Everyday Athlete: Keith Holzmueller, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association

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Keith Holzmueller has been running for nearly 50 years, and will run his 13th career marathon in 2018 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for the charity Great Lakes Adaptive Sport Association (GLASA).

Keith started his running career in 1970 when his ninth grade physical education teacher told the high school cross country coach to recruit him. He ran four years of high school cross country and track, but took a break during his first few years of college.

Now, Holzmueller lives in in Evanston, Ill. with his wife Birdy and sons Nathan and Aaron, and enjoys running on Evanston and Chicago lakefront paths. He first learned about GLASA when his son, Aaron, became interested in running and racing. Aaron was born with cerebral palsy, which affects his muscle coordination, but he is able to run without assistance.

“GLASA helps athletes with a variety of disabilities train and compete in track & field and other sports,” Holzmueller says.

Holzmueller will run with the GLASA Chicago Marathon Charity Group for the third time in 2018 in support of his son. Currently, Aaron practices and competes in running and swimming events for GLASA when he is not competing for his high school teams.

“I enjoy running with Aaron and seeing him compete at races for GLASA. It’s also inspiring to see his teammates compete,” Holzmueller says. “Through GLASA, Aaron has found sports activities that he enjoys and that allow him to set goals to train, compete and succeed.”

In fact, Aaron has set several national age group track records for his disability class at distances ranging from 200 meters to 1,500 meters. He also qualified and competed at the 2015 adult adaptive track and field nationals and the 2016 Paralympic Trials.

As for Holzmueller’s marathon training, his goal is to compete with his last marathon time in 2015 of 3:06. He admits the biggest challenge during his training is not overdoing his speed work.

“My body handles long runs better than intervals,” he says.

He is really looking forward to seeing fellow competitors and friends, especially family and supporters of GLASA, on the marathon course in October.

“I love running because it relaxes me mentally and keeps me fit, Holzmueller adds. “My family and I are so fortunate to be involved with an organization like Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association.”

If you wish to support GLASA, please visit Holzmueller’s fundraising page at https://www.crowdrise.com/team-glasa/fundraiser/keithholzmueller.

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