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Showing posts from January, 2013

F^3 Lake Half and the Abominable Snowman/Yeti

Before I say anything else about the race, I think it's most important to note that there was a yeti on the trail. The yeti is like Bigfoot, except that he's from Nepal. Somehow this mythical creature was able to sign up for the race, get a bib and start with the rest of us. Luckily I snapped a photo of him as he was about to attack me. That photo is on twitter and on my Newcity review. I hope scientists can use the evidence that I gathered to prove that the yeti does exist, and that he enjoys freezing cold, mid-to-long-distance races. Also, it looks like he somehow figured out how to put on sunglasses and headphones, two accessories that I forgot. Even the Abominable Snowman knows: preparation is key.

Park Forest Midwinter Cruise 5K

I headed back out this morning for the second 5K of my weekend double-header with my partner in crime Antonio. Luckily, today's race, the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club's Midwinter Cruise 5K, didn't start til 10:30 so we actually got to get some good weekend sleeping in before waking up to some freezing temperatures. I already wrote about the basics of the race for Treadmill.com but there's gotta be some extra stuff to add right?

First of all, I really liked that they gave out gloves instead of race shirts. I grabbed the blue ones and Antonio grabbed the grey ones. They were one-size-fits-all and they had about five colors - blue being the craziest - all with the running group's running turtle logo embroidered into the wrist.

Burbank Frosty 5K and Encouragement From Random Runners

I'd never even heard of Burbank, Illinois until I found out about the Burbank Park District's Frosty 5K run earlier this week. Luckily, my friend Antonio was down (on short notice) to head out to the suburbs for this one. And luckily again, Burbank is only about 20 miles outside Chicago (or at least 20 miles from downtown Chicago) and the race didn't start til 9am, so it wasn't like we had to crawl out of bed super early.

Overall the race was pretty straightforward: easy to find, flat course, nice people, good prizes at the post-race party, a not-too-chilly day and a dancing Frosty the Snowman - I think I covered most of that stuff in my review for Treadmill.

Frozen Gnome 50K (and 10K for the rest of us)

This morning I woke up at 5:40, put on several layers of running clothes (tights, shorts, shirt, jacket, socks, waterproof socks, shoes, hat, gloves) and headed out to catch a ride with my friend Matthew to Crystal Lake, Illinois (a city about 75 minutes northwest of Chicago that I had never even heard of until a few weeks ago).

We were heading to Veteran Acres Park, a wooded area in Crystal Lake where the McHenry County Ultrarunning Dudes and Dudettes (who call themselves M.U.D.D. for short) were hosting the first annual Frozen Gnome 50K and 10K.

Since we're only somewhat crazy runners, we were only tackling the 10K this morning and not going for the entire 30+ miles of trail running. The course promised to be challenging and it was about 25 degrees with a light snow falling, so the closer it got to race time the happier I was to only be running 6.2 miles through the snowy woods, but as we stood around in the heated pavilion waiting for race time to arrive and trying to stave of…

Top 7 Chicago Race Shirts (and a Hat) of 2012

Remember when race shirts were pretty much guaranteed to be over-sized white cotton, seemingly designed so that you could wear them once (if you really wanted to show that you ran the race) and then probably never again? One side had the race logo and the other had about 20 sponsors. And the long-sleeve ones had little cuffs at the wrists to make sure you got that nice puffed sleeve look that no one has ever asked for.

These days it seems like almost every race is giving out running shirts rather than old-school cotton, and mostly I'm thankful for this change because it seems like they spend more time picking an appropriate color and working on a legitimate design rather than just slapping their logo onto some cotton for you (although I did get a few race shirts this year that went with that style... surprisingly enough, those shirts aren't in my closet anymore).

Anyway, pretty much every race includes a shirt. Some are awesome, some are terrible and some are just... shirts. B…

Newcity Top 5 of Everything 2012 - Running Categories

So, as you may remember, in November Newcity released its Best of Chicago 20th anniversary edition and I had a number of running-themed items in there. Last month (last year at this point), Newcity released its 2012 Top 5 of Everything issue.

To view Newcity's entire Top 5 list for 2012 (there's some good stuff over there), follow the link above, but below are the two running-themed lists that I submitted. While I didn't run every race in Chicago last year, I ended up finishing out the year with a total of 45 races under my belt (only the Athens Classic Marathon was outside Chicagoland) and I feel pretty good about these choices.

Top 5 Chicago 5K Races of 2012
Ravenswood Run (April 29)
Chinatown 5K (July 14)
Terrapin 5K (August 2)
Burgers & Beer 5K (August 20)
Carrera de los Muertos (November 3)

Top 5 Chicago Races Longer Than a 5K of 2012
Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K (March 25)
Cinco de Miler (May 6)
Soldier Field 10 Mile (May 26)
Proud to Run 10K (June 23)
Chicago Rock n…