3.5 CHICAGO | MEN TO WATCH

The Take The Bridge men toe the line this Friday with favorites from Chicago, Boston and NYC.  This race is our fifth and final of 2017. it is about wrapping up a hell of a season, and it is about representing our host city Chicago.  That means racing the streets of Goose Island, a throwdown in a part of the city that’s easy to overlook. Two laps that put spectators up close. And most of all an awesome local turnout, from clubs such as DWRunning, Rxunners, NP, 3RUN2 and Track and Trough.

Let’s get to know a little about our course, and about our favorites. See you in Goose Island!

THE COURSE + SCHEDULE

TTB Chicago is two big laps, for a total of about 2.6 miles. Our NYC races tend to be out-and-back or point-to-point, over huge bridges.  But Boston pioneered a new, exciting format of loops that cross many small bridges. It’s exciting as hell to watch, as runners cash out lessons on lap two that they learned the first time around.

Most of the course is the same for everybody. Start on the Cherry Avenue Bridge, and follow a counterclockwise loop over North Ave, Magnolia Ave, the Division Street Bridge, and the streets of Goose Island. But there is a small portion where you can choose your own way on Goose Island, all the way back to Cherry Avenue.  For all we know, tactics on Goose Island could shape the podium

Men lead off at 8 sharp. Women follow at 8:30PM.  Join the finish chute along the Cherry Avenue Bridge, and you’ll be treated to intimate views of the start, finish and prime checkpoint.  Or fan out pretty much anywhere on the course. The runners will appreciate it! Just for safety, fans should stay off the narrow North Ave and Division St Bridges.

Don’t forget to follow via IG Live at @takethebridge, too.  And see our complete fan guide at takethebridge.us/chicago

THE FAVORITES

Let’s meet a few of the guys - from across the country - that we expect to bring the race on Friday.  Those making their debut were kind enough to share a little about their race strategy.  And some of our NYC veterans had a word or two of advice.


DANIEL KITTAKA

DWRunning

5K PR:  15:50

WHY TTB?

TTB Chicago is an opportunity to support racing against time, rivals, and our environment. I love the TTB concept and want to represent in my hometown!

UPCOMING RACES?

I'm training for the TCS NYC Marathon, the birthplace of TTB.

RACE STRATEGY

Balance running within myself and putting myself in position for success over the first 2/3 of the race. Use the last 1/3 to empty the tank.

MILE OR MARATHON?

Marathon, no question. Physically and psychologically the marathon is my event. Plus the training to race mileage ratio is much better.

 photo by @bibrave

photo by @bibrave


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LOGAN MEANS

Unattached, Chicago-area local

5K PR: 16:06

WHY TTB?

I only heard of the race through a co-worker a week ago, just long enough to get pumped up about it. I looked at your previous races and thought it'd be silly to miss such a unique race. Also, the prize purse is quite nice.

RECENT RACES?

I'm coming off an injury from the winter and not being able to train like I used to. The Stan's Donuts 5K was a big race for me this year because it showed me that I haven't slipped as far as I thought I had, and I have the capacity to grow again as a runner and resharpen my mental game to where it was. And there's still plenty of room to improve after that! Pumpkins in the Park this fall will be my next chance to see my progress.

RACE STRATEGY?

it's going to be a strong, tactical start, and running with guts to the finish. Once I know the course, I'll find my kick, and that's it. Patience and then power.

MILE OR MARATHON?

Definitely the mile. I've run two marathons now, and while they were a fantastic experience, the volume is not attractive to me right now. In high school, the 400 and 800 were my bread and butter, so the mental/speed component is still with me. I didn't get to run a true mile in college, but my 1500 time was very promising. 4 minutes and change versus 3 hours or so? Rather get the hurt done and out of the way.


JORDAN DONNELLY

The Heartbreakers

5K PR:  14:51

WHY TTB?

After making my debut in the Boston edition, I really wanted to come back to TTB and have a Heartbreaker challenge for the W. I was a tired/hungover/jetlagged mess in Boston following jumping off a 16 hour flight from Hong Kong and running the BAA 5k all that same morning. However i was WOKE by the electric atmosphere of the TTB crowd despite the rain. I want more of the same in Chi-town (minus the hungover/pre-race race/jetlag part).

