One of the perks of running is the accessibility of elite runners to everyday athletes. They run the same races the “citizen” runners do, and, despite the volume and intensity of their training, it isn’t so different from the three day a week after work running. They are one person laboratories for gear, training methods, and nutrition choices.
With this in mind, approximately 30 runners gathered Saturday Aug. 1 at the Waterfall Glen Trail for a chance to meet and even run with two-time Western States 100 champion, Rob Krar. Krar was in the Midwest on behalf of his main sponsor, The North Face, for a sweep through Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. Earlier in the week, he ran at Kettle Moraine State Forest to check out October’s North Face Endurance Challenge course. He found it quite runnable and said it is much smoother than his usual trails in his adopted home of Flagstaff, Arizona.
Krar is Canadian and first came to the United States to attend Butler University in Indianapolis. He said that his sweep through Wisconsin and Illinois was his first trip back to the Midwest since college.
The fun run, a choice of 10K or 10 miler on the crushed gravel trails of Waterfall Glen, was organized by the Fleet Feet Sports Oak Park store. Runners from as far away as Hampshire, Illinois town and Rockford descended on Oak Park in advance of the run. Fleet Feet provided school bus transportation to and from the run to help alleviate the crowded parking situation at Waterfall Glen.
Before the run, Krar posed for photos, talked about hydration and nutrition. He circulated amongst the gathered runners and gave everyone a few minutes of his time.