Sunday, April 1, 2012

Clinton Lake 30 Miler - 2012

Kevin Grabowski's Race Report...

Road Trip! - Two cars, eight LPTRunners, and nothing but blacktop and cement separating us from a Saturday morning jaunt around Clinton Lake.    Brain B., Saul, Marty KC, Joel, Christine, Hans, Jeff and I loaded up into two vehicles and headed south across Illinois.

This would be the third road-trip I’ve taken with Joel and Christine.   They have an odd affinity for gas-station diners, and this trip was no exception.  On a previous excursion, we ate at a diner that had a buffet served out of the chassis of an old car!? This time around, our pre-race eats were at an establishment whose claim to fame was that every entrĂ©e on the menu was all-u-can-eat.  All of them.    For no extra cost, we were also treated to a partial moon from one of the locals – The proverbial Plumber’s Union Card.  Hard to eat much after that though… 

All in all, it was “Oddly Satisfying”. 

Next up was a restful night at the Wye Motel (Is it pronounced like “rye” as in rye-bread? –Because I found myself wondering WHY we were staying at a place where Joel had to heat his room with a hair-dryer the year before…). 

Off to the race in the morning,  where temps were in the mid to upper 40’s and would warm to the upper sixties by the afternoon.  Trail conditions were dry and perfect as well.  Couldn’t dream of better conditions!

The course consists of 3 ten-mile loops with an aid-station at the 5.5-mile mark.  The trail was easy to follow as it meandered constantly up and down.  Only a few of the hills were very long at all, but they were definitely numerous.  Often the short down-hills would take sharp turns at the bottom, making for an exciting ride.

Joel and Christine are Clinton Lake veterans and former winners, so they were appropriately wearing bib numbers 1 & 2 at the line as the race started off exactly on time at 7:30am.

Joel wins for the second year in a row!
The race strung out fairly quickly and I found myself in the lead right from the start.  Joel and I were 1-2 at the end of the first loop with me ahead by a minute or two.  The gap stayed consistent through the next ten and I headed out of the aid-station at 20 miles as Joel headed in.  Joel’s pace was consistent through out, while each loop was a little slower for me.  He caught me with just over two miles to go and I really slowed down after that.  The final margin was over 4 minutes.  In winning the race, Joel lowered his own master’s record that he set last year by over three minutes.   The new mark is now at 4:00:09.  My time was 4:04:35 (an 8 minute PR for me on this course). 

Christine also had a great run, breaking her own master’s record by clocking a 4:26:24.  This was the second fastest time recorded by a female in the history of the race.    Her time was also good for 4th overall –putting LPTRunners in 3 of the top four spots! 

Christine finishes first and sets a new master's record! 

Marty KC
LPTRunners were solid all day – Marty Kanter-Cronin won his age division, which also included Jeff M. and Hans (Hans had a 30 minute PR on the day as well!).  Brian B. and Saul both finished the 30-miler and Robyn and Natalie competed in the Ten-Mile race.

This is a very well organized race with super trails and lots of familiar faces.  Let’s get an even bigger LPTR crowd out there next year!

Results will be posted here when available…

Joel encourages me to go with him
as he passes me at the 28 mile mark...


  1. What a fantastic trip. I had so much fun and I really want to do this again next year. You guys are so impressive and a blast to hang out with. Other firsts include. Hans, first in the fish eating contest. Christine, first to spot the "plumber". I learned so much and now even know what Kevin's fathers name is but I think some of what happens in Clinton Lake stays in Clinton Lake. Thanks a lot for letting me come along you guys, it was awesome.

  2. Ditto to Brians post. Had a great time, two years in a row. Fish was a little mushy this year, or I would have eaten 14 like the year before. I can still smell the sweet aroma of burgers on the grill outside kevins "suite". How he got that for $45, and I got a one bed for $50, I'll never know. Next year I'm requesting the apt. next to the pool. WTG LPTR"s. What a great way to spend a perfect day, running in the woods with friends.