Nicole Fritz wasted no time getting started on 2011 racing. On Jan. 1, Fritz was the fourth female finisher at the New Year’s Day 5K in Chicago. Just two weeks later she ran the Burbank Frosty 5K where she shaved nearly 30 seconds off her time from the New Year’s Day race. In February, Fritz was the ninth female across the finish line at the Frosty 5 Miler with a time of 38:55 and in March she ran the St. Paddy’s 8K in 38:13.
As the year continues, Fritz plans on running about 60 more races, including her eighth Chicago Marathon. She generally races once or twice a weekend and in the past has run multiple races in one day.
“I just love running races,” Fritz says. “The atmosphere can’t be beat and it’s a great way to spend time with friends.”
Thomas Zero of Oak Lawn has put forward several solid performances in the past six months, finishing no lower than sixth place in any road race since Oct. 23. This year, he’s already raced in the Burbank Frosty 5K and the Frosty 5 Miler, finishing second and sixth respectively. Zero, who began running in high school as conditioning for basketball, returned to the sport after college.
“I forgot how much I enjoyed the pre-race butterflies, the competition and the camaraderie amongst the racers,” Zero says. “Many non-runners don’t comprehend that long-distance running is a fantastic blend of mental and physical challenges. Blurring the line between those two and the competition is what has kept me on the racing scene.”