Our annual spring celebration of "going long" made use of the Palos Trail System of Willow Springs - Region 6. Out of necessity it was our first time charting this lollipop-loop racecourse, comprised of the area's scenic, more technical, interconnecting trails, with stretches of cross-country over grass areas. Each lap is 5.2 miles in length, run in a counterclockwise direction. 50-Km = six laps; 25-Km = three laps. Our start/finish and only aid station was located within the parking lot of Bullfrog Lake, Grove #1. With Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions still in place this spring version was spread over three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; March 19th, 20th, 21st with maximum capacities of 50 participants per day. This marked the sixteenth running of our semiannual race, which has always offered the event distances of 50 kilometers and 25 kilometers.
Day one, Friday March 19th...
Four 50-Km runners opted for an early start; setting off at 7:37 am on their first-ever ultramarathon were husband/wife Ernesto Antonio and Lauren Raino; John Wiencek at 7:39 am, with intentions to finish prior to leading an important zoom meeting with the president of his company; Robert McFarland at 7:53 am. Six 25-Km runners opted for an early start; Midway Mile Chasers
Celia Corral, Lorena Hernandez, Yajaira Feregrino, Susan DeAvila, and Sylvia Lopez at 7:48 am; Carrie Wagner at 9:00 am.
The 50-Km field started at 8:31:10 am, and the 25-Km field started one hour later at 9:31:10. 15 runners began the 50-Km; 11 made their finish. 27 runners began the 25-Km; all 27 made their finish. Father/son runners Peter and Jude Hubbard led the 25-Km field, finishing in 2:18:24; Kathleen Bradley was top female in 2:55:05. Ryan Charles Kelley had top time in the 50-Km of 5:17:26, pursued closely by Jimmy Kasper in 5:24:45. Tracey Escobedo was top female in 6:04:56.
Seasonable conditions persisted throughout the day with racing temperatures ranging 33˚ / 48˚F; sunny, no precipitation; NE winds at 8-12 mph; Sunrise 6:57 am; Sunset 7:04 pm.
Jim Arnold and Tom Kohler served as aid station captains for the entire day.
Day two, Saturday March 20th...
The 50-Km field started at 8:30:01 am, and the 25-Km field started one hour later at 9:30:01. 16 runners began the 50-Km; 14 made their finish. 26 runners began the 25-Km; 25 made their finish. Sean Lovelace led the 25-Km field, finishing in 2:17:52; Margie Hockenberry was top female in 2:57:02. Jeffrey Fleitz had top time in the 50-Km of 4:46:11. Rosalie Shyu was top female in 5:17:21; her finish would remain atop all female finishes.
Seasonable conditions began the day, giving way to warmest-ever Paleozoic temperatures ranging 25˚ / 60˚F; sunny, no precipitation; SE winds at 5-7 mph; Sunrise 6:55 am; Sunset 7:05 pm.
Jeni Goodwin served as aid station captain, with volunteers Justin Heller, Traci Lambert-Cwerenz, and Boris Tannenbaum for the entire day.
Day three, Sunday March 21st...
Two 25-Km runners opted for an early start; Heather Vree and Susan Smock at 8:35 am.
The 50-Km field started at 8:30:00 am, and the 25-Km field started one hour later at 9:30:00. 18 runners began the 50-Km; 16 made their finish. 29 runners began the 25-Km; 28 made their finish. James Harrington led the 25-Km field, finishing in the event winning time of 1:55:51; Cara Triezenberg was top female and also event winner in 2:38:33. Todd Gunter finished with overall fastest time in the 50-Km in 4:16:55, slightly ahead of defending champion David Curtin in 4:17:55. Jen DeSalvo posted top female 50-Km time for the day of 6:07:37.
Seasonable conditions began the day, giving way to warmest-ever Paleozoic temperatures ranging 34˚ / 67˚F; sunny, no precipitation; SSE winds at 6-12 mph; Sunrise 6:53 am; Sunset 7:06 pm.
Mike Glennon served as aid station captain, with volunteers Jim Arnold, Ian Stevens, and Traci Lambert-Cwerenz.
Through the Paleozoic feather flags, across the finish line timing mats, awaiting all runners... customized finisher-medals, special awards, optional beer, and the drawing-them-in-siren-sound of ringing cowbell. First-time ultramarathon finishers earned "My First Ultra" pint-glass awards. Five-time Paleozoic finishers collected special zipper-draw-string shoe bag awards. Ten-time finishers were awarded awarded special pint-glasses!
Because Paleozoic Trail Runs - Silurian Spring II was spread over three days of racing we could not determine overall and age group winners until Sunday afternoon. From homes and remote locations many Friday and Saturday runners were monitoring our race "Webcast
" to see how their finishing times would hold up.