|Overbeck at the Chase Corporate Challenge|
But could California International really live up to its fast reputation when several speedy female runners needed it to as they gunned for their Olympic Trials qualifying time in what would be their last chance before the January event in Houston? (How's that for a long-winded sentence?) The answer would be a resounding yes. For some runners, December 4, 2011, will go down as a day in history, the special Sunday when they reached one tough cut-off on the road to Olympic glory. And for a few others, they'll hopefully forget that Sunday just wasn't their day. It pains me to write that, since I silently cheered for several Chicagoans after learning of their Olympic attempts over the summer. It helps to meet filmmaker Wendy Shulik, who's been chasing the women as they try to qualify and filming them for her Miles and Trials documentary, and who will get you as excited (or close to it) as she is for Trials' tribulations.
Back to that fast race on Sunday. Two OT qualifiers run--or ran since one technically lives in Portland now and the other is out in the suburbs--practically in my own backyard. Christina Overbeck, who ran a personal best 2:44:24, lived in Chicago before getting married and relocating to Portland, Ore. Not that she wasn't already fast, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of those fleet-footed Oregon Project runners rubbed off on her. Kate DeProsperis took the knowledge she gained on the CIM course in 2009 and 2010, where she finished with a 2:50 and 2:48 respectively, to whittle down her personal best even more to a 2:45:16. And this time that best was good enough to secure her a spot to the Olympic Trials. These two runners almost make their feats look easy, but a still camera shot falls far short of all the hard work, pain and probably suffering they had to put themselves through to get there.
Though she's not local, I couldn't help but notice triathlete Joanna Zeiger's name atop the leaderboard. I know world class triathletes are fast runners, even after a 1.2-mile or 2.4-mile swim and a 56-mile or 112-mile bike, but still. Zeiger finished as the sixth female with a 2:43:48. It just gets me wondering: How fast could Chrissie Wellington or Mirinda Carfrae run a marathon if they didn't swim and bike beforehand since they're sub three hours with those disciplines included?
I'll save my wandering mind for another day. Instead, I'll leave you with a random assortment of facts about two of the newest runners who will be racing in Houston on January 14.
Three things you may not have known about Kate DeProsperis:
- She's a twin. Her sister, Carrie, is also a runner, and you'd often find the duo racing together when they both lived in Chicago.
- Her maiden name is Reicher--you know, in case you want to check Athlinks to see how she's gotten faster.
- She's coached by Jenny Spangler, who made the U.S. Olympic Team back in 1996 with a surprise win at the marathon Trials.
- She's a newlywed. Oops, I already mentioned that one. But don't be surprised if you start seeing a Christina Crawford topping the race results in the near future--it's the same Christina.
- She only started running in college. Overbeck played soccer in high school and joined the cross-country team when she started attending Calvin College.
- She's an engineer who's been hard at work studying in the prosthetics-orthotics program at Northwestern University. The program brought her back to Chicago for a few weeks this fall, but now she's back in Portland, interning at Shriner's Children's Hospital and working with amputees.
Photo courtesy of Christina Overbeck-Crawford.