Lakefront 50K Race Report ……

Saturday, brought us a beautiful day in the CHI and my 2nd ultra in the form of the Lakefront 50K.  This was not a trail ultra but a nice flat event on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail.  Great ultra for first timers or those worried about covering the distance because you are not isolated on some crazy trail out in the woods but constantly surrounded by other people, in a populated area.  Plus there are three loops, so you actually pass by your car 3x.  This could be viewed as a positive or a negative depending on how you look at it!  Smile  But on the up side, you get to pass your friends over and over again, whether they are in front or behind you and that’s a BIG win in my book!

2nd loop

The reason I signed up for this race was because my friends’ Mike (Run Nerd’s Rock) and Michelle (This Momma Runs – green shorts above) were running the event.  I figured, “why not?” so I signed up!  Then I later found out that several of the ladies from my running club (Frankfort New Lenox Running Club) were also signed up.  This added to my excitement, despite my low mileage throughout March.  And the bonus to running with Mike, when he is fast enough to literally run circles around the rest of us, is that we made let him take all the pics and we just focused on the run.  So pretty much every pic in this post was taken by Mike.  Thanks, Mike!!! 

collage

The springtime Lakefront 50K is 3 loops.  It’s on the north side of the city, starts at Foster Avenue Beach in Lincoln Park and weaves south to the North Beach boathouse (then back).   The start line was steps away from the lake; however, the Lakefront Trail ends on the north side of the city, just past Montrose Harbor.  Therefore, it was necessary to weave thru a few parks on crushed limestone trails before hitting the actual paved Lakefront Trail which has made Chicago so popular.   The route was marked VERY well with orange painted arrows.   There was never a question about the course and I was super impressed by the meticulous attention to detail because I have been dropped from a CARA pace group lost in this area in the past.   

Aid stations were about every 2.5 miles.  One at the start/finish.  One at the midpoint of the loop.  One at the turnaround.  At each turnaround location, we had to check in and give them our bib number to ensure that we had ran the entire 3 loops.  The aid stations were stocked with:  water, gatorade, coke, sweet pickles, giant olives, twizzlers, yogurt covered raisins, m&m’s (with and without peanuts), goldfish crackers, potato chips, shoe string snacks, and bananas.  I’m sure I’ve missed something but there was a lot of different options.  Bathrooms at each aid station too.  Plus we had a drop bag at the start/finish on a tarp which we could access each time we passed.  Super simple.  Super organized.  Very well ran event.  Plus we had the added bonus of breathtaking views of the city and Lake Michigan!

lakefront heading south

This was  a fun run.  Not a race for me.  Just a run in the park with my friends.  That’s how I approached it mentally and I tried to stay slow throughout so that I could finish strong.  I won’t say the 3 loops weren’t daunting, especially at the beginning but by the time that third loop rolled around I was ready to be done and it was nice knowing that we “only” had 5 miles out, then back, to put it in the done column.  I even had a little bit left at the end, which is nice when I can finish strong.  I definitely feel as if I’m becoming a stronger runner, mentally as much as physically.  Thanks to Marty & Jill who were waiting at the finish for the F’N Runners and caught this pic of me running to the finishing!

Finish

Some of the FNRC ladies after the event.  From left:  Melanie (See Mommy Race  – ran her first 50K!!), Julie M, Judy F, Jill Y (Jilly Runs – ran her 20 mile training run THEN came down to see her girls finish the ultra!), Me & Amanda W (Get to Goal who supported us throughout the day!). 

FNRC

Myself, Mike & Michelle after the finish:

me mike michelle_done

The swag:

swag

I think I paid  $55 for this race when I registered.  Big bang for the buck.  However, the event comes with a race “course” that is filled with extras.  Everyone shares the trail with the local runners, bikers and walkers.  Kinda cool but if you are in it to race it, then it might be annoying.  And the bikers are fast and certainly irritated by the extra traffic on the trial.  Other than the bikers, everyone was super supportive and it really was a great day! 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Short Run Long Day 5K – 2013

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I am not one to run evening races.  I have the kids.  I have “things” that need to be done.  I have fatigue from a long day at work, plus my commute.  I don’t go out for just anything and it’s kind of a big deal if I get in a nighttime event or workout.   However, for the second year in a row, I attended the Frankfort Park District’s Short Run Long Day 5K event which is always at night, on or around the longest day of the year.  Why do I go?  Because of these people:

FNRC_ShortRunLongDay_2013

The Frankfort New Lenox Running Club.  These people (plus about 500 more from our FB page) are my friends, my run “family” and reason why I keep showing up.  The Short Run Long Day 5K is on our home turf and one of the races with the best turnout for our club members.  We had runners who ran 18 minute 5Ks then spaced all the way down to the end with our run/walk crew.  So proud of all of these people for continuing to show up and keep working on their fitness regardless of their ultimate goals.