UPCOMING RACES?
TTB will be pretty much a Fall road season opener followed by some more road 5ks and XC to get strong for indoor track. I've spent the past few weeks having fun around Europe and in the Alps mountains. 

RACE STRATEGY?
Get out hard and keep pushin!

MILE OR MARATHON?
Sub 4 mile baby!! Knocked on the door of it last year and hungry to give it another go this Fall (editor’s note: dude ran a 4:06 indoors this year. He know what’s he talkin’ about).

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 photo by Luc Larson

photo by Luc Larson

KAM CASEY

Rxunners

5K PR: 14:57 (indoors)

WHY TTB?

I saw the other races in NY and it was something unique from a road race or track like I'm used to so I decided to see if I could throw down.

RECENT RACES?

I PR'd in the mile (4:20, flat converted at Lewis University) and the 1500 (4:02 at Bryan Clay Invite) this past track season, not super quick times, but good testament in an improvement in foot speed for me!

RACE STRATEGY?

I'm just going to go out with the pack and feel it out. I'm early in my training cycle for track so I don't have a ton of speed on my legs, but I'm a racer, and if I'm in the mix with a K to go, I'm going for it.

MILE OR MARATHON?

Mile, I've never had incredible foot speed and I've always wanted to break into the 4 "0's" in the mile. The marathon is definitely in my future, but while I've got the speed, I'd like to use it.


COLBY SCHULZ

3RUN2 (Now lives in Brooklyn)
Top 10 in TTB Triboro this year

5K PR: 16:57

WHY TTB CHI?

Having previously lived in Chicago, this race is definitely special to me. Chicago was my entry point into the running community and the local crew Three Run Two will forever be the home team. I'm excited to run some familiar streets with some familiar faces while helping to bring a bit of NYC running flavor into the city.

RACE STRATEGY?

Go out under 5k pace and just let 'er rip. I'll be trying to keep whoever is in front of me within final kick range.

ADVICE TO THE ROOKIE?

This thing is a street race. There are cars, traffic lights, pedestrians, and other runners all over the place. I'd recommend checking out the course beforehand. Getting a practice run in can help prevent getting caught off guard by the inevitable surprises that pop up during the real deal.

 photo by Janelle Hartman

photo by Janelle Hartman


 photo by Janelle Hartman

photo by Janelle Hartman

FRANCISCO BALAGTAS

Hoboken Harriers

5K PR: 17:09

WHY TTB CHI?

I am running the Chicago Marathon and I had run the TTB summer series and this felt like a natural fit. Chicago is also my second favorite city next to NYC. Also this will be a good warmup/shakeout for the marathon.  

Note: Franny ran all three of our TTB summer races in NYC, having earned his way in - each time - through our Strava segment challenge. He took seventh overall in our season finale on the Williamsburg Bridge.

RACE STRATEGY?

Get comfortable for the first lap then drop the hammer on the second after settling in. Keep your head on a swivel and be aware of your surrounding

ADVISE TO THE ROOKIE?

Study the course, walk it a few times, jog It once or twice. Pick the spots where/when you want to make moves. Run your race not someone else's. Don't get sucked into going out too fast.


GREG LARAIA

Custom Performance

placed top 3 in all our TTB summer 2017 races, including a win on the Triboro!

5K PR: 15-flat

WHY TTB CHI?

To rep my city -- NYC baby! Colby, Francisco and I are gonna go out there and crush. I have also never been to Chicago and I heard a lot of people are going so I figure why not to do it, and wait there is a TTB race. Sign me up!!!

RACE STRATEGY

The same as any other TTB race. 100%, 100% of the time. Let’s get it!

ADVICE TO THE ROOKIE?

Make the best of it. Run for your city, run for your streets. TTB isn’t your normal race, this race will give you the opportunity to experience something new in your running career. It will take you to new limits and open you eyes to what you can really do. The alley cat style race gives you a rush that a normal road race does not. Be ready for it!

 photo by Janelle Hartman

photo by Janelle Hartman