April 2018

bring no flowers

This month’s feature article is from award winning Footprints journalist Giles McSully, titled “Artificial Intelligence is Our Future, but will it save or destroy running?” McSully is fresh off his trip from Manchester UK, where he watched his City footballers lose the derby to red rival United and lay down to Liverpool in a Champions league exit. At least his article has a happy ending--or does it?!

Let’s see what else we got🤔?
Oh yeah, results are in from a wet and wild Boston, along with some awesome club team performances at Shamrock and Good Life races on the CARA Circuit competition. Plus some great member adventures, stories and chance encounters. The social committee has been very active, eating chili and drinking wine and we got that covered too!



Wow wicked weather dude!


LFLBRC Pre-race Pasta Dinner in Boston’s North End


Congratulations to our runners who braved the epic cold, wind and rain to lay it on the finish line Patriot’s Day!


Brian Wakefield    2:41

Mike Marty            2:51

Dave Zeisler         2:57

Amanda Macuiba 3:10

Andre Bennatan   3:26

Lauren Sykora     3:42

Carol Lundahl      4:42

Geoff Wilson        4:48

Renata Simson    3:52

Nancy Rollins       4:17 1st AG.


The Mens Masters team of Dave Zeisler, Brian Wakefield and Mike Marty running for team JSR came in 3rd place. At the halfway point they were in 7th, then pushing their way to the podium with a strong finish!


Before the Flood…

An annual open house pre-race breakfast in Hopkinton for runners was hosted by Ed Zylka’s cousins Lyn Calkins and husband Greg along with family and neighbors. Calkin’s Athletes Village provided shelter from the storm with runners from around the world finding their way to this hdq for Boston runners. A regular guest is Katherine Beiers. The 85-year-old from Santa Cruz, California, became the oldest woman to ever complete the Boston Marathon. When she crossed the finish line of the race on Monday she set a new record. The 2018 Boston Marathon was Beiers’ 14th time running the race and she finished with a time of 7 hours and 50 minutes.

Christian with Rocket a specially trained Chihuahua companion dog for nervous marathoners





Dave Z weighed in on the weather. “By the end I was getting cold, but it didn’t hit me until the finish. When I stopped running it all hit me at once. I stumbled and hobbled, the hills had done their duty. I felt great up to 20-ish but isn’t that how Boston goes? I was though, beyond happy to be there. 2:57 isn’t even my best Boston but the experience again was indescribable.”


Congrats to Desi Linden for her superb first place performance and the 1st American woman to win Boston in 33 years! Thomas Frazer checking in from Okinawa offered up his take on Yuki Kawauchi the mens champ, from Japan. "Yeah I had not heard of him before. Really nuts. Seeing his record now, it's not too surprising he is so tough. 80 marathons since 2009...4th win this year. All except one of the 80 sub 2:20 multiple sub 2:10's...he's no joke! Good to see someone like him beat all those handheld and spoon-fed "elites".


Artificial Intelligence is Our Future

But will it save or destroy running?

By Giles McSully

Manchester UK, April 1, 2018

Leading science and Technology prognosticators like Dr Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have pontificated on how Artificial Intelligence (or AI) may ultimately have a negative impact on human society.

So, the Footprints editorial staff wanted to know how AI could impact the uniquely human sport of running that we all love. With the LFLB running club chock full of smart mathematicians, scientists and engineers, and with deep connections in the running industry we posed the question to these experts in search of the answer.


