Clif Bar Athlete of the Year Mark Wehrman


Running is in Mark Wehrman’s blood.


“My dad and my three older brothers ran, so it was something I naturally fell into starting out in middle school,” Wehrman says. “I did cross country and track in middle school, high school and college. That’s when it all started.”


Those who have followed the Chicago running scene over past ten years or so may be familiar with Mark Wehrman’s older brother, Chris, who qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon in 2004 and 2008.


“Of course I want to try to be like him,” Wehrman says. “He’s way up ahead of me but he’s my coach. He’s the one I that I look to for advice in training and racing.”


In 2012, Wehrman rose to Chicago racing prominence in his own right. Throughout the season he finished in the top ten of nearly every race he entered and finished the year second in the CARA Runner’s Choice Circuit Competition with 86 points: a competition he has in mind for 2013 as well.


“This year I finished second which was a little disappointing but it’s how it went so it is what it is,” Wehrman says. “I’ll probably follow [the CARA Runner’s Choice Circuit] again and ultimately try to win if I can.”


In addition to being competitive in the Circuit, Wehrman also plans to compete against the clock in 2013.


“This year my focus is going to be on getting my half marathon time down along with my 5K time down so a lot of my training will be focused on that,” Wehrman says.


Those goals are one of the things that help keep Wehrman focused as he trains for the upcoming season.


“I want to get to a 1:10 half and I don’t want to let myself down so I know that I have to get out and run and work out,” Wehrman says.


Right now, Wehrman has his sights set on the Chicago Half Marathon as his focus for the second half of the year, with races such as the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, the FirstMerit Bank Lakefront 10 Miler and possibly the Soldier Field 10 Miler on his calendar as well. Having target races to keep up motivation is something Wehrman would recommend for any runner.


“If you don’t have a race to train for it’s easy to fall off your training plan,” Wehrman says. “Having a race, having that goal in mind, having that race in mind that you can’t get out of is generally the best motivating factor.”


As a member of track and cross country teams throughout his education, including during his time at Eastern Michigan University, and now as a coach at Amundson High School, Wehrman also knows how inspirational it is to be around other runners and credits his current team as one of the reasons he’s able to stay on target with his goals.


“Another factor is the people I train with which is Track & Trough Athletic Union,” Wehrman says. “They tend to meet almost every day and meeting with them also motivates me to keep on going.”