So many races, so little time. Really, on a beautiful May morning, with all kinds of options, what's a runner to do? I have to admit I didn't decide until about 10:30 Friday night to do the Race to Wrigley. I had signed up weeks before and forgotten about it. Meantime, my local running club was having it's annual spring gathering/run at the same time Saturday morning. I was torn.
But I remembered this phrase from my friend Tera Moody (world class marathoner from Wheaton) a few weeks ago as she justified some of the races she jumps into, even though she's often using them as little more than training runs. She called herself a 'race junkie' (Hey if I could run like her, I'd do it every chance I got!). Anyway, I kind of like that, probably because it describes me pretty well. I may not be really fast, but I enjoy running in races.
So, guess which option won out? Yes, even as I was leaving home bound for Wrigleyville, I thought about turning in the direction of the Prairie Path where the club was meeting. But I kept going and continued on to site of the baseball shrine to experience a race I've never run before.
My inexperience showed when I started to line up in the wrong area. They had a non-timed 5k walk/jog starting on Clark. I went there until I realized at the last second that the timed 5k run was lining up down the street on Addison. I jumped the fence toward the back just as the starting horn sounded.
There was no room to run my pace at first, so I darted my way through the crowded pack for the first mile or so until it opened up a little. By then I realized this was not going to be a fast race, just a workout, so I resigned myself to a 7:20/mile pace and enjoyed the familiar sights and sounds of the Lakeview neighborhood.
The race raises money for Cubs charities, and is chaired by Cubs board member/co-owner Laura Ricketts. While the course doesn't go on the field or inside the park, it does travel through the concourse from the left field entrance to the home plate entrance just before the finish. It was a beautiful morning for a run, and I enjoyed it.
The only challenge for me in running a 5k on a saturday morning, is making sure I get my longer run in. Saturdays are usually reserved for a run of 10 miles or longer, and this was the only day I really had time to do it. So after the 5k finish, since I was still pretty fresh, I decided to run to the Lakefront about a half mile away, and get a some more miles in for the day.
It was amazing to see how many runners were out on the lakefront path in training groups or by themselves, oblivious to the thousands of runners racing just down the road. It was a reminder of just how vibrant Chicago's running scene really is.
It was also a nice break for me after running pretty hard half marathons the last two weekends. I've been reminded recently that you can't go hard all the time without a little rest. And I want to be able to run well the rest of the season, including the Soldier Field ten mile race on Memorial day weekend. And two weeks later the 13.1 half marathon. Entries are still available to both races by the way. Here are links to each: http://soldierfield10.com/?gclid=CP-P6tLNk7cCFcXe4AodCB0AOg and http://www.131marathon.com/chicago/
Which brings me to this week's suprize. The good folks at the 13.1 race are offering a free entry to one of my readers who comes up with the first correct answers to my little quiz. This one will include questions about running and news (running newsguy. Get it?). I will see the winner at the South Shore Cultural Center on June 8th!
1.This year's Chicago marathon will mark the ____ anniversary of Chicago's entry into the World marathon majors.
d. none of the above
2. Which is the oldest race?
a. Shamrock Shuffle
b. Chicago marathon
c. New York marathon
d. Boston marathon
3. Which sports anchor never worked at ABC-7?
a. Mike Adamle
b. Tim Wiegel
c. Johnny Morris
d. Mark Giangreco
Ok, first one to send me an email with the correct answers wins an entry. My email address is John.email@example.com
Good luck and I'll see you on the roads.........