The Short Run Long Day event brings out all the local run clubs too with a large contingency of Yankee Runners and Tinley Track & Trail fasties.  This “short run” is competitive and fast with a course that is flat and mostly shaded.  But the race is growing fast and “the word” is that next year, we will be running the course in reverse to accommodate the increasing field and to relieve congestion in that first mile.  Win, Win!!

The race is a family event with pizza, family games and activities.  Runners, walkers and families with strollers are all welcome here.  The event is chip timed but with a “gun” start so that first mile is a bit congested as everyone tries to jostle for the best position due to the gun start.  Half of the course is ran on Old Plank Trail while the other half is on the streets of Frankfort.  One water stop.  Bathrooms at the start/finish and at the Grainery area on Old Plank Trail.  Course is mostly shaded.  Lots of volunteers.  Nice goodie bag with a cute cotton tee, a $10 off coupon from Running Excels, coupon for a free ice cream cone at the Creamery, chapstick, pen & toothbrush:

Short Run Long Day_goodie bag

Great race.  Great crowd.  Great event for the competitive age grouper as well as mom/grandma who may need to push a stroller in order to participate.  I’m super pleased with this race and the growing popularity.  We had 420 finishers this year for a small town 5K on a Wednesday night.  Yay!

Join Aby and I and our F’N friends next year in the 14th Annual Short Run Long Day 5K in Frankfort!  

     Short Run Long Day_Aby_2013          Short Run Long Day_me_2013       

2012 Race Review HERE.

** Come Run With Us ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

National Running Day …..

National Running Day?  Say what?  Is this our version of a “Hallmark Holiday”?  If so, hubby forgot to get me that new running skirt that I’ve been eyeing!  Hmph!  Anyhow, I was fortunate enough that this National Day of Running fell on a Wednesday so I was already penciled in with the run club for a few miles.  John, Susan, Me & Ken:

FNRC_6-5-13

These 3 are my solid WED night crew.  They show up when it’s cold, rainy & even when it’s hot!  Last night was overcast and threatening rain so I think that scared a “few” people away.  Ironically, we didn’t talk much about running on this “holiday”.  Total Run Nerd fail.  What was our main topic of conversation?  Bikes.

It seems summer  has brought all of us a bit of “bike fever”.  We dream of hammering riding down the trail with the wind at our backs and just enjoying some cross training to give our run legs a break.  Bike fever has several member of the F’N Running Club shopping for new bikes.  Super exciting!  As a result, we will be starting a group cycle.  So if you see us coming your way on a Friday morning, maybe just get out of the way.  Most of us have new bikes.  We are learning how to clip in and out of pedals.  Some of us are triathletes who “road bikers” find notoriously inexperienced and unsafe.  So yeah, if you see us coming, protect yourself because it’s all fun and games for us.  WhooooHoooooo!  And if you’re looking for some fun then bring your bike out on a Friday morning.  We’ll try not to knock you over as we domino to the ground trying to stop at the next stop sign!  Smile

dominos

** Beware!  Runners Take To The Bike ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Calling ALL Turtles!

This is a shout out to all the slower runners!  The runners who sometimes describe themselves as “turtles”.  The runners who are sometimes too nervous to come to a group run for fear of not being able to keep up.

turtle

We need you “turtles”!  We need you to be brave and to show up!  We need you to add diversity to our group runs, our running clubs, and our running communities.  We know you’re out there, now come join us! 

I’m currently part of an amazing group of runners, The Frankfort New Lenox Running Club, and I can honestly say that we have runners of all shapes, sizes and abilities. 

ShortRunLongDay_FNRC

However, the core of our group is in the 8:30 to 10:30 pace range.  We NEED more runners to fill in the slots from 11:00 to Run/Walk.  This helps our group accommodate new runners.  Although we welcome runners of all paces and distances, apparently, we don’t have enough turtles.  We have had complaints that more turtles are needed!

