meant my return leg would be a lot slower but I didn't mind as long as I felt good and strong and more so was enjoying myself out on the trails. This turnaround aid station you kind of hit 3 times due to course configuration. First time through Brian, Paige and Geof greeted me and Heidi's husband was relaxing in his car, second time Brian and Hugh was there, and the third time Kat Yarger who was doing the course sweep was there. It was during my second time at the aid station and the official turnaround that I took my first cup of coke. This really kicked in and become my craving drink down the trail.

I left the turn around aid station the third time at mile 19 or thereabouts and decided that although I'd love to run with Kat I hoped not to see her. Around mile 21 Norm Yarger (Kat's father), a guy named Paul and Varsha caught up to me, we chatted for a little while then after the next aid station they all left me in more dust. Still the miles and the aid stations just seemed to fly by. I took a few breaks to rest on a couple park benches but also used these times to refuel on S! Caps and gels. The fourth aid station from the end included a climb down and up a big wooden staircase (we had used this on the out section). Told the AS captain the first time I had done the 25k these stairs did not exist and we had to somehow get down this big steep hill. He told me he used to sled down the hill but his kids never believed him. This aid station had coke, two cups later I was on my way back to the big wide river crossing. Wet and so cooling to my feet. Again the miles just went by. I was slow but felt strong. More coke and more miles.

Around 1.5 miles to the end I actually was doing much more running than walking. The trail ran near the tollway but I was not seeing any course markings or flags. I was worried I was off course but kept thinking there was no turns or intersection since the last one; had a turn marker been moved. After what seemed like eons I final saw the orange arrow pie plate and made the turn bringing me to a short section of road before turning left to view some tunnels under the tollway in front of me. After a small trail I climbed down the drop off into the water that was flowing from one lake to another and started the trek through the metal tunnel you see in the photo above. It was impossible to run through here and looking down meet darkness so I just kept my sights on the "light at the end of the tunnel". It wasn't to bad. That quickly changed on exiting and being confronted by a marshy muddy trail with some ditches and shoe sucking mud. This was gory. Trying to be smart I decided to jump one of the ditches but after 30.75 miles it was not smart as I missed my jump and down I went. Mud splashed up even hitting my face and cap, gross. Picked myself up and headed up a steep climb to lakeside then onto the grass hill that lead the last 400 meters to the finish. I saw people at the finish line, they spotted me and started cheering and shouting. It was CHUGs Kelly, Brian, Paige, Geof and Deanna plus Norm Yarger and RD Larry. WOW they had waitied for slow poke me, what a welcome. I crossed the finish line, think it was still Sunday. Larry produced the finishers Rock Cut HOBO shirt for me. Nice.

What a blast. I was slow, very slow but felt great and strong most the way. Maybe one day the speed off old well return but all I wanted was my finish and I got it and my friends were there to cheer me on and in. A big thanks to Larry the RD, RRR, Coyotes, MUDD and most off all every CHUG - those at Rock Cut and even those not there. Without the CHUGs I am not sure I'd be back in Ultra land. You guys rock. Thank you thank you :-)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Naperville Trail Half Marathon

Fun but not easy race. Living in the city that supplies the race name this was a must do for me. The trails they were using are the DuPage Forest Preserve Danada and Herrick Preserves. I run these trails at least once a month so familiar with the layout and the hills. Or so I thought.

