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Title:Winter Challenge Cross Country VI
Date:Sunday January 14th, 2024
Author:Bill Thom
Report:
Winter Challenge Cross Country VI
[logo:Winter Challenge Cross Country]
Cross Country and Gratuitous Six-Hour Runs!


As Christmas holidays waned, Michelle and I began our seasonal weather watching. Uh oh, second Sunday of the new year was forecasting near-zero temperatures. "These predictions have a way of moderating" we assured ourselves. Meanwhile the Forest Preserves permitting office asked that we chart a different racecourse than our established Caldwell Woods / Bunker Hill perfect 5k cross country grass route. There were many twists-n-turns leading up to race day... such is the nature of cross county.

Venue considerations bounced between groves of Bunker Hill and Linne Woods. Ultimately we settled on an out-n-back course following the paved Red Trail, with its start/finish at our traditional pavilion; Caldwell Woods, Grove #1. Race week forecast intensified to below-zero temperatures on Sunday, so we offered the option of Saturday limited-support racing at Caldwell Woods. Five participants opted in... there we met; I noted their individual start and finish times...
5-Km: Owen Graham-O'Regan and Karl Meakin traveled [separately] from Hype Park, using public transportation plus hiking/biking, to race at Caldwell Woods.
15-Km: Jim Potts, Nana Rodriguez, and Cynthia Henderson also raced at Caldwell Woods.
15-Km: Alexandra Marin raced virtually, and sent her corroborating GPS stats.

Sunday's predicted extreme conditions held true with subzero temperatures and steady strong winds throughout the day. Sunday racing had 13 WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour ultrarunners, 27 WC3 15-Km runners, and 16 WC3 5-Km runners.

Official race statistics for 2024 Winter Challenge Cross Country VI.

Day

Time

Temp F

Wind MPH

Wind Chill F

Weather

Humidity %

Dewpoint


Event

Registered

Started

Finished

Sat

8:51 am

24

W 16, G 26

11

Light Snow

84%

20


Gratuitous 6-Hour:

20

13

13

Sat

9:51 am

24

W 17, G 26

10

Mostly Cloudy

77%

18


15 Kilometer:

46

27

27

Sat

10:51 am

23

W 16, G 29

9

Cloudy

78%

17


5 Kilometer:

33

16

16

Sat

11:51 am

22

W 15, G 28

8

Mostly Cloudy

75%

15


WC3 Race Totals:

99

56

56

Sat

12:51 pm

21

W 18, G 30

6

Overcast

74%

14


Volunteers:

6



Sat

1:51 pm

20

W 18, G 29

5

Overcast

78%

14






Sat

2:51 pm

18

W 14, G 29

4

Overcast

77%

12






Sun

7:51 am

-10

SW 16, G 28

-33

Mostly Cloudy

70%

-17






Sun

8:51 am

-10

W 15, G 28

-32

A Few Clouds

70%

-17






Sun

9:51 am

-9

W 15, G 26

-31

A Few Clouds

67%

-17






Sun

10:51 am

-8

SW 20, G 28

-32

A Few Clouds

67%

-16






Sun

11:51 am

-8

SW 17, G 28

-31

A Few Clouds

67%

-16






Sun

12:51 pm

-7

SW 21, G 31

-32

A Few Clouds

68%

-15






Sun

1:51 pm

-7

W 16, G 25

-29

A Few Clouds

68%

-15






Sun

2:51 pm

-6

W 14, G 23

-26

Partly Cloudy

67%

-14








Brave volunteers Jeni Goodwin, Boris Tannenbaum, Don Lavelle, Tom and Regina Burke arrived at Caldwell Woods as the sun rose - 7:15 am. Immediately we erected two pop-up tents, then focused on igniting our heat sources. In windy conditions of -11F it takes persistence & coaxing to light propane heaters... luckily, Boris and Don were up to the tasks. WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour runners picked up their packets, shared layering ideas, made final adjustments, then set out on their adventures at 8:09 am. Their mission... brave the elements and cover as much distance as possible in the span of six hours. They could continue running along the 5k "Big Out-n-Back," then as six hours ticked down-to-zero, switch to our quarter-mile "Little Out-n-Back."

Next up, traditional-distance runners arrived for check-in and packet pickup, which was managed by volunteer Jeni Goodwin. Among WC3 veterans was Paul Garcia, fire-whisperer who succeeded in lighting our self-contained fire pit. Tom and Regina managed aid station fare, placing fluids near heat sources, stiring vigoursly to slow freeze-over. At 9:39 am Jeni called "Take your marks... Go," starting events WC3 15-Km and WC3 5-Km. Soon the grove of Caldwell Woods and nearby snow-over-ice-covered Red Trail were churning with variable-speed runners of Winter Challenge Cross Country VI!

11:45 am... while Gratuitous 6-Hour runners pursued evermore mileage, our traditional distance runners were completing their races. An abbreviated awards ceremony, with winter-beans-and-rice and hot cocoa commenced under the start/finish pavilion. Young Running Achievers (18 and younger) of the 5-Km earned special shiny medals. Presented to top-performing runners in both traditional distance events... Gold medals for 1st & 2nd place Open & Masters, along with engraved pint-glasses for top "Age Group Podium Achievers." Engraved pint-glasses were earned by "Team Podium Achievers" for both distances as well!