Are you a turtle?  Do you live in the south suburbs of Chicago and need people with whom to run?  If so, we NEED you!  We have people in your pace range, we just need to develop that aspect of a group a bit more so that we have turtles at EVERY run we offer.  And we run a lot.  We run on MON, TUE, WED & THUR evenings and SAT & SUN mornings.  One of those days can surely fit into your schedule, right?  So come out and introduce yourself or feel free to email the F’N Running Club for more info at fnrunningclub@gmail.com.

Help us out.  Please!

**  Always Looking For MORE Runners  **  amanda@tootallfritz.com  **

Thanksgiving Traditions…..

I’ve lived in Illinois now for way too long 14 years.  It doesn’t really seem like that long but on the same hand it feels like forever.  It’s not where my heart is but I’ve learned to develop some traditions for me in an attempt to stay sane without my family down the road for back up/support.  In 2006, I ran a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.   That first year, I just went where a friend went and had to drive forever, then showed up and found out it was an untimed “fun” run.  Hmmmm…… not my thing but it was fun.   Plus it made me realize that was how I wanted to start my Thanksgiving  mornings for as many years into the future as possible.  The following year (2007), I ran the Running For Kicks 4 mile Turkey Trot in Palos Hills and I’ve done the same each year thereafter, except for the year I had Michael.  The route is not easy but its close to home and it definitely makes me feel as if I earned my Thanksgiving Dinner!image

I looked back at my times today for a giggle, thinking about each year and how I handled the hilly route on that particular year.  I had anticipated 2012 being my worse year but I was better than that first year where the course filled with hills was a total shock surprise.

  • 2007 – 34:21 – Holy Hills
  • 2008 – 32:33
  • 2009 – Mr. Michael arrived
  • 2010 – 31:53
  • 2011 – 31:55
  • 2012 – 33:58 (6 months post injury)

So the Turkey Trot is a wonderful tradition which I’ve had on the schedule for many years now and its absolutely one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving holiday.  It’s short, fast and not too painful a great start to the day.  I normally take as many people from my neighborhood as I can strong-arm into running fit in my car.  Plus, I’m now part of an amazing group of runners, the Frankfort New Lenox Running Club (AKA – The F’N Runners) and I can always count on a few members to show up to enjoy the fun. 

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The additional friendly faces make the race that much more fun!  Then I go home to a turkey already cooking in the roaster, courtesy of hubby and Mr. Michael, and I cook & clean for an IL family dinner which includes anyone and everyone who would like to come.  YUMMMMM….

A new tradition, which I just started last year, is hosting a run at a local trail on Black Friday.  I don’t recall ever having gone Black Friday shopping and I have zero interest to do it now.  It happens to be a day that many of my run friends have off, so the idea was to start an “all inclusive” run that would include as many people from different running groups as possible.  Last year was a success so despite my recent return to running, I decided to set it up again.  Here is the 2nd Annual Black Friday Runners at Waterfall Glen in Darien, IL!

Waterfall Glen_11-23-12

Please note that despite the fact that these lovely people could have been shopping Black Friday sales, it would have been perfectly understandable if they had just wanted to stay in bed.  The temp was barely 30 degrees and the wind was CRAZY.  It was very cold.  We didn’t do much lollygagging but just made short introductions, took the photo and ran!  We had people in this group from as far south as Monee/Peotone, as far north as Addison, as far west as Manhattan & as far east as Lansing, IN!  Very diverse group of people from all over.  I was super proud that they all came out and I know these specialty Friday runs will continue to grow!  Next Waterfall Glen Run – Good Friday (2013).

I love the idea of traditions and keeping a little bit of routine in our crazy lives but I also love the idea of spending time with as many different people as possible.  There are sooooo many amazing runners in our area and I’d honestly like to know them all by name!  So I float around a lot, running new trails and meeting new people.  Making memories and doing what I love…….RUNNING.  Therefore, many of my traditions are running related. 

Me_WaterFallGlen_11-23-12

Do you have any Running Traditions? 

** Making Memories thru Tradition ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Weekend in Review….

This was a great weekend but certainly one that has been in the planning for many months.  It’s was Chicago Marathon weekend but alas, I wasn’t going to be able to have much marathon “fun” so I was ecstatic when Maggie’s PR contact at Brooks Running hooked us up with an opportunity to meet Desi Davila at the expo on Friday night. 

