Jogging through frigid air

By J_Howard

As the weather gradually gets colder, one might think running season is finished. But just because the marathon has come and gone does not mean runners have to forsake competition because of chilly temperatures.

The Trick-or-Treat Trot on Oct. 31, the Pilgrim Pacer on Nov. 21, the Turkey Trot on Nov. 25 and the Rudolph Ramble on Dec. 12, are just some of the races Chicagoans have the opportunity to participate in during upcoming months.

“Surprisingly, runners seem to get out there even when it is cold,” said Brian Ulery, road race and volunteer services coordinator for Chicago Area Runners Association. “You will still see plenty of runners outside on the path, even when it is snowing.”

Races in the fall tend to be unique in that participants must layer up in order to run outside.

“Even when you are really cold when you leave the house, you are going to get overheated when you run through the event,” said Colin Cybulski, coordinator of athlete relations for the Trick-or-Treat Trot, Turkey Trot and Rudolph Ramble.

Ken Daemicke, race director for the Pilgrim Pacer, said the cold weather is taken into consideration when planning for the race. The race, held in LaGrange, Ill., partners with Lyons Township High School in giving participants and attendees a place to warm up.

“If the weather is not conducive, people don’t have to worry about [being cold],” Daemicke said.

In the Pilgrim Pacer’s nine-year history, it has yet to snow during the race. Daemicke said participants like how the event has a warm, small-town feel to it, but is also CARA-certified.

“[People have] kind of a cozy feeling,” Daemicke said. “The CARA certification adds credibility to the race.”

CARA certification means the races must adhere to specific standards and guidelines the association sets, assuring the proper length of the race and that running gear is checked according to the CARA best practice guidelines. Having a place for runners to leave items can be necessary during the cold months when participants are

wearing layers.

“We encourage runners to look at those races because [the organizers] have gone through the process of making sure they have done everything to make that race the best possible experience for the runners,” Daemicke said.

He said the Pilgrim Pacer and the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot on Nov. 21 are the two CARA-certified races for the fall running season.

In Chicago, other races not CARA-certified include The Trick-or-Treat Trot, Turkey Trot and Rudolph Ramble.

“The Trick-or-Treat Trot is fun because we have a lot of people come out and dress up in their Halloween costume,” Cybulski said. “The Rudolph Ramble is one of the last events of the year, and people will come out in antlers and light-up noses.”

The two races and the Turkey Trot take place in Lincoln Park. Cybulski said each draws a different turnout. The largest is the Turkey Trot, with almost 7,000 participants in the event from all parts of the country.

Cybulski said for those looking to train, Fleet Feet, 1620 N. Wells St., and a second location at 4555 N. Lincoln Ave., offers a running club, as do other associations like CARA. But for shorter distances, he recommends training on a running path.

“Some will choose to go inside and run on a track or treadmill,” Ulery said. “But others, like me, will put on lots of clothes and go outside, no matter what the

weather is.”