First up, was Ron Thomas, former design engineer with Motorola who was involved with the invention of mobile cellular radio. We asked Ron the AI question and his response frankly frightened us. Said RT, “Back in the ‘70s (no-not the 1870s THE 1970s) I was pushing the envelope on running while also working at Motorola. We were on the cutting edge of technology and I suspected then that Artificial Intelligence was going to have a huge impact on running. I think I even snuck a claim into my antenna patent application, referencing AI and running. Me and Marty Cooper thought if cell phones could disrupt landline phones, AI runners will break every human running record. I predicted back then, the 2hr marathon barrier will be obliterated by an AI runner! Next, our man Giles McSully spoke with Julian Gordon, former Abbott researcher, responsible for the development of lateral flow immunoassay technology, which led to Abbott's first one-step, over the counter pregnancy test. Dr Gordon also sees the demise of all human running records by AI runners. According to Julian, “Because very big, complex artificial intelligences run on dry silicon they will produce big, complex, unhuman-like minds and bodies. Humans are hindered by cell structures -- the slow metabolism of a cell cannot be sped up, so a human simply will never out run an AI runner.” Then Giles McSully sat down with Greg Hipp, Executive Director - Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA). “Wow, what a mind blowing question Giles, said Greg. My concern is related to CARA Circuit Races and all running races, even the Abbott World Marathon Majors. It has to do with race categories. Like how do you determine gender, does it even exist, will the race director have to do gender inspection--is that even a thing!? Ed Packel who sits on our race committee and is from your club will want to understand the impact on  age groups and Age Graded scoring. Gosh, what size shirt would they wear--would they even want a shirt or finishers medal? The medal and shirt if disregarded would be a financial benefit. But this is a scary scenario and one, we never anticipated. I would have to float this by our race committee. I know Ed  with his PhD will have some answers. He’s a brilliant theoretical mathematician that spent time at MIT. McSully then Skyped with Thomas Frazer, former club president now living in Okinawa. Japan of course is recognized as the land of AI. Thomas who holds a degree in aerospace engineering said he is very familiar with this idea. “At Butler as an undergrad, we actually studied solid state propulsion and fuel used for space exploration--I worked with this very extremely rare compound unobtainium. This compound interestingly enough is actually mined in Japan, which has helped accelerate development of AI systems there putting Japan ahead globally in the field of AI development. Even ahead of Chgina(sic). So, yeah using unobtanium as a solid state fuel in the motion system together with a slick AI algorithm will create a perpetual AI running machine with mechanical immortality.

Overhearing McSully discussing the topic at Starbucks after the Saturday club run, Dave Anderson an esteemed (now retired), Neurological Research scientist at Abbott Labs, added his two cents on the subject of AI performance in running. Dave, who constantly reminds us how he helped discovered epibatidine, a naturally occurring neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist with antinoci-Ceptive activity 200-fold more potent than that of morphine. But who better than Dave to eloquently describe the human limits of exercise induced neurological pain, especially as it relates to naturally occurring neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist with antinoci-Ceptive and endurance running in rats! McSully asked Dave to sum up his assessment in uh...less scientific terms. “Yeah said Dave, humans really suck at pain management. AI runners--no problemo muchachos!”


We also needed a lay person’s perspective, so McSully asked Patti Shuma if she would be willing to offer up her take on AI and running. She first checked with son Rich, a Research & Design engineer at Apple. Patti said, “I immediately called Rich figuring Apple is involved with Artificial Intelligence and he was really helpful, suggesting I use wikipedia to research something called Al Gore-ithms. I thought it was cool that Al Gore not only invented the internet, but artificial intelligence too! But I told Craig that it really didn’t help explain anything about AI and running and he suggested I send my findings to Giles McSully. Giles reaction was that’s brilliant Patti! But then he went on to explain what Rich actually meant was to research computer ‘algorithms’ and not Al Gore ithms!”


Next, Giles McSully tracked down Ananya Das, former faculty member at Lake Forest College, LFLBRC club alum and now an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Middlebury College. An accomplished runner, she is considered an expert and highly knowledgeable. During a Gondola ride at Stowe Mountain Ski resort in Vermont, McSully and Dr Das discussed AI and running during a day of schussing triple black diamond runs. What she had to say was big. Ananya shared this, “I spoke at AI-Globecom” and predicted for when an AI will pass a valid Turing test and therefore achieve human levels of intelligence -- I set the date at 2045. In 2047 I believe that ‘Singularity’, which is when we will multiply our effective intelligence a billion fold by merging with the intelligence we have created. Everyone knows that when machines become smarter than human beings, they will take over the world of running then all known race records for every distance will be rewritten.