Me, Sara, Jeni, Desi, Maggie & Kelly

After our initial intro, Brooks performed a gait analysis for each of us and recommended shoes.  I’m currently in a light stability shoe (guidance shoe in Brooks terminology) and apparently that was right on target.  They recommended I choose between the Brooks Ravenna or Pure Cadence which I already own x2

image    Brooks Pure Cadence_pink

While we were taking turns for gait analysis Desi hung out and chatted with us.  She was very tiny shy, cool, down to earth and didn’t seem to mind hanging out.  She too is on the injured list so that was our main topic of conversation when I was personally talking with her.  She is currently on total rest but plans to return to training soon. 

I’ve been a Desi fan for quite some time, probably before she was on the radar for most, specifically because she trains close to Chicago and has ran the Chicago Marathon a few times.  So I was excited to meet her and happy to have had the opportunity.  Thanks, Maggie.  Thanks, Brooks Running.  Thanks, Desi for coming out to spend a bit of time with us.  Thanks to whoever stuffed the goodie bag with this amazing Brooks Infinity Wind Shirt

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We were also introduced to a few gear testers from Brooks and hit the lakefront with them for a run.  Although we only ran a few miles, it was so much fun to meet other local runners and spend some time doing our favorite thing…..running! 

Brooks Fun Run_10-5-12

After the expo fun, I was off for my busy weekend.  Aby had sectionals on Saturday morning.  She ran her heart out but didn’t qualify for state.  She hit the hills like a pro and pretty much pushed the entire race and was very happy afterwards.  It wasn’t an easy race or an easy sectional and I’m super proud of my baby girl for giving it her all this season.  Now time for her to rest a bit and run some local 5Ks with her momma.  :)

After freezing our bums off at sectionals, we were on the road to Indiana for my High School 20 year class reunion. 

ENHS 20 yr reunion

ENHS 20 yr reunion_me & mick

I had lots of fun & enjoyed spending time with my classmates.  However, I was honestly a “bit” sad that I was in Indiana instead of Chicago on Marathon Weekend.  I even got up very early on Sunday morning to look for the marathon on tv but nothing.  I tried to stream it live on my phone but nothing.  However, I did manage to receive the runner tracking and Facebook updates!

Since I couldn’t be there in person, my girl April took the time to make a “Flat Fritz” just to make sure that I got to go, enjoy the atmosphere and encourage the members of our F’N Running Club.   It was hysterical, very sweet and absolutely made me feel like I was part of their day!  Thanks, April!

                         Flat Fritz & April                April, Flat Fritz in backpack & Kim

 Flat Fritz w April    Flat Fritz w April & Kim

Flat Fritz in pack.      Jenny G’s happy to see me!     I’m cheering for the runners!

Flat Fritz   Flat Fritz w Jennyl  Flat Fritz_chicago

I hope you had an amazing weekend, whether you were traveling, running, or hanging with friends. 

** Cheers ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Park Forest Running & Pancake Club – Turtle 10 – 2012

Turtle 10_2012 flyerWow, what a difference a year makes.  Last year I breezed through the Turtle 10, at a killer for me pace, knocking out those hills at the Hickory Creek Junction like we were old friends.  The fact that I had ran a 20 miler just 2 days prior didn’t even enter my mind as I flew on the downs and attacked the ups.  This year, I knew would be quite different but I wasn’t about to miss one of my favorite events just because I’m out of run shape.  Here I am last year heading out of Hickory Creek toward Old Plank as I  get ready to tackle the last 4 miles (photo source PFRPC).  I remember hitting that clock and seeing 46:xx something for my time and thinking, “This is a good day”.

Turtle 10_2011This year, when I hit the same spot as the above photo, I stepped off the course because I had hit my mileage limit.   I was not feeling at all serene or in control.  I struggled thru the hills and the heat, I walked quite a bit and it took me 55 minutes this year for the same distance.  Not great but I’m still glad that I went.

The Park Forest Running and Pancake Club always delivers a first class event at a very low cost, plus they usually throw in some wacky SWAG and FREE  PANCAKES to all the participants.  The fee for the non-members was a mere $5 for a 10 mile supported event on one of  the most beautiful trails in our area.  Participant numbers are normally low for this event.  I would guestimate possibly 50 or 60 people this year which works well for this trail since it remains open during the event. 

