Saturday, March 31, 2007

Lakefront Ultra - it's as tough as you make it

Lake Michigan
"It's as tough as you make it", is what ran through my head the final out and back. The Lakefront Ultra is a friendly 50k on Chicago's Lakefront. About 165 of us started at 8:30am this morning in Lincoln Park and headed south along the lake to a turn around just past the Lincoln Park Zoo, 5.2 miles. Back and forth (3 loops) to make the 50k distance with a total of 20feet elevation change for each loop - FLAT! It was beautiful in a different way from the mountains and dirt I'm used to; running along with Lake Michigan on one side and the sky scrapers of the city on the other. There were so many fun and energetic people along the course and you get to know the faces with so many out and backs. I also loved how active the people of Chicago appear. In the 5.2 mile stretch we ran by a golf course, soccer game and baseball game. Numerous people were out in large groups training (kick off for Chicago marathon training groups are starting now). There was always something to look. Pat and Stewart (the RD's) organized a great event, Beth (Pat's wife) made an excellent pot of beans and rice for all finishers and the event sponsor, Fleet Feet hosted aid stations every 2.5 miles.

I ran with the Nathan Speed 1.5 and loved it. It was my first time in the pack and the stretchy belt didn't bother my belly and the 10oz flask was just the right amount of water when the aid stations were so frequent. Patagonia long sleeved silk weight, sage burner shorts, and ear warmer, Smartwool gloves and socks and Montrail Odessey Shoes. A little chilly at the start, but I'm glad I didn't take my dragonfly jacket.

The reason for my Chicago visit was to give a hydration/nutrition clinic at the Piper's Alley Fleet Feet on Friday night and while in town I figured why not run a race? Running a race is such a great way to experience a city. I was fascinated with Lake Michigan, the beaches on the shore... it just amazed me that I was on a lake. You can't see land on the other side!

Headed to the Blue Man Group show tonight! A great weekend in Chicago.


Josh said...

Great Race Krissy! It turned out to be a pretty good day for a run, after the first 20 minutes of rain. I was also happy to see so many people out and about in the park. It makes it a fun environment to be in. I have been reading your blog for a little while now. I saw you during the race as you passed and at the finish line but didn't realize it was you until I read your report!

8:21 PM  
Charlie Nickell said...

That sounds like fun. Let me know when they get rid of the 20 foot gain/loss on each loop and then maybe I'll be able to handle it. Does Lake Michigan have a bit more water volume than Lake Hodges? The iMichelle and the other OCTRs say "Hi".

7:33 AM  
WynnMan said...

Hey Krissy!

super job on the concrete streets!
hope you enjoyed your midwest visit. Next time you'll have to race some of our real technical buggers that can really put a furrow in one's brow.
Chi-town is always a fun experience though. Fun race.

Nice meeting you at the race and good luck with all your endeavours.


10:59 AM  
Howard W. said...


Glad that you enjoyed your visit to Chicago. What you failed to mention in the post is that you won the race!.

I hope that you found a spot to eat and liked the Blue Man Group.

Let me know if you want to be part of our Midwest Relay or need any other help...

I enjoyed meeting you. Congratulations on a great run.


12:25 PM  
Bob Gentile said...

Nice report Krissy and very cool that you decided to do the run and yes a bit different then what ur normally see huh...

8:44 PM  
Jessica Deline said...

New products to try, flat ultra, Blue men... sounds like a fun trip. Great job on the race and report!

8:02 AM  
Travis said...

yep, it's a great place. I did the Chicago Tri last year and it was an excellent event. I'm not sure how amazed you be with lake Michigan if you were swimming in it for a little under a mile :) Glad to head you enjoyed the city.

7:26 PM  
Lisa B said...

Blue Man Group - now that's a cool way to chill out after an ultra. I've seen it several times and love the TP scene. Are they still doing that? Isn't that just weird? :)

12:45 AM  
terryg said...

Hi Krissy,
Congratulations on your great run along our lakefront! I saw several participants while I was running out there that morning, and thought "I'll do the next one for sure." I'm sure the big inspiration I got from your hydration seminar the night before (and the pictures, and your excitement for it all) had something to do with it.

Thanks and take care!

5:11 AM  
T. Thayer said...

Congrats on your great Chicago 50K run! Hope you enjoyed running our beautiful urban Lake Michigan lakefront. It is a great place to run all times of the year (if only it had a few hills!) Great to meet you at the Fleet Feet seminar, and many thanks for all the info. I hope to put it all to good use in my first 50 miler at IceAge this year. The stories of all your amazing travels and adventures were truly inspiring and motivational.
Good luck and run strong in 2007!
Tracy (the 50 mile runner to be!)

2:14 PM  

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