Local Marathoner Profile: Michael Boraz, Chicago Endurance Sports and EDGE

We spoke with four different athletes from four different local marathon training programs to discuss this year's Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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Chicago Athlete: Why did you start running?

Michael Boraz: I am a principal at Lincoln Park High School, so the work can be stressful and demands you take care of yourself physically and mentally. I went for my physical a few years ago and my numbers weren’t too good. I started running in the winter of 2015 and was pretty consistent, and then my wife got me a Polar M400 watch for Father’s Day, so I haven’t missed a run since 2015. This will be my first marathon. 

CA: What are you most excited about for this year’s marathon? Most nervous/anxious for?

MB: I recently started to picture myself going past mile 20, and getting a boost from people cheering, and that seems like it’ll be really an unbelievable experience.

For me as a first timer, the unpredictability and what its really going to feel like on race day is a little nerve-racking, but I’m trying to think about those positive feelings and the surge of my fans.

CA: What goals do you have?

MB: One thing that I read is to set three goals instead of one to keep you positive; I’ve been running my long runs at an 8:50 to 9 minute-mile pace, so I feel like a 3:45 that would be my fast goal, my second one would be between 4 and 4:15 if things go poorly, and my third would be just to get through without walking.

CA: What advice do you give to other marathoners?

MB: I love training with a group; I did all my training for my first year and a half by myself, and I was able to get my work done in early mornings so I know I have it in me to do it by myself, but long runs and speed work with a group is more fun. Also, tap into your community and engage in conversations about your excitements and goals, and it might inspire other people too.

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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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