Finally McSully contacted Nike, the global athletic apparel company and posed the question to Nike’s Chief Digital Officer, Adam Sussman. “Long time no talk mate! Yep for sure Giles, we were painfully aware of the potential for disruption in the running apparel textile industry, fearing AI runners could literally create their own apparel obviating the need for human workers, impacting our business. So we recently acquired Invertex to deepen our bench of digital talent and further our capabilities in computer vision and artificial intelligence as we create the most compelling Nike consumer experience at every touch point.”


Now there you have it...from leading experts. So if we asked a prospective AI runner about their impact on the club as a member, they would likely respond by saying they actually have a legit excuse for not paying club membership fees!🙃

--Happy Reading, Giles McSully!




“The good news is we qualified for the Boston Marathon...the bad news is, we qualified for the Boston Marathon”
Geoff Wilson commenting on running Monday’s race in extreme weather



Best of luck to the contingent of club members heading to race River to River!


Wine Tasting!
With The Pilates Underground
Saturday, April 28, 2018
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Come learn about the benefits Pilates can have on your running. The owner of The Pilates Underground, Carissa Floyd, will be on hand with one of her instructors to teach you Pilates exercises recommended before a run. They will do a quick presentation and answer questions after the run, then anyone who wants to view the studio can walk over for an open house. The newly opened Pilates Underground is located at 246 E. Deerpath Road, Suite #3, and is the only group reformer studio in East Lake Forest. They are a wellness focused, inclusive Pilates community. The club will provide coffee and bagels at the train station. We welcome all current members, and any prospective members you would like to bring as guests. Hope to see you there!

Wine Tasting!

We had a great turnout for our 2nd Annual Wine Tasting Event on Thursday, April 5 with Lee at Courtyard Wines. 31 people came out to learn about French vs. CA wines. (We learned that Lee sells more CA wines in this marketplace - maybe due to the higher alcohol content? :) Fun was had by all!..evviva quando bevi!


Chilli Chili

The votes are in--let’s count ‘em!

A spicy group of runners came out Dressed to Chill for our annual Chilli Chili cook off. We were very fortunate that our awesome social committee even got us a sponsor for this year’s eventi. According to Giles Chick, he Lori Pomerich and Leslie Stolenwerk thought having Cambridge Analytica help the club out with a small sponsorship donation for the event and assist with voting tabulation would be brilliant.

Proud Sponsor of 2018 LFLBRC Chilly Chili!

With the votes tallied, the prize for the spiciest chili went to Joan “Jalapeno” Elliot, and the prize for best chili went to Cappy “Capsaicin” Johnston!

A big thanks to Karin and Julian Gordon for hosting this year’s Chilly Chili. The weather was kind enough that we could enjoy the use of their deck. There was a good turnout with about a half dozen entries in the chili contest.


Melissa Nides

Who knew hockey was habit forming?!!

Melissa we believe is not the kind of club member that regularly writes in to Giles McSully, asking “hey Giles, why didn’t I make it into the Footprints newsletter?” (Pssst...actually she does and she did). Well, her 15 seconds of fame have finally arrived, all thanks to her alma mater the University of Minnesota Duluth Fighting Bull Dogs (do bull dogs actually fight?!). Those dogs recently defeated Notre Dame to WIN the NCAA Frozen Four men’s hockey championship! Melissa did everything in her power to help the team achieve their goal. Taking a page out of the Loyola Ramblers Men’s basketball program, she decided to play the role of Sister Jean (the 98 yr old Catholic Nun, Loyola super fan and volunteer scout). Melissa started by donning a habit (maybe the habit will stick?!).

Melissa w/ UMD Hockey Coach Scott Sandelin and two black labs doing their best to imitate the bulldog mascot, all celebrating together in Lake Forest.

