Kevin Grabowski's Race Report:
It’s not like the hills are very steep… None of the inclines were really long… But there’s just so many of them.
After three ten mile loops around Clinton Lake in central Illinois, you realize why the bulk of the state is so flat – They used up all the hills on this course. The elevation map accurately reflects the meandering trail that undulates relentlessly up and down.
Nearly every step of the course is single track, with brief road sections at the start/finish area to begin each loop and once again at the five-mile aid station half way around. Although there were still a lot of leaves on the course, only a few rocks or roots were hidden underneath. The relatively dry spring also left much of the path soft with only an occasional muddy patch here and there. Temperatures were also ideal with upper 30’s to start and Low 50’s most of the way.
The LPTRunners have been well represented here in the past with Joel Lammers winning the race in 2007, and Christine Crawford winning the female overall in 2007 and again in 2009 as she set (and still holds) the course record. This year, Chris DeRosier and I joined Joel and a dinged up Christine (see post) on the trek out to tackle the 30-mile race.
For the men, Joel led the way, setting a 16-minute PR on his way to third place overall and first in his age division with a time of 4:07:49. I was the next LPTR finisher in fourth overall and a time of 4:13:52, while Chris DeRosier finished 42nd out of the 104 starters with a 5:40:49.
Still deep in recovery mode since her hip fracture last June, Christine entered the race knowing that it would just be a training run for her. However, it won’t surprise many that her training run still earned a first in her age division and second female overall. While her time was 30 minutes slower than her record setting performance last year when she clocked 4:29:50, it’s only a matter of time before she is back out there racing it.