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Title:Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Date:Sunday January 13th, 2019
Author:Bill & Michelle Thom
Report:
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
[logo:Winter Challenge Cross Country]
Cross Country and Gratuitous Six-Hour Runs!

Winter Challenge Cross Country II was held Sunday January 13, 2019 within the tree-lined forest preserve groves of Caldwell Woods and Bunker Hill, Chicago/Niles, Illinois.  Of the 103 preregistered participants, 93 braved the conditions to take on this year's challenge.  19 started our Gratuitous 6-Hour Run, 27 raced our WC3 15-Km, 47 opted for our WC3 5-Km. Our volunteer team was superbly staffed by community runner's Jeni Goodwin, Lisa Kohoutek, Paula Donato-Byrnes, Mike Vlasak, Chris Precht.

Weather statistics for January 13, 2019...
Air temperature: minimum 26.1°F, mean 29.7°F, maximum 30.9°F.
Wind speed MPH: mean 15.3 NE, maximum sustained 17.7 NE, maximum gust 29.9 NE.
Snow depth: 2.0 inch accumulation.
Twilight start: 6:46 am.  Sunrise: 7:17 am.  Sunset: 4:43 pm.  Twilight end: 5:13 pm.

Snow had begun its 15-hour session at 11:00 am on Saturday (race eve), just as we began setting up our racecourse.  By Sunday morning snow had accumulated to a depth of 2 inches throughout the forest groves.  This seemed sure to affect and slow all runners, but provide exhilarating race conditions.  The course was marked with knee-level colored-wire-flagging.  In the direction of running... keep blue/purple flags on your right and orange/pink flags on your left.

At 8:05 am, Gratuitous 6-Hour runners began repeating laps of our five kilometer cross country loop.  Their mission... cover as much distance as possible in the span of six hours.  They could continue running along the 5k "Big Loop," then as the six hours ticked down switch to our quarter-mile "Little Loop," and continue right up to the 2:05 pm cowbells signal.

Meanwhile traditional-distance runners arrived for check-in and their race start.  At 9:35 am, co RD Michelle Thom gave the commands "To your mark... Go!" signaling the start of events, WC3 15-Km and WC3 5-Km.  Soon after the sun came out in its wintertime low force, and the groves of Caldwell Woods / Bunker Hill were populated with variable-speed runners of Winter Challenge Cross Country II!

11:45 am... as Gratuitous 6-Hour runners pursued evermore mileage, our traditional distance runners were completing their races.  An awards ceremony was held in the warming-shelter building atop the hill near our start/finish area.  Gold medals for top Male and Female in both traditional events, plus gold medals for top 15-Km Masters Male and Female, along with engraved pint-glasses for top-three "Podium Achievers."  Engraved pint-glasses were won by 3-ruuner "Team Podium Achievers."

Winter Challenge Cross Country 5-Km...
Open Female Achievers (All Ages):
1st) Julie Sroka
2nd) Michelle Thom
3rd) Gabi Szado

Masters Female Achievers (40 - Over):
1st) Catherine Krawitz
2nd) Nana Rodriguez
Open Male Achievers (All Ages):
1st) Luis Gomez
2nd) Joe Scheidt
3rd) Michael Cramarosso
Masters Male Achievers (40 - Over):
1st) Vincent Santucci
2nd) Jerry Brennan
3-Runner Team Podium Achievers (combined time):
1st Male) Running Tigers - 1:19:16.1: Luis Gomez, Uriel Delgado, Alejandro Fernandez
1st Mixed) Sheri's Squad - 1:21:31.6: Joe Scheidt, Dan Galinski, Gabi Szado
2nd Male) Ahlmann's Army - 1:24:31.6: William Bermudez, Josh Nava-Brown, Anthony Werneing
2nd Mixed) Bri and the Boys - 1:32:56.9: Vincent Santucci, Walter Wendel, Brianna Santucci
3rd Mixed) Proof Positive - 1:35:37.9: Michelle Thom, Tom Kohler, Patti Downey
1st Female) Ultra Spicy Chalupas - 2:41:18.2: Sarah Freriks, Molly Mungan, Gretchen Mungan

Winter Challenge Cross Country 15-Km...
Open Female Achievers (All Ages):
1st) Shannon Bixler
2nd) Laura Lackner
3rd) Betty Lee

Masters Female Achievers (40 - Over):
1st) Kate Schnatterbeck
2nd) Mary Gustafson
Open Male Achievers (All Ages):
1st) Elias Theodosis
2nd) David Stone
3rd) Angelo Frigo
Masters Male Achievers (40 - Over):
1st) Matthew Thompson
2nd) Jason Dorgan
3-Runner Team Podium Achievers (combined time):
1st Male) Evanston Easy Goers - 3:31:33.9: Elias Theodosis, Angelo Frigo, Matthew Thompson
1st Mixed) Ayla's Annihilators - 4:47:19.8: Andrew Masciopinto, Siamak Mostoufi, Todd Brown

2:05 pm... our cowbells signaled the end of Gratuitous Six-Hour Run and those runners who were still on our "Little Loop" stopped, held their position while we wheeled-off their final extra distance.  Ten of the nineteen starters covered more than 26.2 miles, which earned them newly minted "Ultra Achiever" custom heavy medals.

