Andrew Nadler & Dani Armstrong

Andrew Nadler
 2013 April Andrew Nadler

18-year-old Andrew Nadler, a senior at The Latin School of Chicago, is reaching levels in cross-country skiing that even those most familiar with the sportwould never dream of. He finished second overall in the Kotelopet Skate race at the 2013 American Birkebeiner and had his third appearance in four years at the cross-country skiing junior nationals.

Nadler has traveled to the snow to keep up with his training over the past mild winters. After training with a Midwest-based group through the summer and fall and running cross country for his high school team, he travels to his family’s home in Wisconsin and a course in Milwaukee to continue his training on snow.

Now Nadler is preparing for his freshman year at Dartmouth where he will compete on the school’s cross-country ski team. Eventually, he hopes to compete on the Olympic Level.

Dani Armstrong
 2013 April Dani Armstrong

 After years of shuffling her kids from baseball and hockey practice, Dani Armstrong needed to find something to do for herself. That’s when a friend convinced her to take running to the next level and join her on a local 10K.

“My kids knew I ran, my friends knew I ran, but I just did it for myself,” the Grayslake resident says. “I saw my friend with all these ribbons around her neck and having so much fun. Just a little over a year ago she said, •why don’t you come run this turkey trot with me?'”

Now 51, Armstrong has gone from not being able to do a push-up to cross training and working with Olympian Jenny Spangler weekly. Last year she qualified for Boston by more than 12 minutes, and the taste of victory has just pushed her to do more. Even while sick she competed in the March 9 Tom King Classic Half Marathon and topped her age group with a 1:41:21 finish. In 2013, Armstrong has finished first in her age group in six different races in four different distances across three different states.

“I’ve learned more about myself from racing than 30 years of yoga and therapy. I really met myself racing. It’s changed everything for me,” Armstrong said.