Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 Clinton Lake Race Report

It was a fabulous day for a race.  We've had some miserable weather on race day in the past--wind, rain, mud--but this year was gorgeous.  We started the race with partly sunny skies and a temperature of about 32 degrees.  As the day progressed, we reached a high of 54 with mostly cloudy skies and a light breeze.  As you can see in the photo to the left, the RD gave the weather and the trail course a double thumbs-up.  The runners seemed to enjoy the mild weather and smooth race course (very little mud this year).  The hills took their toll after a couple of loops, but most people hung in there and finished the full 30 miles.  We had 95 finishers with 9 DNFs.  Quite a few no-shows...were they afraid of the course?  Probably just registered very early and had conflicts come race day.  Sorry folks, you missed a wonderful day of racing.

Logan Martin (pictured at right with the RD) came back from Colorado to defend his title...and he did it style.  He led from start to finish and broke his own course record from last 14 minutes!  He finished with a 3:42:47 time...and looked like he could continue for another loop or two.  He should give the 50-miler at McNaughton Park a try.  Rachel Furman ran Clinton Lake for the first time...and finished first without too much pressure from her female colleagues.  Rachel almost grabbed Christine Crawford's course record from last year...but fell 3 minutes shy.  Rachel's 4:32:47 finish was awfully fast for a first-timer.  Well done! 

This year was bitter sweet for me as RD.  This was my last year as race director and it was awesome to have such a fantastic group of racers, running along a super trail, with perfect weather.  As I was driving home after packing-up supplies, I thought back to my first run on the course in summer of 2001.  I never knew a trail like this existed in central Illinois.  Immediately I told my fellow runners that we needed to get race out here...and not just a short 10-miler...but a 50K ultra marathon!  The 50K idea turned into a 30-miler (after we measured the course and found the trail to be an almost perfect 10-mile loop).  Why add a one mile road section just to get a full 50K?  The local running club was hesitant to adopt the trail ultra.  Short story is that we kept plugging away and eventually hosted our first race in 2007.  Now we've completed the 4th annual Clinton Lake 30-Mile Trail Run.  Time flies by quickly.  I believe the race is in good hands and the club has already found two new RDs to replace me as I retire from race directing.  Mike and Bob, also from Second Wind Running Club, will take the race over next year.  As always, it'll still be a Second Wind event, but the new RDs will embed their personalities into the race and I'm sure their passion for running will come through in a positive manner.  I wish them the best.

Race Results are on my Google docs spreadsheet.  They'll be posted officially to the race web site when our webmaster returns to town.  I also have a few people that have shared their pictures with me.  Thanks.  Click below to go to their Clinton Lake race photos:

Tony's pics

Janak's pics

Renee's pics

Tom's pics

If you have race photos, upload them to a photo sharing site and send me the link.  I'll continue to post them here so we'll have a nice consolidated resource of race-day pictures.

Here are a couple of runner blog posts about their race experience this year (I'll take more if you send me the links):

Ed's blog

Jason's blog

Kelly's blog 

Heidi's blog

A big THANK YOU to the race sponsors, runners, and volunteers.  And to the local Department of Natural Resources office at Clinton Lake.  Over the years, I have been blessed with a solid and supportive group of sponsors, a loyal and dedicated set of volunteers (two of my favorites at left), and some of the best runners in the country.  I'll miss seeing you at "my race"--but I'll still see you on the trails as a fellow trail runner.  Maybe I'll even run Clinton Lake ultra next out...I know a few short-cuts! 

Don't forget that Clinton Lake is the first race in the Illinois Trail Ultra Grand Slam series.  Please consider doing the other three races (McNaughton Park, Rock Cut Hobo, and Farmdale). They are all quality events.  I'll be at McNaughton Park in 2 weeks as a volunteer. Sign-up, run, and say "Hi" to me at Heaven's Gate aid station.  If you need a pacer, I'm happy to join you for a loop or two...or three.

Finally, a very special thank you to the race pizza wife Sharon...who has ordered and delivered pizzas to the race for the last 4 years. Not to mention helping stuff goodie bags, shop for race supplies, buy food and drinks, pack the car on pre-race night, help compile race results after the event, listen to all of my complaints and frustrations...and celebrate a few joys.  Thanks wifey!  You're the best.


brothergrub said...

That was my first time running at Clinton Lake but certainly won't be my last! Very well run race and an excellent scenic course - Well Done!

Congrats on setting such a high standard for the new directors to follow - You've left some big shoes to fill.

Chris Ⓥ said...

Glad you enjoyed the trail and the race.

GTI said...

Glad to see it went so well, yesterday! Now enjoy that retirement! (I'm looking forward to learning the new name for the ole' blog.)

Anonymous said...

those two guys were trying to ply me with tequilla and beer!!
They actually got me with the beer, probably cost me sub 6 but worth every glorious ounce, as for the tequilla I couldn't do it.
Great job again Chris,

Chris Ⓥ said...

Gregory and others,

I need a new name for my blog. I will take suggestions and move forward with a new name next week. Let's get a few ideas tossed at me!

brothergrub said...

How about: Chris-Crossing the miles... ??

Juli said...


You all did a stupendous job on the race as usual! The photos were great. Thanks to Sharon for the pizza. Val and I were thrilled! Can I have you for a loop or two during the night at McNaughton? :) I don't think Val will be up to pacing after his 50... See you at Heaven's Gate in any case along with our new friend, Judy!

Chris Ⓥ said...

I can likely pace you for a loop or two. Depends on when I'll be at Heaven's Gate. I hope to be out there all night as well as part of Saturday and Sunday during the day.

Kelly Gaines said...

Chris, Thanks for organizing such great race! I had fun running it this year, it is such a beautiful trail. The experience was definitely report-worthy -- you can find my race report here:

Thanks again!