Race started on the horse training track near the DPFP HQ building in Danada. Starting in 3 waves with 30 second breaks I started in the last wave and near the back. Race had around 600 people but I did not feel the start and the first turn onto the narrower trail was congested. First 3 miles we headed east towards the equestrian center and out into the Danada trails that head to Butterfield Rd. This is where we would encounter the biggest hill on the course but not the only hill. First was a 1.5 mile leg to the turn around and the on the return the hill appeared. Having ran this a few times I knew I could run non stop and that was achieved. Back to the start area with lots of people watching their runners and then we headed towards Herrick Preserve about a mile away. This trail had lots of vegetation in a vivid yellow colour. Then we hit the two mile Green Heron loop which we would do twice. Here the hills were shaded. I was carrying a handheld water bottle for the race and filled it up at the aid station twice on this loop. Emerging from Green Heron we headed west towards the main Herrick parking area but then turned on to the mile long Meadowlark trail. This has some rolling hills but shaded trails. This section runs next to the Arrowhead Golf Course. Then along the regional trail which is mainly down hill or flat for another journey along Green Heron. About half way along Green Heron I see my friend Kevin biking towards me. He told me he might come out to run some of the trails and cheer the runners on but Kevin locked his bike up and ran with me for around 2 miles. I am sure Kevin has never ran so slow in his life but it was great having some company and chatting with him. At the turn off for the trail that headed to the finish Kevin ran back to his bike and challenged me to get to the finish first. Kevin is a fast runner so I had my work cut out. Add to that and I need to mention the weather was getting hotter and so was I. Well final I see mile 13 in front of me but hear shouting from behind, it's Kevin. Oh so close but I made the turn back onto the horse track and sprinted, for me, towards the finish. I felt strong and hopefully it appeared that way to everyone cheering me in. Under the banner, rip of the bib pull tag and collect a finishers medal. I was done. I had aimed for 3 hours as it was a supported training run for me. Finished in 2:49. OK so that is not fast but I was happy with it and can say I did the first Naperville Trail Half Marathon.

Big thanks to Peter the RD for putting on the race, nice job and to the great folks at the DuPage Forest Preserve and of course all the volunteers. I'll be back

Note: One thing a few runners were heard saying was there should have been more water stations. Tad hard to do on this course. All the aid stations are set up near road or parking access. DPFP allows NO motorized vehicles besides their own on the trails. This would mean lugging by hand or pull cart supplies. I set up the Oak Brook half marathon course last weekend and for Fullersburg had to load the cones and signs into a child's red wagon and pull it around the 2 miles I had to set up. Not easy. The race info and map clearly mentioned where the aid stations where. I carried my UD handheld water bottle with me and filled it up twice. Many folks wore fuel belts or other hydration systems. They came prepared.

I do wonder if it is possible to start the race a little earlier though.

I would also like to see runners think where they drop their drink cups and gel wraps. For the one gel I used the wrap came home with me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

WORS trail race

Sunday August 29th was likely the hardest most grueling short race I've done, but it also felt great and I had a fun time out there.

Every year I take in a mountain bike race. Nothing like watching folks powering 2 wheel machines on a grueling trail of hills, single track, roots and rocks. This year I ventured up to the Milwaukee area to witness the WORS race at the Crystal Ridge county park in Franklin WI.

WORS is a series of races all across Wisconsin and is apparently the largest MTB series in the country. Some of the WORS races including trail run races which kick off the days events and Crystal Ridge was one to host a trail race.

I drove up early and volunteered at runner registration and packet pick up. First person to sign up day off was, me. There was around 30 pre-signed up and a handful signed up race morning for either the 5k or 10k. Bill Stiles who had worked at KM100 Gorski aid station was there to run the 10k, nice to see a familiar face. I elected to do the 5k as I didn't want the first of the mountain bikers to be biting my heels even though they started an hour after the trail runs started. Bill went on to place second in his age group.

The start line was near the bottom of a big hill. The 10k was due to go first then 5 minutes later the 5k. Lynn the RD described the 10k course to those at the start line then they were gone, down the hill and disappearing into the woods for whatever waited for them. Us in the 5k got a similar course talk. Lynn sounded the horn and we charged down the bottom of the hill across a dirt service road and plunged into the single track. Course marshal shouted watch for low tree. First part of the course was twisty, up and down track with trees on both sides. Once we left the woods we hit a service road and started a climb up the same hill we started on but along a different track via some switchbacks. I passed a few runners on this tough section. A water stop was on top of our summit. We then descended back down a short section of singletrack and into want would be an out n back flat gravel road section that was exposed to the sun right as temperatures were climbing. Soon it was back into a wooded area and more singletrack. This track was a little bit more runnable but still twisty and up and down. Back to the exposed flatter section which off course lead us along more of the big hill, more single track and then finally we hit the straight to the finish but off course the finish was not the start and was infact on top off the hill. It was a tough climb up but I made it. My time was not fast but I was pleased with it given the grueling course, terrain and heat and humidty. I also was not last.

