Issue Date: July/ August 2008 Criterium & Triathlon Issue, Posted On: 9/22/2008
Karsen Green & Pam Blair
Standing 6’ 6” tall, Karsen Green physically stands out from a crowd during races. But the Warren Township High track and cross country runner is also separating himself with his performances. The incoming senior won the 5K Race to the Finish in Evanston for the second consecutive year on June 8, enjoying the time away from more competitive high school events.
“They’re a lot more laid back because they’re just for fun,” Green says of his off-season races. “High school is just business, basically. But with these, you’re able to relax and enjoy yourself a lot more.”
Green has taken care of business in his high school races too. This past season, he qualified for the state track meet in the 800-meters and set his school’s cross country course record. He attributes his success more to his intensive training regimen than his unusual height, though he says his long stride might be an advantage. “When you’re six-six, nobody is as tall as you, so you can’t draft off anyone,” Green says.
Just a year-and-a-half ago, Pam Blair was a smoker, not a runner. But she became bored with cross-training workouts in February 2007 and decided to give running a try. The next month, she kicked her cigarette habit. Now, “running is the only thing that makes me feel truly free,” says Blair.
Since kicking the habit, the only thing the 27-year-old Chicagoan has smoked recently is her competition. She recently placed third at the Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10-mile on May 24. “I was only expecting to finish in the top seven or eight,” Blair says. “When they told me at the halfway point I was in third, I had to check with the marshal to make sure I heard correctly.” Blair then went on to win the North Shore Half Marathon on June 8 and the She’s Got Sole 8K on June 22.
Blair credits her quick success to having a natural cardiovascular advantage, her vegan diet and her hard training with Frontrunners and coach Roger Bashore.