Pat McMahon wins the boys race at Nike Northside-Southside Challenge






While most highschoolers are sleeping in on a Sunday morning, there were some cross country runners who were up at 4am to make it to a 7:40am start for the Nike Northside-Southside Challenge. Fall has arrived in Chicago and there were goose bumps and teeth chattering at the start line. But once the gun went off it was all business to see who could bring home the bragging rights as the best........."Northside or Southside."

The way the race works is that the starting line is 2.62 miles away from the Chicago Marathon finish line. Once the marathoners get going the High School Race gets started.  It's a great opportunity to run down the last stretch of the marathon course before the big dogs come through. After the finish a nice warm tent is waiting with food, music, and awards.

For the boys Pat McMahon crossed the line first in the 2.62 mile course with his teammate Chris Hogan in 2nd. Both from Carl Sandburg High. It was Carly Krull and Grace Foley for a 1-2 finish in the girls race...also from Carl Sandburg. If that school sounds familiar it was where Lukas Verzbicas went. Remember, he's the kid that went 3:59.71 in the Dream Mile, set a national high school record in the 2 mile in 8:29.46 at the Prefontaine Classic, won Foot Locker and Nike Cross Nationals in the same year..and of course he won the Northside-Southside. Plus he did ok with triathlons, he won the Pan American Triathlon Confederation Junior Championships and in September 2011 went on to win the ITU World Junior Championships in Beijing. In July however Lukas had a bicycle accident during training has been hospitalized. The team has made tee shirts, visited and given their support during his recovery. Lukas tweets almost every day so if you want to follow his progress to recovery you can follow him at Lukas Verzbicas @LukasVerzbicas.Also Carl Sandburg HS@EaglesAthletics will keep you up to date on the their team. If you want to follow us it's just Youthrunner Magazine@Youthrunner.


Here's the 2009 Challenge video