WORS Trail Running put on an awesome event and I honestly hope they can grow the series in both races and people attending. A BIG thanks to Lynn and her crew plus Don at WORS.

I'll be back. Thanks

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sunburn Six Ver 2.0

For a race with Sunburn in the title your know what to expect. Well last year's event turned out to be 70 degrees with clouds, windy and some drizzle. Last year's conditions likely lead to close to 70 folks to sign up for the 2nd annual CHUG Sunburn Six in the Stix, a six hour non event held in a state park in Bartlett IL.
I'd kept an eye on the weather forecast for race day. All week they had been calling for sunny skies and highs around 90+ and race day that came true. The humidity also kicked in a little but the Chicago area can be worse.
Steve Richey picked me up at 6am along with his friend Danielle Steimel, a local runner who runs with Steve. Steve's car was packed with ice coolers filled with bags of ice and tons of drinks. I brought along a small sports bag with a small cooler inside with two 20oz water bottles and one for energy drinks. Luckily I knew the park had a water pump with decent tasting water and the awesome race director had supplied some more coolers with tons of ice. Plenty for all so cold drinks were readily there and boy they were needed.
We made good time getting to the park arriving third I recall. It wasn't long before the car park was packed. Brian had reserved the picnic pavilion which by the 7.30am start time was packed with coolers, water containers and crew people. This parks also has flush bathrooms, a a rarity at events - most ultra runners know a bathroom is behind every tree. This park has no trees, at least not on the 2.28 mile trail loop!!
I decided to wear my long sleeve Patagonia Badwater technical shirt that I picked up when crewing Badwater in 2008. I also picked my lightest Brooks shorts to wear, CHUG running cap, road shoes and my trusty awesome Drymax socks - Drymax make the best running socks hands down, hmmm feet down?
As the temperature rose we lined up at the start line, a card table with a large sheet of paper to record loops done (all on the honour system). As normal I lined up at the back to do my normal start, slow and taper off. Brian said GO and off we went. Not sure how many started but lots of no shows given the conditions. I set out with a goal in mind plus a back up goal
Goal A: 18 miles (combined total of SB6 2009 and WB6 2010)
Goal B: a half marathon
Goal C: One loop to not get a DNF
A sort of target was also to run one whole loop without taking a walking break and I was smart enough to decide this had to be done on loop one. That goal was completed. As the temperature rose and rose I went to a run/walk pattern plus one almost totally walked loop just because. Most of the loops I ran alone but would always see plenty of others on the trial normally passing me. Ran I think 3 loops with Kelly including 2 with Kelly and Dom and my second loop was with Deanna. I hit 11.5 miles in a fairly good time and took a 30 minute break to cool down in the shady pavilion. Then it was time to head back out into the heat hitting Goal B and then to take aim at Goal A. Near the end of the race folks switched to a half mile loop (within the rules). Too record a loop, either the full 2.28 or the 0.5 you had to complete it before the six hours was up or it didn't count. After 7 full loops I switched to the small loop and hit four of those and watched my Garmin roll over to 18 miles. Goal A was hit.
Matt Condron won the event with around 41 miles, 5 miles less than last year due to the brutal conditions. My friend Amanda got in 35 miles for the female win. When Brian posts full results I'll add a link and I'll "borrow" some photos from folks to add to the report.
This again was an awesome CHUG event. Brian has a knack for RDing. The CHUGs and friends, runners and crew help make this a special event and Mother Nature made sure the race title was just that; sunburn.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Badwater 2010

Kelvin 2008 finish line photo with RD Chris Kostman (copyright Adventure Corps)

Tomorrow 12th of July begins the 2010 Badwater 135 mile ultramarathon in California's Death Valley. My friend Kelvin Marshall is one of the 90 selected athletes. Good luck Kelvin.