Said Melissa, “Hey, this Sister Jean thing worked for Loyola so I figured what the heck. So Jack dug up his old halloween costume, I borrowed it and dressed up like Sister Jean the nun for every tournament game!” I even wore a cross which I had only ever seen in Dracula movies so that was kind of weird but cool at the same time. Melissa then scouted the opposition for Coach Sandelin, searching for Notre Dame player weaknesses and vulnerabilities using the NCAA website Frozen Four Fun Facts and the collegiate hockey site Puck You 2. She would email her detailed report to UMD Coach Sandelin providing sage insight like...the ND goalie Dylan St Cyr is a sieve with a weak blocker and a tendency to go down, so shoot the biscuit top shelf. And if you deke him, his five hole opens up big as a bagel hole. The domers also chirp a lot so if they get out of hand lay the lumber on ‘em or give ‘em a face wash. We gotta give Melissa some credit--The ND goalie was a sieve, giving up both top shelf and five hole goals. Well done Melissa and congratulations to the UMD Fighting? Bull Dogs! We asked Melissa if a conversion to Catholicism could be in her future if it would help UMD rack up even more titles to help make Duluth the true hockey town?! She said she hadn’t thought about it but would talk it over with her sister Margie.    


EZ...Ed Zylka

Living the Dream, or Dreaming to Live...on Mt Washington NH

Club member Ed Zylka a newly minted Vermonter/New Englander pushed his interest in endurance sports to new limits, with a weekend spent on Mt Washington NH with son Adam for an avalanche education course. For the two ‘outdoor’ classroom sessions on Saturday and Sunday, their group skied (skinned) the back country to 3500', and boot hiked up Mt Washington to 4500', “only” 1,800’ from the summit. Per Ed, “to descend, the quickest (only) way down was to ski through Tuckerman Ravine in avalanche territory. For me it was death defying -- after ski climbing 9,000’ and over 5 miles of distance over two days, my rubber legs then had to ski down the ravine to the Pinkham Notch lodge. This bucket list item made running a marathon seem like jogging a mile. I decided this activity counted as my 20 mile LSD run for my marathon training.”

The view of Tuckerman Ravine, with Ed skiing in the foreground

If you’re not familiar with Mt. Washington, it is notorious for having some of the worst weather on Earth, mainly because of the unpredictability of high wind speeds and whiteout conditions on the higher summits. And with the poor weather conditions, the Presidential Range is often used for mountaineering training for those who go on to climb some of the world's highest mountains, including K2 and Everest. Mt Washington is maybe best known as the home of the highest winds ever recorded on the surface of the Earth at 231 mph (372 km/h) and pierces the clouds at 6,288 ft.


So what makes Tuckerman Ravine so gnarly? It is a glacial cirque sloping eastward on the southeast face of Mt. Washington.The record-setting high winds atop Mount Washington scour a massive amount of snow from the surrounding highlands and drop it here or in the adjacent Huntington Ravine. It draws skiers throughout the winter and from early April into July. In this period, the temperatures are relatively mild but the natural snowpack, which averages up to 55 feet (17 m) in a typical winter is still adequate to ski. Races held in the 1930s attracted large groups of spectators and skiers. Harvard-Dartmouth slaloms, Olympic tryouts, and giant slaloms all were held in the ravine in that decade. Thousands of people have been known to ski Tuckerman in a single spring weekend. Skiing is not limited to this time, but the avalanche danger which peaks from late December to late March, requiring special training and experience to assess and navigate the ravine safely. Avalanches have killed at least 10 people in the ravine since the 1960s.


RT...Ron Thomas
MT Washington too

or 145 vs 249

Ron Thomas was recently out for gentle jog in Washington DC, and RT had to do a double take on his close encounter with 44.





LFLBRC Runs Strong at Shamrock Shuffle

The club had a great day at the Shamrock Shuffle this year with a great turnout and lots of camaraderie.

