2012 Chicago Marathon

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Report by: Eric Barron

If you are serious about running, and serious about running a fast marathon, you should run Chicago. The first clause of that sentence rules out St. George, the second clause dictates a flat course with a good field and generally good marathon weather, and the third clause follows from the first two. Of course, you still need to put in weeks on end of serious training, and still then need some luck. But when it comes together, it is a great thing, and for Track Club LA, the 2012 Chicago Marathon was a great thing.

Ankur Tarneja and Eric Bowles led the club in stellar fashion, hitting their splits exactly as planned. As a result, they turn in the club’s two fastest marathon times ever. Mike Davies runs a sub-2:40 on less than perfect training, and Nick Bowden hits 2:40 at the end of week during which he started feeling sick. Su-Yang Liu turns in a 2:54 after almost deciding not to race at all because he had not gotten in much marathon training. Mike Mahurin, who had his training interrupted several times by various injuries (welcome to the life of masters running), still posted a respectable time. Suffering the typical five-minute fade at the end of the marathon, Rith Tun still kept it under three hours.

Let us now praise the women. Ginna Ladd, who has worked hard since spring on improving her form and conditioning, set a seven-minute personal best and went well under three hours. Susanne McNeil Eng wins her age group (at the Chicago Marathon, mind you; not some local 5K) as she, too, breaks three hours. Finishing in between these two, Noel Velasco made those drives down to the Brentwood Coffee Bean from Bakersfield for his long runs pay off with a 2:57, and Bert Whitson also broke 3:00 after several muscle injuries in the last few months. David Ash was pretty pleased to join Bert and the others in the sub-3:00 group.

Gabe Merton has run faster marathons, but it is hard to make the TCLA Tuesday evening workouts when you live in San Diego. Still, he can be proud of his effort. So should Mike Krakovsky be. Although Mike was hoping to break 3:00, and he has the fitness to do it one day, he did not have the luck this day. Matt Cobos set a p.r. by over ten minutes. Sometimes, no matter what you plan, cramps will turn the day into a painful slog, and Adam Radly and Sarah O’Brien unfortunately had that kind of day. At least they can look forward to better races to come.

Average Finishing Time: 2:57:12.9
Averge Per Mile Pace: 6:45.5
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