After crewing at Badwater for 3 years, 2007 for Scott Jacaway and 2008 and 2009 for Kelvin I sadly could not make the trip to Death Valley for this years race. I will miss it terribly

The race provides a "live" webcast. Due to the location it is not live like on TV but generally includes live updates as runners it the 5 or 6 checkpoints along the race and regular photo updates.

Also competing in the race is Chicago's Adrian Belitu and Aurora (IL) Zach Gingerich.

Good luck to all runners, staff and crew including Kelvin's 2010 crew of Matt, Francine, Anna Maria and Denny. Stay cool guys.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Des Plaines River Trail Races - Marathon

I finished. Yeah my first marathon in 10 years. Sure I was slow, very slow, very very slow. The 50 mile winner ran quicker but I finished and that was my goal.

I'll write more to this entry in the days ahead.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Quote

Think I'll remember this quote this weekend

"Your better than you think you are and can do more than you think you can" -
Ken Chlouber Leadville 100 RD (MTB and run)

Actually think I'll remember the quote even after this weekend

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Des Plaines River Trail Races

Saturday May 22nd 2010 50 miles, marathon, 1/2 marathon, relays

I just signed up for the marathon at this event. It will be my first marathon in 10 years. I know it'll be a PW time for me and I have 10 hours to finish thanks to the 50 miler. Maybe I'll pitch a tent at the far turnaround and take a nap like a friend once did during a 100 mile race.

Two of the RDs for this event are experienced ultra runners having completed 100 mile races, Marathon des Sables and even Badwater between them. They have also crewed at Badwater.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ride George Ride

Former Marine George Hood of Aurora IL is attempting to break the world record for time on a stationary bike. The current world record is 192 hours. The record before that off 177 hours and 45 minutes was set by George in 2008. George is aiming for 300 hours.

Funds raised will benefit United Way and Injured Marines.
The ride is taking place at Aurora Marketplace in Aurora IL on the Napervile border at 75th Street and Rt 59 in the former Steinmart store next to Sports Authority. If in the area stop in a and visit George. You can even jump on a bike and ride with him (waiver signing required).
The ride is going from April 11 to April 24th

I visited today and watched for a little while and spoke to some of his crew. He had been riding for over 88 hours at that time. And yes the rules allow breaks each hour (didn't ask what they are) but he has to maintain 12 mph while riding.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Run For Hope

On April 19th Lisa Smith Batchen is setting out on a fundraising project to run 50 miles in 50 states over 62 days Monies raised will be donated to orphan group at home and aboard (see under project link).

Although I've not yet meet Lisa I've chatted with her via email and Facebook plus I've seen her at the Badwater race a few times (including being in the next door hotel room in Lone Pine 2008). I can't wait to meet her on May 23rd when she comes to Chicago for the Illinois run. She is open to folks running with her and volunteering in other ways. The website has full details including varies links to sign up for volunteering/running. I'll have to volunteer as I'll be running a marathon day before.

Other city sites that might be off interest to my friends near them or local to Chicago (check web to confirm)

April 19 Trenton NJ (that is the first event - I don't know anyone there)
April 25 Freeport ME
May 21 (Fri) Des Moines IA (driving distance from Chicago)
May 23 (Sun) Chicago IL
May 24 (Mon) South Bend IN (almost a burb of Chicago)
May 26 (Wed) Grand Rapids MI (close enough)
May 28 (Fri) Green Bay WI
June 8 Phoenix (close to you Steve)
Jun 10 LA
June 19 Jackson Hole WY (Last day and one of my favourite places)

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:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Is this right?

I was just thinking about my run tomorrow and said oh it's only 4 or 5 miles.

Guess my running this year is coming along nicely.

And this is my first post on my blog for 2010. Where have I been?

Well this is a blog about my running that has been going very well in 2010. My mileage and the quality is up from last year and way ahead of last year. Not only is it way ahead but it is planned miles and not forced junk miles.

So 4 or 5 miles on Saturday then 13.1 miles on Sunday. Not sure where yet, depends on the weather. Love to hit the trails but if it snows the roads and pathways are like trails so either works for me. At this rate maybe I'll do a spring 50k or trail marathon.