Photos by Bob Richards (I think)...
Northern Illinois Nordic ran this year's Limestone Loppet and Cat-ski races Saturday morning at Blackwell forest preserve west of Chicago under sunny, beautiful conditions.
The 4 K crushed limestone course was fairly hard as we warmed up, but as it too warmed up, got progressively softer and slower. It was much like skiing on a warm spring day; where the sun exposed track was softer, wetter, and slower than the track in the shade.
The race was run as an individual start at 30 second intervals, with two laps for 8 K. Former Polish national team and World Cup racer Jan Myrda, 40, set the pace from the start with a powerful V2, and won with a 3 minute per K pace. He was awesome to watch, but I didn't get to watch for very long.
Since the track dictated the use of large, pneumatic-tired roller skis, everyone was on V2 Aero 150s. Therefore, unlike most other roller ski races, equipment didn't play a role in the results, making the race a more truly competitive affair.
Only three of us showed up with Cat skis for the 4 K Cat ski event. I led from the mass(?) start, but as the sign pointing to the finish had been removed, I missed the turn and ended up going another 3 K before I figured it out. Oh, well, more training time over threshold.
Thanks to Bob Richards for putting on a fun event, and to King Keyser Ski Shop, Casco, New Moon, Fast Wax, and others for all the goodies.
8K FREESTYLE TIME TRIAL
1. Jan Myrda, 40, Palos Heights, IL, 24:01
2. Randal Bladel, 55, Granger, IN, 27:06
3. Mike Choate, 54, Chicago, IL, 27:46
4. Chuck Kessler, 66, Northbrook, IL, 31:58
5. Steve Wikner, 54, Kenosha, WI, 32:05
6. David Fyhrie, 57, Wheaton, IL, 32:14
7. Chuck Zagozdon, 62, Chicago, IL, 32:26
8. Kevin Flowers, 46, Glen Ellyn, IL, 32:58
9. Richard Skibicki, 59, Morton Grove, IL, 33:30
10. Jim Gearhart, 59, Oak Park, IL, 35:18
11. Jerry Pasierb, 51, Downers Grove, IL, 35:27
12. Leif Reditsch, 52, Glen Ellyn, IL, 35:38
13. Roger Dejus, 57, Hinsdale, IL, 35:56
14. Mark Sayers, 50, Shorewood, IL, 36:39
15. Harry Maranowicz, 64, Downers Grove, IL, 37:21
16. Mike Pellikan, 52, Mount Prospect, IL, 38:00
17. Michael Meissner, 61, Hinsdale, IL, 41:26
18. Bary Rotman, 50, Grayslake, IL, 42:38
19. Mike Hickey, 58, Chicago, IL, 47:47
20. John Innocentini, 48, Lake Barrington, IL, 57:40
1. Kielo Sauvala, 51, Glenview, IL, 37:01
2. Sarah Hraha, 51, Clarendon Hills, IL, 53:14
3. Deb Choate, 55, Chicago, IL, 59:37
4K CAT-SKI RACE
1. Abbott Wright, 62, Inverness, IL, 31:44
2. Randal Bladel, 55, Granger, IN, 38:19 (Was leading but made wrong turn)
3. Charles Wallin, 69, Rockford, IL, 40:24