Water and Gatorade stations were located at approximately 3 miles, 6 miles & 8 miles.  The bathrooms were located at miles 0, 3 & 6.  The volunteers were very helpful, friendly and the certified course was marked well to avoid confusion.  There is no chip timing or numbers but they did present awards this year and everyone received a finishers medal.

Overall, this is probably the best bang for your buck on the racing scene.  I encourage you to join us next year at the Turtle 10 to brave the hills of Hickory Creek.  It may not be easy but it will be worth it.  The way this course it set up it is easy to do 6 miles if you are not ready for the full 10.  Myself, a couple of my fellow Frankfort New Lenox Running Club members, in addition to a few others showed up to support the PFRPC but opted to step off after 6.    This race is very informal.  So if you are intimated about the racing scene, this is a good one for you because it feels more like a group run than an actual race and many people treat it as such.  Very relaxed atmosphere! 

Frankfort New Lenox Running Club – Turtle 10 Runners

Top Left:  Jenny G, Lynn, Barb, Kim, Me, Jen L, Kevin, Susan & Speedy Kristin

Bottom:  Jill, Jen E & Sam

Turtle 10_FNRC_2012

The next race presented by the Park Forest Running & Pancake Club will be the MidWinter Cruise in Park Forest, IL on January 20, 2013.  Another great race by this awesome run club.  I’ll see you there.  If you would like a sneak peak as to what you can expect, read my 2012 MidWinters Cruise race report HERE.

Side note:  One of the Mission AthleteCare giveaway items were not claimed.  I let the Random Number Generator draw a new number and Cynde Gillispie (#28)has won a Sun Defeated Continuous Spray SPF 30.  Please shoot me an email with your address, Cynde, and I’ll ship out your sunscreen!

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz.com ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Positive Community Development…….

Sometimes that little “extra” that you need in your life is not sitting right next to you.  Some of us need motivation to get off the couch workout, run and give life a TRI!  It’s just too easy to be lazy!

Libby_2011

This is why I started the TTF blog, to meet other people who were as crazy motivated as myself and to hold myself accountable.  I am a decent self motivator but it’s always good to think that “we are in it together” and that was what I was missing, a group of like minded people with whom to share my insanity passion.  I did know a lot of people in the running community, and ran on and off with various groups but due to my hubby’s work schedule I was mostly on my own.  I got thru all of those “solo” years with on and off, training partners (Lisa E, Abby S, Kerry C & Shelly O) and the mantra, “If it’s easy, it’s not worth it”.   I pushed forward, not for any reward but solely because the desire burned inside of me to be stronger, faster and better than ever.  I raced a lot to keep from being lazy focused on the end goal:  Staying Fit!

I am certainly no longer alone in my quest.  It seems the last year or so has brought an onslaught of positive community development on various levels.  I credit social media in helping to increase the awareness of fitness groups and new area running clubs, like the Frankfort New Lenox Running Club (aka:  The F’N Runners – photo below).   Plus, the creation of websites like Chicago Running Bloggers brings together like minded people who may or may not have ever come together otherwise. 

So now, as I hit the trial, I see more and more people out there giving it their all on a Saturday morning before the sun rises.  Last week, I saw the F’N Runners, the Park Forest Running & Pancake Club, Tinley Track & Trail, Tri Smart and I knew the Looney Chics were out there somewhere too.  We continue to increase awareness of our groups and develop a massive community to support and motivate each other in life, training, & racing.  We know that regardless of where we go, there will always be a “friendly” in the crowd and for that reason we keep pushing our limits to better ourselves and each other. 

Thanks to all my virtual, real life, and on the run/trail training partners who continue to push me when I’d rather be sitting on the couch. 

Have you noticed the growth and how much more visible the fitness/running groups have become as of late both online and in real life?  Do you credit the internet and social media for getting the word out and helping our community grow?  Does the growth of our community push you to be better?

