Chicago Athlete Ambassadors’ Favorite Moments from 2018


Throughout the 2018 season, our ambassadors have covered dozens of races in the hopes of helping you decide which ones are good fits for you. In that time, they’ve created some new memories of their own, and want to share with you the moment that sticks out the most to them.

1Mandi Florip

“My favorite running moment of 2018 was crossing the U.S. border to race in Canada during the Detroit Free Press Marathon. Logging miles in two countries during a single marathon was a first for me. As a bonus, I earned a BQT and got hugs from my little ones at the finish line.”

2Judith Warren

“CARA’s ‘Go Run program is designed to bring the joy of running to a diverse community, and they delivered! When the free 5k run came to Columbus Park in June, I joined the fun. Meeting great people plus discovering a beautiful, local park gave me my favorite moments of 2018.”

3Jacqui Giuliano

“Crossing the finish line at Ironman Wisconsin, immediately giving my husband (who won the whole race!) a hug, all while being surrounded by friends and family at this “local Ironman” was my favorite moment in 2018. Training for this race, I had BIG goals and accomplished them through not only my physical training, but through focusing on mental training as well.”

4Jeffrey Jameson

“Being able to not only finish this year’s Chicago Marathon but to finish with a BQ time — just 15  weeks after having surgery for a femoral neck stress fracture — was definitely the highlight of my running year!  It was my husband’s first marathon, and I was so happy to be able to run it with him.  We were fortunate to have our families cheering us on at several spots along the course.”

5Kristin Shulman

“My favorite 2018 running moment was running the Hops for Hope 5K in Batavia, IL on May 19.  It was a lot of fun to run with my friends, drink beer at six separate stops and win an age group award.   Plus, on top of all that, the race was for a good cause – Project Mobility!”

6Andi Clark

“My favorite ambassador moment is one I did not report on: pacing my friend Lindsey Banning in the Abe’s Amble race in Springfield, as it was her first race after having her last child. This was an amazing race and first time I ran as an actual pacer for someone.”

7Jim Gubbins

“Racing requires one to be prepared for the unexpected and have a willingness to take chances.  The Crystal Lake Aquathon was a last minute addition to my schedule and perhaps one of my favorite moments of the year! Not knowing what to expect provided a touch of nervous anticipation. Of course, finding the podium didn’t hurt either!”

8Erika Ostrander

“This year has been a roller coaster for me; it was my fastest year in triathlon and running. My favorite moment was crossing the finish line at Ironman Wisconsin on Sep. 9. It was so incredibly emotional for me because I set a huge and unexpected PR. Seeing my family and friends on the course in Madison filled my heart with gratitude and happiness.  I was so proud of myself for showing up and just raced, the PR was the icing on the cake.”

9Alex Sterczek

“The most rewarding moments have been talking to talk to runners, volunteers, bystanders and race officials, at almost every event I’ve attended this year as an ambassador. It took me out of my comfort zone and gave me a deeper appreciation for people and the sport. I didn’t break any PR’s or complete any big goals in 2018. And that’s okay.”

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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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