Feeling ill? No problem for Krasa

Feeling ill? No problem for Krasa

CHAMPAIGN — Laura Krasa entered Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon week under the weather, uncertain if she'd be able to defend her 5K women's title.

Turns out the 2018 Judah Christian graduate not only felt her health clear up in time for Friday night's 3.1-mile event, but also saw her time drop from the previous year.

Krasa traversed the University of Illinois campus-based course in 17 minutes, 56 seconds to repeat as the female winner in her third time competing.

"I feel like I'm still not back at 100 percent," Krasa said, "but I really wanted to focus on just enjoying the run, and I surprised myself by still being able to go out there and get a good time."

Krasa's clocking put her in 10th place overall. While that was one spot below where she finished in 2018, the prior result carried a time of 18:20.

And this wasn't just a freak occurrence for Krasa, the reigning Class 1A 3,200-meter run state champion.

"At the beginning of March, I ran a 16:39 5K at Miller Park Zoo (in Bloomington)," she noted.

What makes these statistics even more interesting is that they've happened after Krasa broke away from her spot with the Illini distance program.

"I left because I didn't like the training," said Krasa, who still attends the U of I as an animal science pre-vet major. "I prefer to do more tempo up stuff. ... I know that's the way I run best. I decided I can run well on my own, too, and I really like road races."

When Krasa isn't pounding the pavement, she's spending time volunteering at a local veterinary clinic to coincide with her studies.

Of course, she still works her athletic passion into her busy schedule.

And she was itching to represent once more in Friday's 5K, even if she didn't feel absolutely perfect.

"It's such a great event for the community," Krasa said. "It really brings everyone together, whether you're running or just cheering on the sidelines."

Perhaps some of those folks were fellow Tribe alumni. Krasa likely would have shared a word with them after catching her breath.

"That's the one thing I loved about Judah," Krasa said. "I've been in contact with a lot of my friends there. It's really nice."

Perhaps the only complaint Krasa had about this whole experience pertained to the wind.

She noted there was a stiffer breeze near the race's outset of this year versus closer to Memorial Stadium last time around.

Like with her sickness, though, Krasa wasn't going to let it spoil her evening.

"I was hoping that this year I wouldn't get that much wind," she said. "But it's spring in the Midwest, so what can you expect."