Paleozoic Trail Runs
7th Annual Spring-Season Paleozoic 50-Km and 25-Km
Our spring celebration of "going long" made use of the Palos trails of Willow Springs. To date, we've charted this Paleo north racecourse a total of five times... the others being Devonian Spring in 2018, Silurian Spring in 2016, Permian Fall in 2015, Devonian Fall in 2014. This was the thirteenth running of our semiannual race, which has always offered the event distances of 50 kilometers and 25 kilometers.
Saturday March 23, race-day conditions: average temperature of 40°F, low temperature of 27°F, high temperature of 53°F, light variable SW winds with speeds that ranged from 0 to 12 mph. Sunrise 6:48 am, sunset 7:07 pm. Historically, March 23rd has averages: high temperature of 50°F, low temperature of 33°F.
Weather-wise this was a cold-morning then pleasant afternoon with plenty of sunshine... ideal for fast spring racing. The racecourse was in decent shape, had not dried-out from winter conditions, and had lengthy stretches of trail-wide puddles that were difficult to "jump over" or "skirt around." Many runners had at least one fall during their race. For simplicity and consistency I marked the entire course using orange spray painted arrows, and pink wire-flagging. Unfortunately some of the surveyors paint was trampled, churned, and dissolved in the mud, which caused confusion and a-few runners to go "off course," outbound at approximately 5.75 miles where the Orange Trail diverges from the Green Trail (~two miles prior to Wolf Road Woods aid station).
Reporting early-morning at Pioneer Woods... volunteers Ed Scheer, Scott Finger, Laura Skowronek, Greg Forkins, Tim Koh + his son, Traci (Racine) Lambert-Cwerenz, Bob Zeitner, and Laura Rocha arrived for aid station set up and to greet runners at the 7:30 am check-in / packet pick up. Vols Brian Sheridan and Steve Wrought transferred gear and supplies from our race van to their vehicle for satellite/turnaround aid station staffed by Brian and Steve at Wolf Road Woods. Many Flatlander Ultrarunners, led by Traci "Racine" Lambert-Cwerenz were on hand throughout the day to patrol our racecourse.
Under direction of co-RD Michelle Thom, our 50-Km event was off-n-running at 8:30:48 am. 64 participants took to the trails for their two-lap tour. An hour later at 9:30:49 am Michelle sounded the air-horn again, and set 82 25-Km runners off on their adventure.
An unmanned aid station was set trail-side at approximately 3.6-miles outbound. Full-service fare, staffed by Brian and Steve awaited at Wolf Road Woods, Grove #2, which served as our turnaround aid station. Paleo-Dev 50-Km runners completed two full laps of our out-n-back racecourse, while Paleo-Dev 25-Km runners raced a one-lap tour.
Minutes before the start of the 50-Km Zachary Pligge asked "what is the course record?" From memory we informed him that Coree Woltering had run under 3:38 in 2017 on this north racecourse. Zach set out at an aggressive pace, and returned to our halfway checkpoint under one hour, forty-six minutes. In the women's race, runner-up of Paleozoic - Ordovician Fall, Meg Pond Louthan was first to make it back to our halfway checkpoint, followed closely by Abby Bokus then Ann Heaslett. Maybe due to the slippery conditions, both Meg and Abby were forced to drop due to hamstring and knee issues, so upon heading back out, Ann found herself in first place. Zach and Ann held their position and finished in first place for their respective divisions. Jeffrey Fleitz and Amanda Smith finished as second place runners in their respective divisions.
Meanwhile the 25-Km featured veteran Paleozoic-runners Elias Theodosis, James Harrington, and Dave Patch finishing one-two-three with a scant six-minute separation. In the women's race, defending champ of Paleozoic - Ordovician Fall 50-Km, Becky Patch finished first followed by Laura Lackner, and Liz Fairweather. Under the conditions these were all impressive performances despite slowed-by-the-muddy-trail finishing times.
Upon returning to Pioneer Woods, at the finish awaiting all runners... customized finisher-medals, vegetarian spring medley soup, and white chicken chili soup, along with a roofed-shelter and unusually calm, warmish, sunshiny early-spring weather for relaxing and replenishing. Top overall and masters runners earned very special awards. Top-three age division runners collected special pint-glass awards. First-time ultramarathon finishers earned "My First Ultra" pint-glass awards. Five-time Paleozoic finishers collected special zipper-draw-string shoe bags. Ten-time Paleozoic finishers were awarded special pint-glasses!
Congratulations to our swift runners of Paleozoic Trail Runs - Permian Spring!
- Paleo-Perm 50-Km...
Top Male Open: Zachary Pligge, 30 of Franklin Park - 4:11:37.4
Top Female Open: Ann Heaslett, 55 of Madison, WI - 5:38:14.7
Top Male Masters: Jeffrey Fleitz, 48 of Chicago - 4:32:39.1
Top Female Masters: Sara Carter, 40 of Hartland, WI - 6:18:09.1
- Paleo-Perm 25-Km...
Top Male Open: Elias Theodosis, 29 of Evanston - 1:54:34.9 * Past champion of Permian Fall!
Top Female Open: Becky Patch, 35 of Rolling Meadows - 2:08:15.0 * Past champion of Ordovician Fall 50-Km!
Top Male Masters: James Harrington, 43 of Bolingbrook - 1:48:41.7 * Two-time past AG Podium champion!
Top Female Masters: Laura Lackner, 42 of Evanston - 2:14:29.4 * Three-time masters champion!
Timing, webcasting, and finish-line scoring... all managed by us, through our RunRace website at RunRace
. Check out Results and our Webcast through the links...
Results: Results on RunRace
Webcast: Webcast with Checkpoint Splits
Let's give a rousing "shout out" to our race volunteers, many of which are accomplished runners, all of whom performed "beyond the call!"
- Pioneer Woods Aid Station: Captain Scott Finger, Ed Scheer, Laura Skowronek, Greg Forkins, Tim Koh (and his son!), Bob Zeitner, Laura Rocha, Traci (Racine) Lambert-Cwerenz.
- Wolf Road Woods Aid Station: Brian Sheridan and Steve Wrought.
- Keepers of finish-line paper trail: Laura Skowronek, Greg Forkins, Laura Rocha.
- Supplies delivery, aid station shuttling: Brian Sheridan, Steve Wrought, Michelle Thom.
- Post-race soup overseer: Bill Thom.
- Paleozoic brew-masters of Paleozoic Imperial Blonde: Tom Kohler, Adam Zamora.
- Course marshaling: Special thanks to Racine-Traci and members of Flatlander Ultrarunners who toured the racecourse supporting all runners.
- Course marking / Course cleanup: Bill Thom.
Check out our gallery of photos below, captured mostly at our primary aid station, Pioneer Woods. These photos have been optimized for display on the internet... feel free to copy for your personal use -and/or- link this "Run Report" with your social networks.
Congratulations to all runners of Paleozoic Trail Runs
... summoned by the primordial instinct to go-long, who toed-the-line and answered-the-call, in our spring version - Permian Spring!
Links & Recaps as Generously Provided by Participants of
Paleozoic Trail Runs - Permian Spring!
, Paleo-Dev 25-Km Female Fourth Place Finisher, #185
Mand's Chicago Athlete Media Coverage: Mandi's Report