Winter Challenge Cross Country Gratuitous 6-Hour...
Female Podium Achievers:
1st) Amanda Richey, 31.069 miles
2nd) Mary Hunt, 25.858 miles
3rd) Juli Aistars, 25.693 miles

Male Podium Achievers:
1st) Karl Flener, 37.782 miles
2nd) Jeffrey Fleitz, 34.925 miles
3rd) Edward Czoski, 31.441
Additional Ultra Achievers:
4th Overall) Jonathan Poloncsik, 31.069 miles
6th Overall) Brian Sheridan, 29.962 miles
7th Overall) Michael Kennedy, 29.457 miles
8th Overall) John Kohoutek, 28.967 miles
9th Overall) John Zientko, 27.962 miles
10th Overall) Joe Reeves, 27.625 miles
Also Ran WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hourers:
13th Overall) Tina Reeves, 24.224 miles
14th Overall) Maria Stock, 24.122 miles
15th Overall) Eric Hollis, 22.624 miles
16th Overall) Boris Tannenbaum, 22.498 miles
17th Overall) Christopher Mileto, 21.748 miles
18th Overall) Latoya Swartz, 19.891 miles
19th Overall) Tina Pascolla, 15.534 miles
2-Runner Team Podium Achievers (combined distance):
1st Male) Two Dumb Guys, 52.816 miles: Jonathan Poloncsik, Christopher Mileto


Race production, hosting, timing, webcasting and finish-line scoring was managed by our running-company, RunRace. Check out complete results through the links...
Results: Results on RunRace
Webcast: Webcast on RunRace (with Checkpoint Splits where available)

Let's give a rousing "shout out" to our thin-line of expert race volunteers for their generous support and dedication to cross country ruuning:
  • Aid Station Setup: Michael Vlasak, Chris Precht... our teammates of Riis Park Striders!
  • Runner Greeting / Check In: Jeni Goodwin, Michelle Thom.
  • Thermal Dynamics / Equipment Engineering: Paul Garcia.
  • Aid Station Captains: Jeni Goodwin, Lisa Kohoutek, Paula Donato.
  • Coffee/Cocoa Coordinator: Michelle Thom.
  • Racecourse Marking / Course Cleanup: Thomas Kohler, Bill Thom.
  • Photography: Michelle + Bill Thom.
  • [Did I miss anyone here?... if you notice a missing or misspelled name please let me know.]
The photos (below) have been optimized for web-display... if you'd like a "high-resolution" original (suitable for printing) contact me and I will email you with the original digital image... be sure to specify which photo(s) you'd like.

Our sincerest gratitude to runners and cross country enthusiasts who helped spread-the-word of Winter Challenge Cross Country II...
* Juli & Val Aistars - Co RDs of Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer. As Juli says, I love people! The more running friends, the better!
* Jeffrey Fleitz - Co RD of Chicago Lakefront 50K/50M and champion area ultra runner.
* Coach Patrick Sheridan - Coach of EPHS Running Tigers Cross Country and Track & Field.
* Ian Stevens - Dear friend and perennial promoter / volunteer of RunRace homegrown races.
* Elias Theodosis and Laura Lackner who're both top Chicagoland runners with plenty of teammates from the Evanston Running Club.
* Chris Wilhite and Angela Hugel of Dick Pond Athletics running store in Park Ridge... hey, that's where we shop!

Congratulations to all who participated in this second annual edition of Winter Challenge Cross Country!

"Cross Country"... the best of all human endeavors!
Bill: bill@runrace.net

Links & Recaps as Generously Provided by Participants of
Winter Challenge Cross Country!

WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
Image ©: 2019 Billy
Viewed: 236
Last View: November 19th, 2019 4:48 am
Image Id: 16137
Click a thumbnail for its larger image.
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Start of WC3-II Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
Winter Challenge Cross Country II
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour Run
'My favorite photo from the course' - Katie Cibulsky

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Posted:January 15th, 2019 4:23 pm
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Last View:November 19th, 2019 7:11 pm
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