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Race Around The World Duathlon – Tinley Park, IL

I’m so very excited about this race that I will try not to let my excitement get the better of my race review but it will be difficultThe Race Around The World Duathlon takes place in Tinley Park, IL each year on the third Sunday in June.  My theory as to the name is that we race around a music complex that used to be called the World Music Center but that is certainly my own speculation, please don’t take it as fact.  The duathlon consists of a 2 mile run, 11 mile bike and finishes up with a 2 mile run.  A duathlon is always a run, bike, run event for any of you who don’t want to get wet.  It’s possibly my favorite event of all times.  I’m normally a strong runner, and I’m always going to be a sprinter, so the 2 mile run is well suited to my run balls out fast mentality.  I’m an okay biker, not great but the bike section is short and then I’m quickly on my feet again to run balls out.  Win, Win, Win!

I believe this is my 3rd or 4th year of participating in this race.  Due to my torn tendon, things were a bit different this year.  Aby stepped up to be my runner and we created a relay.  MOST.FUN.EVER! 

Tinley DU_12_me & aby We also met up with a few FNRC ladies who were also entering the world of multisport today!  From left:  Jenny, Deb, Me, Aby, Betsy, Susan, Julie, & my Ragnar partner, Kate.

Tinley DU_12_FNRC We got to the race early  because I wanted to make sure to get a decent spot in transition and things lined up smoothly.  Then the racers were off at 8am exactly.  The duathlon had 4 waves, the young boys, the over 40 men, the young ladies and the over 40 ladies.  Aby was lined up with the over 40 ladies since we were a team.  That was perfect because I wanted her to stay relaxed in the run since she had to run 2 miles x2.  Susan in gold & Aby take off at the start. 

Tinley DU_12_Aby   Tinley DU_Aby

She cruised those first 2 miles with a 9:27 average and I was one proud momma taking off on the bike.  I must say that it was a seemingly long wait while she ran because I was so nervous she started in the last wave.  When she ran into transition, most people were already out on the bike. This is the first time I have started riding this far back, but I definitely was riding on the best bike I’ve ever ridden in this event and wow, did that help.  One or two years I did this on a mountain bike, one year I used a road bike, and this year I had my TRI bike.  Hello Road, and it was all “on your left” from there on out.  Fastest 10 miles I’ve ever ridden.  I finished the 10 miles in 30 minutes & change.  Yes, the course is normally 11 miles but we had a detour due to road construction this year.  No big deal in my opinion and the roads were nice, mostly smooth and the turns were wide enough to not be an issue.  Plus there were a lot of volunteer support to help with the bike course.

Has anyone ever told you that transition matters?  Well, listen up cuz it’s true.  Although, I’m a veteran triathlete, I’m not a veteran relayer.  I  messed up.  In my haste to move thru transition, weave thru those walking their bikes, I never pulled the timing chip off my ankle.  So I get back to the bike rack, Aby’s waiting and instead of pulling the chip, I tried to rack my bike, then I realized my error, yanked the chip and she was off.  Not sure how many seconds I wasted but every second truly does count.  Today, they have awards thru 3rd place, we were 5th, we were 13 seconds out of 3rd place.  If that isn’t crazy enough, the 4th place team was one tenth behind the 3rd place team.   The women’s team competition from 3rd place through 7th was separated by a total of 37 seconds.  Transition counts, always. 

Here is Aby in the home stretch chicking the dude in the orange, where she crushed the last 2 miles with a 9:32 average.  Now, that’s some consistent running for a 10 year old who has only been running a year.  Yes, I’m super proud!!!

Tinley DU_12_aby2 The run course had 2 water stop locations for each 2 mile segment.  Lots of port-o-potties.  Nicely organized race for people who are looking for a fitness challenge or those looking to crush some PRs.  I highly recommend you checking out the The Race Around The World Duathlon for 2013.

This year, if I had to complain about anything, which I don’t like to complain but in the sense of fairness need to address the fact that they did not let us pick up our shirts until after the race.  So when Aby and I went to grab the shirts, they only had L & XL left.   In men’s sizing.  Total fail in my opinion.  They shirts were great A-4 dry fit.  I love the brand in a ladies fit but now I have one more shirt that I can’t wear and Aby swims in hers.  It would have been nice to give this race some silent PR by hitting the trail with the shirts, or Aby wearing it to Cross Country camp, but that’;s not an option for us and I’m actually disappointed this time.  The shirts looked great though, here they are below with our bibs.  There was not a “goodie bag”, only the shirts.

Tinley DU_12_shirts

Great job to all the participants!   Hope to see you out there for 2013!  Who knows if Aby and I will return to do more damage as Team 2 Tough Chiks or if we will go individual next year……..stay tuned!

