Chicago Athlete Ambassadors’ Race Day Memories

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Six Chicago Athlete Ambassadors ran the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and we wanted to hear about their experiences. We asked the Chicago Athlete Ambassadors the following question:

What was your favorite moment of the 40th Annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon?
Mandi Florip: My favorite part of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon was the incredible support from my family and friends, Nike team members, race spectators, course volunteers and the City of Chicago. Every mile of the course was filled with cheers, smiles and encouragement that made my adrenaline surge.

Denise Sauriol: I got to run with my first timer, Max. He is 81 years young! What I love about Max is that regardless of his age and what is the norm in our society, he decided to do something he had never done before. The crowd cheered “Go Max Go,” the whole way and he had this smile on his face like a little kid at their own birthday party. He of course is already talking about getting faster (like a typical first timer, right?)
Kristan Heunink: When it’s too hot to actually “race” the Chicago Marathon, you set goal times and pace aside and find joy in mid-race donuts, Jello-shots, sweaty hugs and sharing the experience with the first-time marathoners you coached.  The best part of running my 20th marathon and 8th Chicago marathon was running portions of the race alongside some of the first-time marathoners that I coached this summer.  Their excitement was infectious and refreshing—it was like experiencing my first marathon all over again!

Jeff Jameson:
My husband and sister-in-law took the train all over the city to cheer me on at different points throughout the race.  My favorite moment was seeing my husband screaming and cheering for me just before the 800m to go sign.  It gave me a much needed burst of energy to run up that final hill and finish the last half mile strong and fast.  His encouragement at the end helped me set a new PR and run my first sub-3-hour marathon!

 

Nancy Torres: My favorite part of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon was to have the opportunity to run a prestigious marathon surrounded by runners who have come from many different countries to participate in my own city, my home. People of all different ages, races, ethnicities, orientations and backgrounds become one big running family who all help and encourage each other and share the same dream. It’s a beautiful thing to witness and become a part of, and I am feeling so proud to live in a breathtaking city like Chicago that helps make this moment possible.

Ashley Nolan: Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with my husband was a dream come true! We ran to raise awareness and funds for Imerman Angels. The best part was dedicating each mile to a family member or friend that has been affected by cancer. We hope by running those 26.2 miles, no one has to fight cancer alone.
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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 several shorter distance races and two half marathons. Her goal for 2017 is to try a triathlon, and eventually do the Chicago Marathon. She graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a degree in journalism.

Working at Chicago Athlete, Holly has been able to explore photography a lot more, which is one of her main hobbies. She enjoys taking photos at endurance races, and is also passionate about nature photography and portraiture.

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