Keeping the silent sports community informed and self propelled.
You know by now how much I abhor the swapping of bibs. Last year, another runner and I spent the better part of two weeks getting two runners in our age group disqualified from the Soldier Field 10-Miler results. It moved me to second place and got me in position to be a contender on the CARA Runners Choice Circuit, at least for one year. It just keeps on happening. I really don't get it. The latest ridiculous result is Char Green of Romeoville, who "won" the women's 60-64 age group at the March Madness Half Marathon on Sunday in Cary with a 1:33. I don't think so. Recent results show Char ran a 2:19:38 at last year's off-road Naperville Half Marathon and a 5:10:23 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Two years ago, she ran a 2:06:42 at the Magellan Half and a 2:12:00 at the Las Vegas Half. Nancy Rollins of Evanston, ranked in the top two or three nationally in that age group, would not have run a 1:33. When will this nonsense stop? Probably not any time soon.
The starting gun went off and the rain began on Sunday as the cultish March Madness Half Marathon in Cary wrote itself another chapter on the Chicago area running scene. This one featured wind and rain and some nice first-place performances by Rob Wiley, 35, of Gurnee, in 1:10:35.68, and Jacqui Aubert, 24, of Crystal Lake, in 1:24:50.22. Second and third on the men's side went to Archie Bareikis, 24, of Oak Forest, in 1:13:03.87, and Mac McCulley, 26, of Volo, in 1:13:36.00. Second and third women were Sanya Syrstad, 45, of Glen Ellyn, in 1:28:10.31, and Maria Cristi Homorozan, 36, of Chicago, in 1:28:57.65. A lot of people I know were racing. Hats off to all of you! I'd like to especially recognize new 80-year-old Bob Scott of Naperville, who ran a 2:23:29. That is absolutely awesome. Neither rain, wind, snow or anything else can stop this race. If you haven't done it, do it sometime. There were 1,038 finishers this year.
The St. Paddy's Day 5K in Naperville on Saturday (March 12) had a large field with 1,784 finishers, and the men and women were led by some mid-season performances as Ryan Carrigan, 22, of Naperville, won in 15:20, and Amber Druien, 25, of Woodstock, paced the women in 18:17. Runners-up were Luke Demmel, 21, of Aurora, in 15:58, and Lydia Wong, 22, of Chicago, in 18:31. Finally, the third-place finishers were none other than former Olympic Marathon Trials runner John Weigel, 37, of Naperville, in 16:31, and Heather Hillman, 40, of Naperville, in 20:57. That's some nice runnin', and here's a special salute to John Weigel, who has been to the mountaintop a few times. If you look at the results sections from Chicago Athlete and Race Time, you'll see there were some other strong races last weekend. One notable performance was in the Spring Sprint 5K in Lisle, where Lois Gilmore, 80, of Janesville, WI, ran a 30:52. She would have won several much younger age groups. Way to go, Lois!