** Just DU It ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Short Run Long Day 5K

Yesterday was the hottest longest day of the year.  Every year for the last 12 years, Frankfort, IL does a 5K in the evening of the “long day”.  According to the Frankfort Patch, this year drew more participants than any previous year with 403 individuals registered for this evening, weekday race.  Those are good numbers for a work/school night!

I’d like to think that the Frankfort New Lenox Running Club helped up those numbers.  :)  Here is a pic of our skeleton crew for the night.  Lots of our regular runners couldn’t make the run but we did our best to represent!

Picture 054

Although I registered myself and Aby for the race, I did not run run because of the torn tendon in my foot.  Nor have I run in previous years because a night race when one has a baby/toddler, is a bit difficult but no worries, I fed everyone ice cream for dinner after the race so we could go right home and go to bed!

The packet pick up was smooth and moved quickly.  The only complaint I heard on the entire race that one of the volunteers in packet pick up was very rude less than friendly.  Please know that if you do not want to volunteer at a race or other event, please don’t let someone strong-arm you into doing it.  We have so much respect and love for the volunteers that come out to help, they add so much to our race experience that we don’t want one person to give any race a bad name.   Photo below from the Frankfort Park District Facebook Page.  That’s Susan D in the gold FNRC shirt.

Volunteers 

The goodie bag was sparse but we don’t run for the goodies, do we?

Picture 080

The race was family/kid friendly with sprinklers & a bounce house.

bounce house

The race course was certified with chip timing and really good according to the comments of racers and members of the F’N Running Club.  The race started in front of Main Park on Locust, headed toward the bike path, thru Frankfort and busted ass back thru the streets to the finish. 

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I heard really good reports on the running aspect of the race.  There was one water stop at the halfway mark, no complaints of overcrowding and everyone was praising the shaded bike path and the mature trees throughout the neighborhood.  Apparently, one of the best aspects of the race was a homeowner who took his hose to the street and was spraying the runners!  Although the temps were high at 97 degrees as we were driving to the race, the winds kicked up and cooled things down quickly before the start.  Even so, temps were not ideal but everyone looked happy and seemed to have ran good times.  It’s always a good race when people finish with smiles on their face and plan to go back again for next year!  Here are a billion some pics, in random order, which I captured of the F’N Runners as the whizzed past me.  Thankfully their bright gold shirts gave me a good heads up that they were coming my way.  I didn’t get everyone as I was also trying to watch the little cheer squad (Michael & Jack below) and some photos were just too blurry to salvage.

Michael & Jack

Susan M zooms past on her way for a 3rd place finish in her age group!

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Nicole Fritz placed 2nd in her age group but was too fast for me to catch on film!

Kristin Kotara, snagged a first in a full out sprint as our fastest F’N Runner who raced the Short Run Long Day.  She may, or may not, have blistered the course in a 21:05 and my camera was barely fast enough to get her, thank goodness Susan did better in the first photo!  Last photo from the Frankfort Park District Facebook Page.

kristin_frankfort 5k   Picture 065   kristin2_frankfort 5k

Eve Jensen also took a first in her age group but I didn’t capture that either!

Aby was mid pack trying to trip Amanda W so I missed her “in action”.   She ran a 29:46 though and was super happy with the race and shaded course!  Great job, Aby!  Here she is coming back to give her brother a high-five after the finish.

Aby & Michael_Frankfort 5K

Sean & Meg testing their finishing kick with Barb & Jenny eating their dust close behind!  

Jake & Meg_Frankfort 5K                 Barb & Jeni_Frankfort 5K      

Kate S & Company:  Picture 078

Melissa, Lisa & Brian F who arrived late and didn’t get his gold shirt in time.

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Nicole R is a blurrrrrrr running past with her two little men in the double jogger!

Picture 071 Jeni H is ALL smiles, just like always!!  And I spy, Kathy H &  Amanda W in the background of the first photo! 

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Go Betsy!!!   Picture 068

All in all, it seemed to be the perfect day and the perfect place to spend time with our friends doing our favorite thing, RUNNING!  We will definitely be back next year to participate in the fun.  Look out were growing and we now have an official color that will “almost” glow in the dark.  You can’t miss us.  Honest!   Come out and celebrate with us for 2013!

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com