October 25th, 2011

Nowness presents a city of moving images with Doug Aitken’s new video work, Altered Earth.  Says Aitken, “I felt like I was holding the earth in my hand.” [AO Newslink]

See the video at Nowness

TAC Takes On a Challenge

Chicago Sun-Times November 13, 1992 | Len Ziehm Tomorrow’s Oak Brook Challenge includes a long overdue event on Chicago’s running scene – the first Illinois Open Cross-Country State Championship sanctioned by The Athletics Congress. TAC dates to 1979.

Team Eastbay will be the men’s favorite in the 8-kilometer event, which starts at 10:15 a.m. on the Oak Brook Sports Core’s polo fields, and that club’s history reflects the changes in club running here.

The city used to have one of the strongest women’s teams in the world – the Mayor Daley Youth Foundation. It collapsed in the 1970s after the death of coach Joe Robichaux, and no club has emerged to replace it.

On the men’s side, the University of Chicago Track Club was a national power until the death of legendary coach Ted Haydon in 1983.

“I don’t know if people fully realize how far down it has gone here,” said Ray Vandersteen, Illinois TAC executive director. “The track and field scene isn’t 20 percent as good as it was seven-10 years ago.” One reason has been a lack of competitions, and the state cross-country race will help. TAC is moving its indoor track and field state meet from Carbondale to Proviso West’s new track on Feb. 14, and that also could stimulate club development.

Coach Barry Lee formed Team Eastbay largely with disgruntled UCTC members. Lee, a former Florida Track Club member, joined the UCTC when he moved to Chicago in 1988. He broke with the club last year. go to web site eastbay coupon codes

“The (UCTC) board of directors and myself didn’t get along,” Lee said. “After Ted’s death, the program went to hell. Ted was a leader. After he died, no one took charge. When I started going to races for the UCTC, with just two-three other runners, people would laugh at us. I got it back on its feet, but there was a lot of resentment because the club became identified with myself.” Lee had to go to Wausau, Wis., to find a sponsor for Team Eastbay.

“Track has changed a lot in the last few years,” he said. “To compete, you’ve got to do it on a professional level – but all our runners work regular jobs. None have a shoe contract.” Eastbay is a Nike outlet. Lee could find no sponsors in Chicago, and he and Vandersteen feel that only Vertel’s of the local running shops has put much money back into their sport in the past few years.

“That’s sad,” Lee said. “The stores are being penny-wise and pound-foolish.” Lee, who manages a men’s clothing store, formed a team that won titles at the Shamrock Shuffle, Dolton-Riverdale 10K, Wicker Park 5K and Lake County Half-Marathon this season. Team Eastbay claimed a minimum of three runners in the top 10 of every Chicago race this season. this web site eastbay coupon codes

“My serious running days are behind me,” Lee said. “My job is to be the coach and agent for these guys.” “These guys” include 12 post-college runners headed by Jay Little. He has personal bests of 14:32 for five kilometers, 30:07 for 10K, 49:43 for 10 miles and 2:23:50 for the marathon. Lee figures Little will win tomorrow’s race – if he can beat his teammates.

“I think we’ve got a chance at a perfect score (top five places),” Lee said. “This race will tell us where we’re at for the nationals (Nov. 18 in Kenosha, Wis.).” Expected to follow Little tomorrow are Lance Murphy, Matt McCormick and Mike Yuhasz. Their 10K PRs range from 30:27 to 32:02. Other members of Team Eastbay are Sydney Jackson, Bill Johncock, Dan LeGoff, John Lumkes, Tom Becker, Steve Hoffman, Andy Adler and Scott Fitzgibbons.

Lee expects the North Central Track Club to provide the main competition. No women’s teams have entered.

First race will be the Oak Brook All-Comers 5K at 9:30 a.m. After the TAC 8K state championship run, there will be Junior Olympics state championships from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. They are for runners as young as 8 and range from distances of 1,500 to 5,000 meters. Vandersteen expects 200 in the adult races and 700 in the junior events.

Race-day registration is $16 in the two adult races and $6 for the junior events. For details, call (708) 833-7303.

Len Ziehm