After realizing his prowess in soccer came from his running ability, Austin Hendrix joined his high school’s cross country team as a sophomore and began his competitive career. The former Eastern Michigan University runner has had a successful and busy year, most recently winning the Downers Grove 5 Miler on June 28, The Original 5K on June 11 and the Quarryman Challenge on May 9 in addition to finishing fourth at the Soldier Field 10 Mile, where he set a two-minute PR. Hendrix also finished the Boston Marathon in 2:27:54 earlier this year, the second Illinoisan to cross the line on Boylston St.
Hendrix, a runner with the Fleet Feet/Nike Racing Team, plans to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this fall. He has a 25K in northern Michigan planned as well to test his fitness for the marathon.
A runner since her first Ridge Run in Beverly at age 11, Julia Montag has risen to become a consistent top 10 finisher in area races this year. Most recently, Montag won the Terrapin 5K: her second win of the year, following her first place finish at the Emerald Isle Mile in March. Though Montag has particularly excelled at short distance races this year, she also set a new marathon personal record at Boston, finishing in 3:13:07, and hopes to set another PR in October at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, where she will chase a 3:05 finish with the help of her new coach, Matt Flaherty.
Montag, the community manager for race review website BibRave, also tried her hand at triathlon this year, talking on the half-Iron distance Toughman Wisconsin and finishing fourth in her age group with a 5:40:55, despite having limited bike training and even less open water experience.