August Clif Bar Athletes of the Month: Andrea Kruszka and Dhruvil Patel

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Andrea Kruszka

Accomplishments:

  • Recovered from MS flare up and return to running
  • Win 2019 Soldier Field 10 Miler with time of 1:03:36
  • Placed seventh in age group with Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k PR of 29:22
  1. Why did you start running? 

I started running in seventh grade because my parents wanted me to participate in a sport to make friends and instill a sense of discipline in me. I always enjoyed the running fitness tests we had to do in school and so we thought this would be a good sport for me.

  1. Favorite race distance?

The marathon. I’d rather grind it out for 26.2 miles than run as fast as I can in something like the 5k.

  1. PR you’re proud of?

Boston Marathon 2017; I was able to negative split a marathon and come away with a sub-3-hour PR.

  1. What are you training for?

I’d like to break my half marathon PR this fall. Most likely I will run Fox Valley as a tune-up and then aim for Indianapolis in November.

Dhruvil Patel

Accomplishments:

  • 13x NCAA DIII All American
  • 6x NCAA DIII National Champion
  • Part of 5x NCAA DIII National Team Championships
  • NCAA DIII 5000m National Record Holder (13:51)
  1. Why did you start running?

I started running my freshman year of high school. I didn’t know what sport I wanted to do, and one of my older sisters told me to run cross country. Also during this time my dad unexpectedly passed away and I was left in complete shock. I found that running made me feel so much better and I used it as an outlet. Over a long period of time, I truly began to love running and my career took off.

  1. Favorite race distance?

I really love racing both the 5000m and 10000m!

  1. PR you’re proud of?

My PR for 5000m is 13:51 and my PR for 10000m is 28:50. I’m equally proud of both.

  1. What are you training for?

Currently, I’m training to make the transition into professional running. I’ve been visiting different professional training groups and weighing my options. I’m looking to make a decision in the middle of August or beginning of September. For the summer, I’m helping coach at New Trier High School.

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Holly's running career began in high school; after being bummed about not making the volleyball team her sophomore year, she decided to join some of her middle school friends on the cross country team. She also did track in the fall, where the 1600 m race was her niche. Since then, she has run many distance races, and is going for her first marathon at the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon this October. She graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a degree in journalism, and is working towards her Master in Arts in New Media and Marketing.

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