Chicago marathon too far
Any marathon is a grueling test of physical and mental endurance, but Chicago's Lakeshore Marathon was extra tough this year: The course was inadvertently set a mile (1.6km) too long. More than 500 runners finished last Monday's race, running 27.2 miles (43.7km) instead of the standard 26.2 (42.1km). The long layout of the marathon, as well as problems such as missing mile markers and unstaffed aid stations, led some runners to urge the city to stop issuing permits for the Lakeshore Marathon until it's under new management. Race founder and organizer Mark Cihlar issued an apology on www.marathonguide.com on Thursday. Last-minute changes "caused us to miscalculate and we foolishly added an extra mile -- how terrible!" he wrote in a memo to race participants. Cihlar, who has had sole responsibility for 90 percent of the marathon's planning for the past four years, said he plans to relinquish control over event coordination, and is seeking qualified directors and coordinators to help on the 2006 race.
Ray of hope for NHL
The NHL and players' association made some progress in nearly 34 hours of negotiations over three days and will continue to talk, league vice president Bill Daly said Friday. The sides met for almost 14 hours on Friday after 10-hour sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, trying to work out a new collective bargaining agreement. The league and union said they will meet again next week. "We continued our discussions on financial and accounting issues, and while we are making progress, we still have a lot of work to do," Daly said.
Lions roar in Wellington
The British and Irish Lions made an unimpressive start to their 11-match rugby tour of New Zealand in Wellington yesterday, struggling to a 34-20 win over Bay of Plenty at Rotorua and losing veteran No. 8 Lawrence Dallaglio to an injury. After an explosive beginning in which they scored 17 points in 10 minutes, including two tries to fullback Josh Lewsey, Clive Woodward's Lions slumped to leave the match tied 17-17 at halftime. A try to Tom Shanklin at the start of the second half and two more in the last 10 minutes expanded the Lions' margin.