Fort 14


Fort 14 took place on Saturday, August 3 in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, about two hours north of Chicago. The unique distance of this 14-mile road race allowed many runners to PR, especially on the cooler summer morning this past Saturday.

The race offered a 5K or 14-mile race distance with staggered start times. One of the chief sponsors was Griffin Ford, so the start and finish line were appropriately placed in the car dealership parking lot. Anyone who was in the market for a new or used vehicle could multi-task and do a little car shopping while we waited for race start.

The weather was ideal with start time temps in the lower 70’s and clear skies. The course was a circular pattern that took runners through the town of Fort Atkinson, past several farms, and through a lot of rural cornfield-laden areas.

For city peeps, this race took us out of our normal running elements and allowed us to enjoy the Midwest in its rural form. The course was well stocked with aid stations and helpful volunteers. It was clearly marked with orange cones throughout. Most of the course was on the road, which was open to traffic, but there were very few cars to deal with on race morning.

All finishers received a picturesque medal and cool towel. Runners also received a short-sleeved, cotton t-shirt in a bright teal color.

First through third 14-mile female winners were: Lyndsay Smanz, Kelsey Wartgow, and Antonia Bartolotta.

First through third 14-mile male winners were: Matt Tobin, Benjamin Stricker, and Genemichael Betances.

First through third 5K female winners were: Dana Coyne, Dawn Gruber, and Jessica Santillan.

First through third 5K male winners were: Craig Ficenec, Jim Lemke, and Brian Parker.



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Mandi began running in middle school and never stopped. As a high school and college cheerleader, running was the exact athletic counterpart to keep her fitness levels high. While attending The John Marshall Law School in 2007, Mandi ran her first Chicago Marathon, the final year it was partnered with title sponsor, LaSalle Bank. Mandi has continued to run several marathons and half marathons each year. An Illinois licensed attorney, Mandi is currently the Executive Director of the Lake County Municipal League, a council of government representing 42 municipalities in Lake County. An avid weekend race warrior, Mandi tries to run 2-3 races each month from Milwaukee to Chicago and loves the opportunity to report about her experiences in Chicago Athlete


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