Link to more great Mike McMahon photos


It was an awesome performance for our club in both the Age Group and Team competitions. Keep in mind this is one of the most competitive races of the year, with everyone showing up including the Kenyans! There were over 20,000 finishers this year. Our Club really held its own with the following Age Group Leaders: Laura Kennedy* 1AG, Mark Baker* 1AG, Julian Gordon* 1AG, Ron Thomas* 1AG, Ed Packel 2AG, Dave Zeisler 3AG, Dan Berenson 3AG, Michael Roberts 3AG, Brian Wakefield 4AG, Dave Anderson 6AG, Mike Marty 6AG, Nathan Pavlik 7AG, Josh Rich 7AG and Giles Chick* 9AG. Our Men's Team took 3rd overall and the ladies took 6th---all good! Other Club competitors included Micky Tosic, Jeff McMahon,  Diana Schnell*, Joy Gayter*, Kim Crimin*, Lauren Sykora, Lauren Gayter, Paul Wszolek, Kristine Burgess Amanda Maicuba, and Lynne Hans. (* indicates runners with times contributing to the Team scores). We are off to a great start this year and are looking for more club members to come out to future races and enjoy the running and social activities. Click here for more great Shamrock photos by Mike McMahon.


Good Life Race - Oak Park 5K  2018
It was another great day for our Club at this classic CARA Circuit Race in Oak Park.

Link to additional Good Life race photos

With a small turn out of folks for this race, we had quality not quantity...while winning some significant bling. Laura Kennedy ran a blazing 21:46 to win her Age Group (and an 85% Age Graded rating!!). In addition, Laura took home the Senior Grand Master title for the Road Runners Club of America 5K Central Region Championship. Great recognition for Laura and our Club! Equally impressive was Nathan Pavlik who improved his Personal Best by 19 seconds and ran a blistering 15:50 (5:06 pace!!) for 6th overall and 2nd AG. Nathan came within 3 seconds of one his main nemesis’, James Akita who was CARA Runner of the Year in 2017. Other winners were Mark Baker 1st AG, with Ron Thomas placing 1st followed by Ed Packel 2nd in their AG. Lynne Hans took 4th AG and Judy Friedes-Craig 8th AG. It was another great day for camaraderie and socializing. The next CARA Circuit Race is the Lakefront 10 Miler on Saturday, April 21st. Following this race will be the ever popular Ravenswood 5K Run on Sunday April 29th. For racing info check with club race team dir Danny Bergeson, Dan@fitmetrixlab.com.



Meet up for impromptu runs during the week.  Check with the group at the club's Saturday 8:00 am run to confirm schedules as dates, times and locations may change.  Post-run cool down may lead to coffee and sometimes lunch.

TUESDAY Morning: 9:15am Highland Park--Northshore Trail. Meet at ArrivaDolce coffee shop. Run and stick around for a pastry and coffee afterwards.

THURSDAY Morning: 11:30 am Lake Forest College run.  Six miles through Lake Forest. Meet at the college’s Sports & Rec Center.

SATURDAY Morning 8:00am: CLUB RUN: East Lake Forest Train Station. Weekly club run preceded by announcements. Run or walk 6 miles through Lake Forest. Dog walkers welcome.

SATURDAY Morning 9am: Chicago Area Runners Association 'GO RUNS.

Free 1 mile & 5K timed runs. Kids, adults, walkers, runners, strollers, dogs on a leash--Chicago

Link to information and locations

SUNDAY Morning Long Run (options)

8:00am: "Sticky Buns Run"-- Lake County Preserve Canoe Area Launch Rt 60 & Milwaukee Rd

7:30am: North Lake County distance runs, locations vary. Check with Dave Zeisler dzeisler@gmail.com

TRAINING PROGRAMS: Check with club coach Jenny Spangler on programs and dates.   jandmfitness@comcast.net



Someone please tell Laura winning her AG in a 5K is not worth crying over...or does she miss her running husband that much?!
Feelin’ the Bern in Boston!

For more information check out the LFLB Running Club website

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