|Ian La Belle|
Ian La Belle’s running career got off to a strong start when he picked up the sport a year and a half ago. He took 30th in his first ever marathon, the Derby Festival Marathon in Louisville in 2014 and qualified for Boston by about five full minutes. In order to help with training, he joined the open Fleet Feet Racing Team and took over 18 minutes off his marathon time at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last October, finishing in 2:41:47.
This year, La Belle took third place in the F^3 Lake Half Marathon and qualified for the Fleet Feet/Nike Racing elite team with a 15:40 5K at the University of Chicago indoor track meet. In Boston this year, La Belle earned another PR with a 2:37:31 and was the fourth Illinois male across the finish line. La Belle credits the Fleet Feet team for helping him improve his times and the Edge Athlete Lounge, where both he and Weinberg are members, for helping him recover and stay healthy. La Belle hopes to set another PR at this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Five years ago, Jill Weinberg had never run a marathon. This October, she will attempt to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
Weinberg, a former Division I coxswain on Boston University’s women’s rowing team, stayed active after graduating college but needed a sense of direction and structure to replace the coached setting in which she thrived as a collegiate athlete. At the prompting of a friend, Weinberg took up road racing and ran her first marathon at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10, 2010. In that race, she qualified for the Boston Marathon.
Weinberg paired up with her coach Kate Ryan in the fall of 2013 and has since seen rapid improvement in her times. She ran a 2:55:25 at the Boston Marathon in April, finishing first out of all women from Illinois, and 12 days later took third place at the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha. She ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile in May and plans to run the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate 10K this month to test her speed before aiming for an Olympic Trials qualifying time at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October.