Start things off today wishing our friend Whitney Lazarra Bevins Great Racing, Good Luck, and Giddyup at this weekend’s Chicago Marathon. You’ve got this!
Thank you for indulging me a few more Chicago suburuban memories. I was a hot shot when arriving in Joliet in 1990. Thirty three years old and a solid local runner, no better. I expected the transition from Houston’s vast depth of talent to kind of hicksville to work in my favor. Not so. My 16:30s I’d relied on in Texas put me out of the top hardware in Illinois. Consistently. A trio of fellas particularly delighted in running me ragged. Brash talking Lance Bovard, his best friend churchmouse Greg Rose, and masters runner Gary Moss from New Lenox. I was O-fer against them. All three are now in the Prairie State RoadRunners Hall of Fame.
Some of my best distance training came on Sundays with Lance and Greg on the I & M Canal, a scenic and peaceful hand dug tow path that is designated as a National Heritage Corridor. I used to think I wanted my ashes scattered there and maybe I still do. They’d hammer me, and in my life have rarely felt so strong as those days. Greg was run over on a Sunday morning in 2000. Taken by a drunk driver that had crossed 3 lanes and a median.
In 1993 I was invited to be on the Prairie State RoadRunners River to River Relay team. They gave me the team baton, something I still treasure today.
From the website, and they also have results going all the way back to 1988:
“Teams of eight runners compete on an 80-mile course. Each runner completes three sections that range in length from 2.5 to 4 miles. Teams are started in groups every 30 minutes beginning at 6:15am and continuing until the last group is started at 8:45am. The finish line closes at exactly 8:00pm.
The race starts at McGee Hill in LaRue Pine Hills on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River Valley. The course follows country roads (mostly paved but some stretches of gravel) through the Shawnee National Forest to its finish at the Ohio River in Golconda.
Due to logistical issues on the race course, the number of Relay teams has to be limited and is 250 in 2015. In 2014 we received over 375 applications in the first 10 minutes. Teams should only submit one entry. Teams submitting more than one entry will be disqualified. The entry fee for the 2015 River to River Relay is $440; but only payable if your team is notified that it has made the race field”
Sounds a whole lot like M2m eh?