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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Red Bandana: The Colorful Range of Runners

read the last Red Bandana: What Kind of Runner are You?

The 2011 Chicago Marathon expects 45,000 people to sign up. I will be one among the menagerie lining up October 9.

Are you running? I would love to hear from you. Use the comment feature on the right, or e-mail me directly:

What, did you say 45,000 people? Why, yes, yes I did.

That's more people than live in Kronštadt, Russia (pop. 42,800). Never heard of it? Me neither, but apparently its history is mostly about its involvement in various wars. It is about 19 miles west of St. Petersburg near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Bombed in WWII, a center for the Bolsheviks in the early 1900s, and, way back when in 1703, it was founded by Peter the Great.

Just imagine, then, if every inhabitant of Kronštadt ran with you. A whole city. Add enough volunteers to manage the race and you have, well, a much larger city. I'm not sure if they would wear those funny furry hats or expect vodka at the end of the race instead of beer. I cannot imagine borscht is part of their carbo-loading routine. I hope not.

Maybe it would be easier if I mentioned that 45,000 runners add up to around 4,500 more people than were counted in the 2000 US Census for Carol Stream.

Still a lot of people.

What is beautiful about Chicago Marathon is anyone over 16 years old can sign up. Anyone. In the 2010 race, people of all sizes, ages, colors were running. This not one of those forced politicized diversity efforts, but an organic gathering of like-minded, yet very different people. It reminded me of the old Armour Hot Dog commercial.

"Hot dogs, Armour Hot Dogs
What kinds of kids eat Armour Hot Dogs?
Big kids, little kids, kids who climb on rocks
fat kids, skinny kids, even kids with chicken pox
love hot dogs, Armour Hot Dogs
The dogs kids love to bite!"

What about you? Will you be part of this delicious symphony of average athletes? What are your race plans for 2011? Send me a race report and I will try to include it in an upcoming column. Who is running any of these?

St. Paddy's Day 5K (Naperville) March 12
Lisle Chamber Spring Sprint (Lisle) March 13
Blackberry Farm 5K Spring Gallop (Aurora) March 26
Bloom & Zoom 10K (Lisle) April 16
Fox Trot 5K Run/Walk (Batavia) April 16
Younglife Access 10K/5K (Wheaton) April 16
Valeo Academy 5K Walk/Run for Education (Hoffman Estates) April 16
Husky Hustle (Aurora) April 30
Cosley Zoo's Run for the Animals (Wheaton) June 4
Run for the STARS 5K (Wheaton) June 11

Find information on these races, and others through Chicago Area Runners Association and USA Track and Field websites. Check your local running store for flyers.

Chicago Area Runners Association

USA Track and Field

Running Playlist Song of the Week
"I Feel the Earth Move" Carole King
On Amazon:

A track from King's incredible 1971 "Tapestry" album — it is raw, spare, minimal with the predominant instrument being her own voice, plus her iconic piano pacing the song. A guitar walks through chords quickly, and real drums (no synth stuff here, kids) and bass undergirding it all make this a true rock song.

Buying the song is not enough, since the album is so completely cool with "You've Got a Friend", "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?", "It's Too Late", "So Far Away", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and others all as good. Only "I Feel the Earth Move" works as a running song, but you do more than run, don't you?

"I feel the earth – move – under my feet
I feel the sky tum-b-ling down – tum-b-ling down
I feel my heart start to trem-b-ling –
Whenever you're around."

Writer Anthony Trendl admits he sang (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at the top of his lungs while writing this column. Contact me to send your favorite tips, songs, recipes, or to tell me about your road race. See

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