Winter Challenge Cross Country 5-Km...
Young Running Achievers:
1st) Winston Conwell
2nd) Samuel Birkner
3rd) Elsie Conwell

Top Female Open (All Ages):
1st) Paula Caballero
Top Male Open (All Ages):
1st) Owen Graham-O'Regan
AG Female 20-49 (20 - 49):
1st) Chloe Jensen
2nd) Carolyn Adkins
AG Male 20-49 (20 - 49):
1st) Karl Meakin
2nd) Irving Birkner
AG Male 50-99 (50 - 99):
1st) Michael Cramarosso
2nd) Brian Sweney
3-Runner Team Podium Achievers (combined time):
1st) Outer Lanes Athletic Club - 1:15:42.5: Winston Conwell, Samuel Birkner, Irving Birkner

Winter Challenge Cross Country 15-Km...
Top Female Open (All Ages):
1st) Becky Patch

Top Male Open (All Ages):
1st) Michael LaSusa
Top Female Masters (40 - Over):
1st) Agnes Burkevic
Top Male Masters (40 - Over):
1st) Kip Conwell
AG Female 30-39 (30 - 39):
1st) Ewa Kaminska
AG Male 30-39 (30 - 39):
1st) Piotr Gornik
AG Female 40-49 (30 - 39):
1st) Marta Borkowska
2nd) Joanna Skupien
AG Male 40-49 (30 - 39):
1st) Jamie Dihiansan
AG Female 50-59 (30 - 39):
1st) Cynthia Henderson
AG Male 50-59 (30 - 39):
1st) Paul Garcia
AG Female 60-69 (30 - 39):
1st) Maria Maciej
AG Male 60-69 (30 - 39):
1st) Wladyslaw Maciej
3-Runner Team Podium Achievers (combined time):
1st) BiegAm - 4:08:20.1: Agnes Burkevic, Wladyslaw Maciej, Piotr Gornik
2nd) Team Sloth - 4:27:39.7: Paul Garcia, Todd Brown, Siamak Mostoufi
3rd) Waffles - 7:34:30.1: Teresa Schecker, Kevin Thrall, Kelley Konopa

2:09 pm... WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hour runners completed their final Big & Little loops, then ducked into the warming tents, finally to get a little respite from extreme winter temperatures and fierce winds. Under the extreme conditions, all runners who braved the elements for the full six hours were recognized as "Ultra Achievers" earning their heavy medals alond with a hot bowl of winter-beans-n-rice. Our volunteers made quick work of breaking-down / packing equipment into the van. Afterward... everyone was off to find indoor temperatures and rest after a long winter's day.

Winter Challenge Cross Country Gratuitous 6-Hour...
Female Podium Achievers:
1st) Rachel Burke, 34.85 miles
2nd) Edna Jackeline Vazquez, 19.85 miles

Male Podium Achievers:
1st) Wojciech Jonczyk, 30.15 miles (tie for 1st)
1st) Thomas Clancy, 30.15 miles (tie for 1st)
3rd) Brian Sheridan, 29.90
Additional Ultra Achievers:
5th Overall) Steve Carlson, 27.90 (tie for 5th)
5th Overall) Peter Tinti, 27.90 (tie for 5th)
7th Overall) Michael Whitaker, 27.65 miles
8th Overall) Timothy Yan, 26.55 miles
9th Overall) Michael Glennon, 23.70 miles
Also Ran WC3 Gratuitous 6-Hourers:
11th Overall) Justin Heller, 18.60 miles, 3:55:05.8
12th Overall) Karl Flener, 15.50 miles, 2:37:40.2
13th Overall) Jeffrey Fleitz, 12.40 miles, 2:30:23.6


Race production, hosting, timing, webcasting and finish-line scoring was managed by RunRace. Check out complete results through the links...
Results: Results on RunRace
Webcast: Webcast on RunRace (with Checkpoint Splits where available)
Check out: 2023 Winter Challenge Cross Country video coverage from our `racecourse river cam`, our `timing-mat cam`, and our `overhead drone` that did its best to hover for ~20 mins nearby the finish area!
2023 Winter Challenge Cross Country Playlist on our RunRace Network YouTube Channel

Winter Challenge Cross Country simply could-not-happen without the service of dedicated runners, who volunteer their time & expertise. Let's give a rousing "shout out" to our thin-line of expert race volunteers for their generous support and dedication to cross country racing:
  • Aid Station Setup: Boris Tannenbaum, Don Lavelle, Tom Burke, Wojciech Jonczyk.
  • Runner Greeting / Check In: Jeni Goodwin, Regina Burke.
  • Aid Station Captains: Boris Tannenbaum, Jeni Goodwin, Tom and Regina Burke, Don Lavelle.
  • Bringer of Hot Coffee: Molly while crewing for Peter Tinti.
  • Race Packet Preparation: Michelle and Bill Thom.
  • Racecourse Marshalling: Michelle Thom.
  • Winter Beans & Rice Chef: Michelle Thom.
  • Racecourse Marking / Course Cleanup: Thom Kohler, Bill Thom.
  • Photography, Video: Michelle + Bill Thom.
  • Local Clubs / Supporters of Cross Country Running & WC3: Dick Pond Athletics of Park Ridge, Riis Park Striders, Evanston Running Club.
  • [Did I miss anyone here?... if you notice a missing or misspelled name please let me know.]
Photos of our gallery have been optimized for web-display... if you'd like a high-resolution original contact me, and I will respond with an attachment of the original image... be sure to specify which photo(s) you'd like. Got a photo that you'd like to share? We'd love to include with our gallery, so please send to me, optionally with your copyright credit info and description!

Congratulations to the very bravest of runners and volunteers who participated in this sixth annual edition of Winter Challenge Cross Country!
"Cross Country... best of all human endeavors!"
-Bill Thom: bill@runrace.net

Got related info? Please send your links and we'll stitch it in here!
Website:
https://RunRace.net/wc3/ Go there or Go there in new browser
Additional website reference address.
Click a thumbnail for its larger image.
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Saturday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods
WC3 : Sunday Racing at Caldwell Woods

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Posted:January 17th, 2024 4:05 pm
Last Update:January 19th, 2024 1:47 pm
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