The Original Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10

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The Original Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 was held on Saturday in Darien, IL. This 10-mile trail race wound through the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.

Racers began with a traditional cross country start beginning between two green flags and racing through an open grassy field. The course quickly led into the crushed gravel trail where runners stayed for the next 9.5 miles.

Racers were challenged with, mostly gradual, hills throughout the entire course and aid stations every couple of miles. The race began at 7:30 a.m., early enough to beat most of the day’s heat. The early start coupled with the wooded forest preserve made for a great summer race morning. Although the race was challenging with the plentiful inclines, there were very few obstructions on the trail and enough room for all racers to have their own space.

Race staff and organizers were extremely efficient and maintained constant communication with participants leading up to race day. Weekly emails provided updates to the weather, course and swag. Packet pick up was offered prior to race day as well as on race day, making it convenient for those that were not able to attend during the week. Parking was free and easy with volunteers guiding everyone into spaces along the course.

Swag included blue race singlets for the women and orange for the men. The moisture wicking singlet is a great addition to any racer’s training attire. Finishers received a handcrafted wood stamped medal personally crafted by the race director and everyone was able to enjoy a meal prepared by Chuck’s BBQ, who hosted a fun, and tasteful, post-race bash.

First through third place male winners were: Travis Buse, Fredric Nielsen and Eric Hofmann. First through third place female winners were: Jill Czarnik, Becky Patch and Irma Garza.

My personal observation was that this was the friendliest trail race I have ever run. Being a Saturday morning there were several people on the trail not involved in the race, but nearly all of them cheered us on as we ran past. Waterfall Glen is certainly full of friendly crowds.

This race was a great success largely due to the awesome planning by the race directors, staff and volunteers. The personal touches throughout the race as well as all the pre-race communication truly made this a fun race to partake in.

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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 half marathon and shorter distance races and looks forward to running in the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. 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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