Devon Haskell (Get A Grip) gave other cyclocross riders a taste of her mud this season, winning the Illinois State Cyclocross Championships Women’s Cat 1/2/3 and Wisconsin State Cyclocross Championships.
Haskell was inspired to try cyclocross a few years ago because she was a steeplechase runner in college. “This seemed like the steeplechase of cycling, so I had to try it,” says the 26-year-old Chicago resident. “Last fall, I finally got a cyclocross bike and gave racing a try. I was quickly hooked.”
Haskell says she fondly remembers her first race. She went out with a good friend and neither of them knew much cyclocross technique. “After the first couple laps, I had no front breaks,” she says. “We both had a ton of fun and couldn’t wait for the next race.”
She credits her quick success to her coach, Brian Conant, and her teammates on the Get A Grip team. “I think it also helps that I love to ride my bike,” she says.
Mike Egle has been one of the most consistent high achievers on the running scene, and this year was no exception. Egle races at least every few weeks and almost always finishes toward the top of the results. He won September’s Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K in 15:40 and the week before won the Wheaton Fall Festival 5K. Now 45, this year marked 20 straight years that the Glenview resident has run a 5K race in under 15:45. Egle has won CARA Runner of the Year three times and runs on the Dick Pond Racing Team.
“Chicago is a very competitive running area,” he says. “The challenge of competing against such tough competition every week keeps someone motivated to train hard because you know your competition will crush you if you’re not prepared.”
His goal this year is to beat the indoor 3000-meter world record for his age group. Last year he missed the 4:22 world record by only four seconds. “Making friends and thanking people who set up races and support me is just as important as any world record,” he adds.